LicketyShip is a new service launching today (we spoke about it previously here) that allows you to shop online at a number of different local stores and to have products that you order delivered within 4 hours. It works by co-ordinating the online stores close to you with courier companies, allowing you to receive goods that you order very quickly. The service is currently in alpha though launching today in the San Francisco Bay Area and has plans to expand in other areas over time.
The service is easy to use, you search for a product by name and specify your zip code. The site will then query local stores and show you results of products that are available to order. When you place an order, it will fetch the item from the nearest store and then have it delivered to you. The ordering process is simple enough, and the only additional cost is a $19.99 fee for the delivery service. Search is currently restricted to electronic goods, but they also plan to expand on this as well.
I know that I often choose to go to a local store over ordering online because I can’t wait for a 2 or more day delivery time, so LicketyShip might make that easier for some. The question is if it is worth the fee, I can see a lot of businesses using this for office supplies and other goods, and possibly some consumers who are impatient. They can delivery up to 7pm on most nights (which I assume means you can order up till 3pm and have it delivered that day) while on Friday’s and Saturdays can deliver up till 8pm. I expect to see more improvements in the product search engine, as well as the range of retailers supported (they have an API) – I don’t think there is any doubt that the tight integration with courier companies and the value-add of same day delivery will be worth something to a lot of people.