eCommerce retailers are in the middle of a shift in the online consumers’ demands for fulfillment and delivery. This shift is showing the emergence of the “on-demand shopper” that expects items in their hands immediately via same-day delivery. Industry leaders call this the Amazon Syndrome, which is defined as the set of online buyers’ expectations that “shipping should be free” and “delivery should be instant”. As it happens, the Amazon Syndrome is so prevalent that Amazon has escalated their famous Prime shipping subscription service to a potential program referred to as “Prime Now”. The evidence of this new service is Amazon leasing a new warehouse outside of Boston, which hints at same-day delivery (within one-hour) in the Boston area.
Other technology companies have taken notice of this on-demand delivery trend. In fact, eCommerce site Etsy will be testing same-day delivery in New York City. It isn’t very surprising that online retailers are hopping on this trend, especially considering that a recent survey from fraud prevention startup, Trustev, revealed that 56 percent of online shoppers between the ages 18–34 expect to have same-day shipping as an option when they shop online. One company that is fully embracing this on-demand shopper and their expectation for same-day delivery is Uber. Uber is going to reveal it’s eCommerce delivery program with retailers this fall, which will make same-day delivery more accessible to both the online shopper and e-tailer.
However, there are skeptics about this insurgence of on-demand delivery companies, including Shyp, Postmates, and Instacart. As renowned venture capitalist Bill Gurley, partner at the venture firm Benchmark, stated, “It’s like, the last time all this Postmates and Shyp stuff happened [in] ’99, with Kosmo . . . The smartphone helps a little bit. You have more data. But we’ll see. The question for all of those things has to do with core economics that’ll be proven out over time.”
As Gurley said, only time will tell the success these on-demand companies and if there will be wane in online shoppers’ expectations for same-day delivery.