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PICKUP scales on-demand, big and heavy item delivery for e-commerce demand

Omnichannel delivery-as-a-service enables same-day and scheduled delivery across full assortment of retail and commercial goods – all on one platform

When many national retailers temporarily closed their stores due to the coronavirus, consumers flocked to e-commerce. As a result, e-commerce grew an astounding 32.4% in 2020. Whether shopping online or in-store, 61% of consumers have abandoned a big and heavy purchase due to delivery friction, making same-day delivery an essential competitive advantage, according to PICKUP.

Omnichannel retailers requiring trucks and muscle for big and heavy deliveries, such as furniture, mattresses and appliances, are now turning to PICKUP, an enterprise-grade solution providing on-demand curated delivery and assembly to homes, offices and commercial job sites. The company states that its customers experience 31% more sales conversions and nine times greater inventory velocity through its tech-enabled delivery platform. 

PICKUP Enterprise empowers national brands to immediately provide same-day and scheduled delivery of the full assortment of goods. Retailers Big Lots and At Home have integrated their e-commerce platforms with PICKUP’s Enterprise delivery API, offering customers an elevated shopping experience by providing fast and frictionless delivery from stores. With a single integration, they now have access to the industry’s most powerful on-demand delivery footprint — white-glove and contactless delivery of everything from recliners to gazebos at a consistently high level of customer experience.

“Customer demand for e-commerce has surged as a result of the pandemic,” said Darren Waxman, PICKUP’s chief customer officer. “It’s clear same-day delivery of the full assortment isn’t a fad but a long-term opportunity to bring more convenience, flexibility and value to the customer experience.”

Serving over 70 markets nationwide, PICKUP’s partnerships with major retailers and commercial/industrial businesses help adapt consumers to contactless buying and delivery amid the pandemic. With a buy-online-deliver-from-store (BODFS) model, retailers are able to bring the store’s items directly to the customer’s door. Today, consumers are embracing e-commerce because they must. With a surge of online shoppers, it is important to create a frictionless shopping experience for customers, Waxman said. 

PICKUP aims to provide the “perfect delivery,” using a proprietary algorithm to measure delivery success. According to Waxman, the ingredients that define perfection include a flawless delivery score or customer net promoter score (NPS), on-time performance and no record of damage to the product or delivery location.

“A big focus for us this year is using business intelligence to construct what we call the perfect delivery, which is an algorithm that aggregates key data across the delivery experience,” Waxman said. “It’s like AI for the delivery experience, allowing us to fix problems before they start and achieve an industry-leading NPS score of 88.

“The delivery window that PICKUP offers is as little as one to two hours depending on the market, so no longer do customers need to take half a day off work,” Waxman said. “There’s no longer a need to wait for all that lead time for the product to get from the distribution center into the market because with our Enterprise model, our drivers are intelligently routed to the store that has the inventory closest to the customer. Our partners carry inventory in the forward position in stores and hubs, which is how we deliver quickly.”

Through its partnership with parcel couriers like Postmates, Waxman detailed the game-changing delivery option provided to its Enterprise business customers. Retailers that sell, for example, both home appliances and groceries are provided a single view of their entire delivery network.

Unlike most courier fleets, PICKUP’s nationwide delivery network is an amalgamation of independent drivers. Nicknamed “PICKUP Good Guys,” these drivers use their own trucks and vans to carry out local deliveries. According to PICKUP, Good Guys average $40 per delivery in addition to keeping 100% of their tips.

Once a delivery is scheduled, customers receive text and email notifications alerting them of status updates concerning their order. PICKUP Good Guys operate via the driver app and communicate with customers providing real-time tracking and text messaging capabilities to keep customers informed throughout the delivery process. 

“The PICKUP Good Guys are at the heart of the company. Many of them are military veterans, first responders and folks looking for supplemental income,” said PICKUP Director of Marketing Aline Riemenschneider. “We’re able to put these elite independent contractors to work by providing an outlet to utilize their own vehicles and work as little or as much as they want to.”

At first glance, parallels could be drawn between PICKUP and other vehicle-for-hire companies like Uber and Lyft. However, Riemenschneider pointed to distinguishing factors of the company’s model, such as onboarding standards with comprehensive vetting and background checks, including a focus on hiring veterans.

She described PICKUP’s recruiting as more rigorous than that of typical ride-sharing platforms, explaining that the process takes not just a few hours but a couple of days to complete.

“At PICKUP, there’s a focus on teaming up with like-minded people and supporting each other,” Riemenschneider said. 

She applauded the PICKUP Good Guys team of drivers for conducting contactless, white-glove delivery in stride and for deploying COVID-19 safety protocols, especially around at-risk customers. 

“Companies are asking us about assembly, item removal and diversifying our delivery services to include electrical equipment, commercial paint and air-conditioning units,” Riemenschneider said. “We’ve also moved into the luxury sector to help brands with experiential delivery, providing a higher caliber — concierge level — of delivery professionals and introducing deliveries at venues.”

In just a few short years, PICKUP has grown tremendously. Its list of retail partners has too, including Big Lots, Pottery Barn, West Elm, At Home, Buy Buy Baby, Cost Plus World Market, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Homesense. Further, the delivery service has expanded into the automotive, health care, HVAC and plumbing industries, including Trane, American Standard, Behr and PPG.

Jack Glenn

Jack Glenn is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves and lives in Chattanooga, TN with his golden retriever, Beau. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.