Do you need same-day delivery for a sweater or a pair of stilettos? Macy’s believes so. In late October, Macy’s began trialing same-day delivery to online customers in eight major U.S. markets: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Jersey, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Bloomingdale’s, its sister chain, will offer the service in four: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.
Delivery costs a flat $5 for orders over $99, while smaller orders are charged standard shipping rates plus $5. Orders must be placed by 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday and by 11 a.m. on Sundays with options for two-hour delivery windows available.
The service will be supported by Deliv, the crowdsourced same-day delivery upstart, in collaboration with major mall owners including General Growth Properties, Macerich, Simon and Westfield Corp.
Macy’s said same-day delivery is “built on an operational foundation” that led to the full rollout this fall of BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in-store) across its network of stores, and was mentioned as part of several moves to support its omni-channel push.
Macy’s fees are comparable or in many cases lower than other same-day delivery options.
Amazon’s same-day service, now in 13 cities, costs $5.99 for Amazon Prime members. Non-Prime members pay $9.98 for the first item and 99 cents for each additional item. At least in Chicago, orders must be placed by 7:45 a.m. to guarantee delivery by 9 p.m. Google Express charges $4.99 per order or $10 a month and $95 per year. Walmart To Go costs $10 regardless of the size of the order.
The industry insiders of the RetailWire BrainTrust were generally positive about Macy’s — a retailer known for being ahead of the omni-channel curve — offering same-day delivery.
“Same-day delivery, including two-hour delivery windows, will be hugely appealing, as it crushes so many of the inconveniences of shopping in-store: drive time, parking, traffic, etc.,” said Jeff Hall, president of Second To None. “Macy’s is at the forefront of an emerging customer expectation that will be growing exponentially in the next few years.”
“The big breakthrough is department stores finally coming around to the reality that not everyone loves to shop (a premise that most have myopically held onto despite evidence to the contrary),” said Carol Spieckerman, president of Newmarketbuilders. “Department stores’ stubborn store-centricity may have held them back in the digital realm, but now Macy’s is showing everyone how to play a mean game of catch-up on multiple fronts.”
Some, however, saw some limits to customer adoption of Macy’s same-day delivery.
” … While I can see same-day delivery working in a handful of urban markets, the logistics just don’t make sense to me for a wide swath of America,” said Kelly Tackett, research director at Planet Retail. “Do you really want to pin your shopper’s experience on a crowd-sourced delivery service?”
“Super appealing, especially in urban areas, you know, where it’s feasible,” said Lee Peterson, EVP of creative services at WD Partners. “The element to talk about in terms of the other version of same-day is Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS). Consumers really like that idea because the timing is more flexible, you get it that day and you pay no shipping. I’d look for BOPIS to be more popular and feasible in suburban areas. In any case, both will become a fact of life in the new compete-with-Amazon retail world.”
But according to Jason Goldberg, vice president of commerce strategy at Razorfish, same-day delivery might not end up the hallmark of Macy’s omni-channel offerings.
“There is a small niche of shoppers that will pay an expensive premium for same-day delivery, but the bulk of the market wants free and fast shipping,” said Mr. Goldberg. “$5 fees for same-day delivery will get some adoption but will not be a game-changer.”
See original article on Forbes here!