June 23, 2015
When you are the world’s largest online shopping retailer, you expect a pretty costly shipping expense tacked onto your annual budget. Amazon has been providing billions of customers with speedy delivery for over a decade, and now with same-day delivery services such as Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now, the e-commerce giant is shipping out more than 3.5 million packages a day according to SJ Consulting Group. Just when you think the company has achieved all foreseeable goals, they take it one step further by developing a mobile app that will pay the everyday customer to deliver packages for them.
The mobile application, “On My Way” is in the development stage as they try to find a way to pay customers for delivering packages to other customers (think Uber for package delivery). The everyday person could use On My Way to see where to pick up and drop off goods as they go about their day. While the way the delivery drivers would get paid hasn’t been established yet, Amazon is said to be toying with the idea of paying the drivers in Amazon credit. The core reason behind this new delivery service is to help control the company’s rising costs of shipping that grew 31% just last year.
In the recent past, we’ve seen Amazon make bold announcements on their delivery services such as GPS tracking-enabled drones and partnering with the U.S. Post Office to offer Sunday deliveries. Amazon is now hoping to enlist brick-and-mortar stores to store their packages in exchange for a fee
Although many are pushing for this new service, it remains unclear whether or not the On My Way app would be made available in the U.S., as there are several hurdles to overcome before it could be released. Having customers take responsibility for other customers’ goods without being officially employed by the company is a risky move. Who would be held responsible if the package is damaged or lost? What about theft? These are all questions that pose possible roadblocks to the e-commerce conglomerate to accepting and implementing the program.
Should this project prove to be a success, Amazon could drastically lower delivery costs. Although it faces significant challenges, this move only exemplifies the company motto of “Put the customer first. Invest. And be patient.” Whether or not turning to their customers to help with their rising shipping costs is the answer is unclear, but one thing is almost certain, with a multitude of companies, huge corporations and small startups alike, working on same-day delivery, at least one spark is bound to light.