Blast From the Dot-Bomb Past



Remember same-day delivery services that failed spectacularly in the dot-com crash? They’re baaaack. But they say this time is different.

Same-day delivery services (think Webvan and Kozmo) crashed and burned in 2001. But a new crop of start-ups claims this time is different.

Why It Might Work

Today’s GPS-enabled smartphones can track couriers and goods much more efficiently. More important, fleets of vehicles and professional drivers are no longer required. Start-ups such as Deliv and Postmates crowdsource that work to a pool of vetted part-time drivers.

“That’s the disruption,” says Daphne Carmeli, CEO of Deliv, which is running a pilot in San Francisco and Chicago in which retailers foot the delivery bill. Postmates, in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, charges consumers $6.99 and up for within-the-hour delivery.

Why It Could Flop… Again

The competition is stiff: Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Google all either are in the game already or will be soon. To survive, start-ups must deliver reliably (no easy task) at a price consumers will accept–$5 to $10, says Kris Bjorson, a retail expert at consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle.





Source link