Postmates, the on-demand delivery startup that has dug nationwide trenches in the food delivery space, has today unveiled the ’12 Days of Postmates’ campaign.
The promotion will let users in five cities (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle) order specially curated products from more than 30 brands for $1.99. The company promises one-hour delivery on all the items ordered between 10am and 7pm.
Perhaps more importantly, Postmates is starting to truly move forward with a commerce play after spending years perfecting the art of on-demand food delivery for restaurants. The company says it will do $250 million in sales to end out 2015, with nearly 1 million deliveries per month and a fleet of 20,000 couriers.
“The core of the technology is healthy and just working, which is exciting,” said Rishi Mandal. “We want to take the model that is already working and expand the footprint. When you’ve delivered hot food on a short timeline in crowded cities, delivering fashion and technology is a logical and easy jump for a company like ours.”
This move comes at a time when Uber is rolling out merchant delivery for brands and retailers.
Mandal said that it has already been experimenting with this type of expansion within the food delivery space, with Postmates Pop in San Francisco. The company believes that curation is a key component is changing the user’s attitude toward on-demand delivery from one focused on food to one with more open-mindedness about retail products.
With Postmates Pop, the company curates its own menu and promises $1.99 delivery within 15 minutes or less. The less variety in the inventory, the easier it is to deliver it quickly and easily.
That same principle is going into effect with the 12 Days of Postmates promotion, partnering with retail locations and brands and directly monitoring inventory to delivery the most convenient experience possible for both brands and consumers.
Some brands participating in the Christmas campaign include Jawbone, Tom Dixon, Blue Bottle, Outdoor Voices, Harry’s Shave and many more.
Mandal, who serves as director of product after selling his curated activity concierge company Sosh to Postmates earlier this year, said that working directly with brands and retailers offers three main advantages: inventory management, merchandising, and brand education about the platform.
With the ability to tap directly into real-time inventory, Postmates can ensure it’s offering a product that is actually available, and a line into the brand or retailer offers the ability to take professional photos, give added information, and formulate better descriptions to merchandise that inventory.
Manda also described direct partnership as a way to educate retailers and brands.
“When we work directly with brands they are getting in education in how to use our platform,” said Mandal. “Eventually, we have the option to turn over the platform to those brands and retailers and they’re already familiar with how to use it.”
Postmates already offers an API to power delivery for retailers, restaurants and brands, but curation allows commerce brands and retailers to adapt the platform to their products.
The 12 Days of Postmates campaign will also allow retailers to enter new markets, as the company promises inventory from each of the brands (some of which are only available in one or two markets) in all five of the markets served in the campaign.
Mandal said that the inventory management for each of these brands varies based on a number of factors, but that it operates similarly to Postmates Pop, which sometimes equips couriers with inventory or sets up a place to pick up inventory. Though there is no hard-and-fast process for moving brand inventory into a new market, Mandal did specify that Postmates is not on the hook for any unsold inventory.
You can check out the daily schedule of the promotion here.