Being able to order a product online and then pick it up at your door the very same day is the ultimate goal for online retailers. It’s one of the last advantages that brick and mortar shops have over their online counterparts, and it still works to this day. The crowds of people queueing outside Apple stores for the launch of the iPhone 5, or the midnight release of the latest World of Warcraft expansion pack are both a case in point.

It’s perhaps no suprise then that the New York City Economic Development Coroporation (or NYCEDC, although neither really rolls off the tongue) and FirstMark Capital have announced an investment in Zipments, a company specialising in exactly that. The money itself has come from the New York City Entrepreneurial Fund however, which has also provided investment to a number of other emerging companies based in the city since 2010. It is understood that Zipments has also received funding from the Windquest Group.

On paper, Zipments look pretty impressive. Local businesses submit a form online detailing where the courier needs to pick up and drop off the package(s), as well as the weight and dimensions of it.

zipments Same day delivery service Zipments gets backing from the New York City Entrepreneurial Fund

Finally, there’s a three-tiered option for speed just in case you’re really in a hurry.

  • Rush – Delivery in 60 minutes or less
  • Standard – Delivery in three hours or less
  • Same Day – Delivery by 5pm if posted by 1pm

Zipments says that it’s different from other competitors because it focuses on “collaborative commerce”, in other words using a range of different couriers which each have a different specialty. Sending the parcel less than a few miles away down a route known for heavy traffic? Zipments will notify a bicycle courier. Does your business specialise in restoring grand pianos? Better stick with the lorry, you know, just in case.

Garrick Pohl, CEO of Zipments said:

“Collaboration of resources and transparency of the network are key elements for any local delivery service to be effective on a larger scale.

“We’ve worked closely with this community to design a solution that not only meets the needs of urban areas like New York City, but is also scalable to other markets around the country.”

Businesses embedded in the ‘Big Apple’ can pay for the standard same day deliveries from as little as $9.00, or $10.00 if they want it dropped off in three hours or less. Larger firms can also get discounts if they have multiple items to be delivered on the same route.

It’s great to see the traditional courier coming back in a big way. The growth of Zipments should be a positive step not only for online retailers hoping to attract more customers, but also couriers looking to find a more consistent level of work. The prices, however, could be a little steep for some. Would you pay over the odds to receive that Etsy package later the same day?

Image Source: Phineas H