Gone are the days where companies rely solely on UPS, USPS and FedEx. The space continues to be disrupted by an array of new guys.
Big box retailers are stepping up their last-mile delivery game by partnering with more shipping carriers than ever before. The truth is, they have to. E-commerce shopping is 30 percent higher than before the pandemic.
The list of small delivery startups continues to grow, and they have a laser focus on two things: speed and efficiency. From white labeling third-party delivery services, to buying out the smaller guys, companies are making big moves to improve delivery speed from the warehouse to a customer’s front door.
So, who is using what? Let’s start with Best Buy.
Best Buy uses the usual major carriers like UPS, FedEx and USPS, but in some areas the company says it uses carriers like OnTrac, Lone Star Overnight (LSO), Shipt and Roadie.
Ontrac is a logistics network that promises to give businesses the opportunity to reach more customers with next-day delivery. With Lone Star Overnight, companies like Best Buy can also make a quick ship, and calculate rates directly on the website. Other companies that also rely on Lone Star Overnight? Butcher Box and Williams–Sonoma.
Shipt, the delivery service that is known for grocery and everyday essential deliveries, is also a carrier for Best Buy goods. The company says goods can be directly delivered to you in as soon as an hour and that they provide real time updates every step of the way. Lastly, Best Buy uses Roadie, a UPS company that is a same-day delivery platform.
Home Depot & Lowe’s
Have you ever been on a roll doing a home improvement project and then realized you need more paint? Maybe another brush? We have all been there. Home Depot has upped its delivery game by offering express and same-day delivery.
“Whether we’re DIYers or seasoned pros, at some point we all buy the wrong part, forget something, or simply don’t get enough in the first place. For Home Depot, express delivery can be a game-changer, especially in the competitive home improvement retail industry,” said Marc Gorlin, Founder & CEO of Roadie, the company that Home Depot makes the deliveries through.
You can also get Home Depot deliveries through GoLocal, Walmart’s white label delivery service which was launched in 2021. Home Depot was GoLocal’s first client and offers delivery through the service at around 300 of its stores.
What about Lowe’s? In addition to using the typical 3rd party delivery services, Lowe’s uses Lugg. It’s a moving and delivery company that provides services to companies like World Market, West Elm, Pottery Barn, Costco, Crate & Barrel and others. Shoppers can get deliveries through Lugg in more than 25 cities. When you order a Lowe’s item through Lugg you can get same-day delivery in under an hour. Have a heavy purchase? No problem. You get on demand movers and a truck pickup. Purchases are also protected through insurance, and you will have the option to tip the delivery crew after.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond, and its BuyBuy Baby subsidiary started offering same day delivery services through DoorDash in 2021. One of the big perks for BuyBuy Baby is the real time updates on delivery status. This made the company the first home retailer and baby goods retailer to be offered on DoorDash.
“What’s also exciting about this partnership is that we are extending order cutoff times from 1 p.m. to up to 6 p.m. local time based on store hours and customers can receive real-time updates on their order status via text, giving them real-time visibility to when their order will arrive to them,” said Rafeh Masood, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer with Bed Beth & Beyond.
The company also takes advantage of Shipt and Instacart services for deliveries. It started offering same-day delivery on those platforms for a flat rate fee of $4.99 in September 2020, as long as your order was more than $39.
In 2020, Target acquired last-mile startup Deliv, which was a California based same-day delivery service. While Deliv originally came to fruition in the same market that launched Instacart and Doordash, its customers were different. Instead of serving shoppers it focused on retail chains.
So, how does this play into Target’s delivery services? When the company acquired the shipping tech from Deliv, it was a way Target could get a peek into what made the Deliv way work. One example? Deliv had technology built that could group multiple orders that were shipping to the same neighborhood.
While we all know Amazon has a ground, air, and even a drone force to make its deliveries seamless, the company is adding more duties for its Amazon Flex drivers. Currently, the company is testing out delivering goods straight from the mall!
The new program has what the company calls “flex drivers,” head to shopping malls to pick up packages and drop them off at customer’s homes. Shoppers just purchase the goods directly through Amazon.com. As of right now, the Seattle-based retail giant is offering the service through shopping malls in handler, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada and Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Drivers with Amazon Flex are independent contractors who use their own vehicles to do the pickup and drop offs. DoorDash jumped on board with a similar idea back in 2020, partnering up with Macy’s and Bloomingdales to provide same-day and next-day delivery at more than 500 store locations.
So, what does this mean for the future of delivery?
Even though they all carry different products, these big box stores share the same goal when it comes to getting them delivered: speed! It’s all about how to get ahead in the LMD world. Many big box stores are racing to keep up with Amazon and they’re improving their LMD efforts by doing the following:
- Taking advantage of brick-and-mortar spaces for same-day pickup
- Using stores in other ways, like distribution locations or sorting facilities
- Looking to transportation companies to use their drivers (Uber and Postmates for example)
The list will continue to grow! What else can we expect from the industry? Here’s what we think:
- An increase in crowdsourced delivery
- More delivery options from autonomous vehicles and drones
- More advanced tech, like the use of RFID tags and GPS to closely track shipments.
Consumer demand for fast delivery isn’t going anywhere, and it will be fun to see how these companies use LMD to race onward!