Everyone is talking about same-day delivery this week after Amazon revealed on Sunday it was working to develop drones that could deliver packages to customer doorsteps in 30 minutes. But for those not wanting to wait years for Amazon’s octocopters, the USPS has already been testing same-day delivery in San Francisco, and EcommerceBytes has learned it has begun rolling out the program in beta in New York City as well.
The USPS rolled out its Metro Post same-day delivery service in New York on Monday beginning with two customers that have both online and retail presences. The USPS had rolled out its Metro Post early-stage pilot program in San Francisco this time last year with a single retailer – 1-800-FLOWERS.com. At the outset, the Metro Post trial was available only to a select group of large retailers with stores in San Francisco.
Endicia is working with the Postal Service on the same-day delivery service, and cofounder Amine Khechfe said the beta program in San Francisco consists of 50 retailers, with no more than a handful of high-volume merchants. The rest are smaller sellers – including some eBay sellers. Some participants in the program sell only a handful of packages a day, he said.
There has been a race among retailers and marketplaces to provide same-day delivery beginning with urban areas, including the Postal Service’s Metro Post, eBay Now and international services. While talk has for the most part been among those in the retail and ecommerce industry, Amazon took the conversation mainstream on Sunday when it revealed to 60 Minutes it was developing delivery drones that could delivery orders in 30 minutes.
The Metro Post program has been a good test, according to Khechfe and is proving that same-day works. Retailers upload their orders to the USPS by 2 pm, pickup is made by 5 pm, and packages are delivered by 8 pm.
According to the USPS Metro Post website, the cost of its same-day delivery service is up to the retailer from which the shopper is purchasing, and buyers can find the status of their deliveries through the Track and Confirm Tool on USPS.com.