Have you heard of Delivery.com? I’ll give you three chances to guess what it is…But I bet you’ll only need one. Since its launch in 2004, Delivery.com has connected over a half million users to merchants in over 40 U.S. states. Whether a busy lifestyle or a lazy lifestyle has caught you with zero time to spare, this company provides you with delivery and pickup services from local restaurants, grocers, flower, pet stores, etc. It’s like food delivery king Seamless.com, but across several different verticals.
In the recent years of recession, Delivery.com says it’s focused entirely on e-commerce and supporting the local brick-and-mortar merchant. To support this, it’s just launched Delivery.com Office, which includes catering or after-hours services and the ability to order groceries (or booze!) for the office at any time of day. Speaking of booze, I found great discounted rates at wine stores on Delivery.com that I never would’ve known about otherwise. Group Ordering is particularly handy as it allows users to place multi-item orders under a single group name and invite friends or co-workers (via e-mail) to add their single order to the group order.
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Delivery.com also just released its first iPhone application, it’s free from the iTunes store, and allows users to search and order delivery and pickup from a network of restaurants, grocers, wine and liquor stores and other local vendors. While the app’s function mirrors the early 90s design and functionality of its home site, one of the app’s best features is the ‘Nearby’ tool, which connects with a user’s current GPS location to display a map of Delivery.com merchants in the surrounding area. With the ‘Nearby’ feature, users can see all of the Delivery.com restaurants and stores and choose where they will order from based on distance, and can plan the route if they want to pick up the order.
Since Delivery.com is based in Manhattan, my city that undoubtedly demands more delivery services than any other per capita, I caught up with CEO Jed Kleckner this week for a brief interview of his company’s recent announcements and future global expansion.
CBM: How did you become CEO of Delivery.com?
Jed Kleckner: I also oversee Cantor Ventures, which is the venture capital arm of Cantor Fitzgerald. Cantor Ventures made a control investment in Delivery.com, at which point I took on the role of CEO.
CBM: What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in your role as CEO?
JK: Leadership and management should not be confused as the same thing. The former is something that you can never get perfect, while the latter just takes good organizational skills. But all good companies have great leaders and so I’ve learned the best way for me to lead as CEO is to give everyone else the sense that they can impact our success. Web-centric companies move quickly, so the more empowered everyone feels, the more quickly we can move and react to change.
CBM: How did you guys snag the domain name?
JK: We were very lucky to acquire Delivery.com at a reasonable price from an individual who was not actively using the domain. A good domain name is important for a business like ours, and we love that our name – Delivery.com – is synonymous with the service that we offer our users.
CBM: How does the competition stack up – from big companies like Fresh Direct to smaller startups like Task Rabbit? Is there room for all of you?
JK: Delivery.com is very different from companies like Fresh Direct or other traditional ecommerce companies.
We are a business that is using its successful online presence to help promote and enable local offline businesses. Unlike a traditional web 1.0 business service that stores its goods in a giant remote warehouse, Delivery.com enables people to order food and other products from places they know and trust right in their city or neighborhood. Products purchased through our site do not travel far, therefore significantly reducing carbon footprint relative to traditional ecommerce websites. In fact, in New York City, products purchased through Delivery.com travel only a third of a mile from the merchant to the customer, and nationwide a product travels on average only a half of a mile.
We actually see companies like Task Rabbit as viable partners as their community networks handle local fulfillment, so we do not consider them a competitor, but rather a company with which we would certainly be interested in partnering.
CBM: How many cities do you now operate in and with how many merchants in each one?
JK: Right now we have a presence in over 40 states, and operate significantly in 10 major cities, with at least 150 merchants in each market. In the New York metro area, which is our largest market, we have over 3,000 restaurants and stores.
CBM: Do you have plans for global expansion?
JK: Of course, we would love for Delivery.com to expand globally, but right now we are really focusing on expanding within the U.S. and Canada.
CBM: What kinds of payment services do you offer?
JK: We accept all major credit and debit cards and Delivery.com gift cards. Also, we’ve integrated with Campus Card systems at different schools and universities to allow college students to use their Campus Cards at Delivery.com.
CBM: What’s your favorite thing to get delivered?
JK: Chicken Caesar Salad from David Burke @ Bloomingdales, via Delivery.com, of course.