As Amazon continues to expand its retail muscle beyond its own e-commerce portal, there’s been some activity among startups and businesses hoping to develop systems that can help others compete better with it. Deliv, a “crowdsourced” same-day delivery startup that currently partners with some 4,000 retailers to help them offer same-day delivery services to rival those of Amazon, today announced that it has expanded its service to 33 markets and 1,400 cities, up from 19 markets previously.
This is a notable market expansion: Deliv says that is now covers a footprint the same size as Prime Now, the same-day delivery service that Amazon provides to its Prime subscribers, one of the bigger selling points for people signing on to Prime and buying from Amazon.
A lot of retailers today sell items through Amazon’s marketplace: it’s a one-stop-shop for them, giving the option of connecting with consumers on Amazon’s platform, as well as using the e-commerce giant’s fulfilment and logistics infrastructure to store, distribute and deliver those purchased goods — with a cut going to Amazon for the privilege, of course.
But Amazon itself has been driving hard to build out its own retailing operations, in categories like fashion and electronics, as well as fresh food (which got a huge boost this week with the close of its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods). And Amazon is a formidable competitor: the company is huge and has the kind of fearlessness that comes with scale, discounting goods and services like delivery heavily to gain market share.
That presents a sizeable competitive threat to other retailers, so many of them are looking for alternatives that they can use and help develop as a counterbalance or straight-out alternative.
Deliv squarely addresses one aspect of the commerce retail chain: getting delivery of goods purchase online, and getting them quickly — a service and expectation that has become a norm for many in today’s on-demand world.
“Same day delivery is quickly becoming table stakes across every retail segment. With Deliv, retailers can offer their customers that same exceptional level customer experience without the need to invest in their own asset-based delivery fleet,” said Daphne Carmeli, CEO and founder of Deliv, in a statement. “As retailers look to offer a consistent experience nationwide, they need a proven, trusted, national partner. Our expansion offers them the speed, flexibility, and broad national footprint needed to compete with the ever-growing force of Amazon.”
Deliv’s growth has benefitted from the fact that many larger retailers have designated it as one of the bigger challengers in same-day delivery, which also does not compete on the retail side (it’s focused only on last-mile delivery).
Today, Deliv serves over 4,000 businesses: they include “25 of the nation’s top national omnichannel retailers,” e-commerce companies, local businesses and traditional parcel carriers such as Best Buy, Bloomingdale’s, BloomThat, Fry’s Electronics, K&L Wine Merchants, Office Depot, PetSmart, Macy’s, Plated, and The UPS Store. UPS in fact is doing more than just working with them: the company led Deliv’s last funding round of $28 million, which also included participation from a couple of other strategic investors that face a lot of pressure from Amazon: retail property and mall operators GGP and Simon Property Group.
The expansion announced today will help Deliv scale the services that it has already built out — which include Deliv Fresh for groceries, meal services and other perishable foods, and an alchohol delivery service — as well as the footprint to build out new verticals.
And it will help it compete against others like it. Deliv not the only one going after individual segments of Amazon’s longer business chain. Others include the likes of Postmates and DoorDash, while others like Bringg are looking build and provide an Amazon-rivalling platform to manage delivery operations more efficiently, whatever courier you happen to be working with (or using your own). Others like Dote are trying to build alternatives to Amazon’s marketplace, without the own-brand competition that Amazon brings to the table.