Does anyone still remember this pilot project in Manhattan, where eBay, I think, tried offering same-day delivery, by bicycle messengers? Manhattan: one big warehouse, right? What happened to that?
Now, from reading the news, Google's Shopping Express is gearing up, again - after years and years of hibernation, after the Froogle years, after years of regarding as the ugly duckling of meta shopping websites... We'll see.
And then there is this new "groceries only" Startup Instacart, offering delivery of supermarket goods to your doorstep. Metro Group tried this in Germany, and former Supermarket Plus, now Netto, I think had a shot at it as well. Both experiments failed. People were only ordering the heavy stuff and margins were not there. Tesco on the other hand has a giant hit in Korea, where local branch Homeplus brought their stores to the customers. Large billboard on train and subway stations advertise products, people scan them with their smartphones and the ordered good arrive at home even before the customer does. Impressive iteration of a virtual supermarket, Tesco currently tests on UK airports.
San Francisco based Postmates is offering a personal shopper service. Rumours are that inventory tracker Evrybase is cooking up something similar. But the SF-based venture tries to deliver a more personal experience. Mh. I'm not sure if I want to make friends with my pizza delivery guy... Maybe that's why Postmates have background checks in place. Apart from having amateurs do sales and services, there's something special about the nonchalant relationship with shop assistants, and the anonymity of "buying", in shops, in general. And we better not change that.
Apart from that, whether it be "groceries only" or "everything except groceries"... interesting developments that will broaden the spectrum of options available to shoppers.
And we better not forget about the ever evolving Amazon Prime. The big A has been delivering groceries and supermarket-type of items for some time now. The delivery drone pops up now and then. And Amazon surely will not leave this field to the competition, or be short on good ideas.