Last mile delivery platforms have disrupted shopping patterns and channels, particularly for grocery categories. Despite their growth, questions about their ability to achieve profitability remain. This briefing includes an overview of trends in last mile delivery and profiles on the following companies: Airtasker, Cornershop, GoGoX, Go Send, HappyFresh, Hepsiexpress, Igoods.ru, Inabuggy, Instacart, Instashop, Lalamove, Nana Direct, Everli and Zásilkovna.
In efforts to match or exceed the reliable and rapid delivery offered by retailers such as Alibaba and Amazon, retailers in many markets have raced to develop fast, hyperlocal delivery options for consumers, particularly in urban markets. Online goods delivery platforms have gained popularity with retailers looking for solutions to the costs and time requirements to offer rapid delivery, and with consumers seeking convenience.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led many consumers to turn to last mile delivery services for the first time, as a way to access goods without the risks associated with going to stores. This has caused sales through these platforms to grow, but has also renewed questions about the treatment of last mile delivery workers.
At present, no online goods delivery platform has achieved global reach, and few have presence in more than just one or two countries. These platforms have also pursued a range of revenue streams, including charging fees for membership and/or orders to consumers and retailers, selling insights and ad space to brands, and in some cases, opening their own stores and warehouses.
Goods delivery platforms that become profitable – and those that do not, before bankruptcy – have the potential to be very disruptive to retailers. While many retailers have embraced online goods delivery platforms as a low-cost way to offer rapid delivery to their shoppers, retailers are risking reducing or losing the relationships they have with shoppers – and the insights and loyalty these relationships generate – to the online goods delivery platforms. This will be particularly acute in markets with the highest levels of adoption of online goods delivery platforms.
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