Amazon Flex hits the streets this week – the streets of Seattle, that is – sparking another round of ‘Uber for delivery’ comparisons. Acting as an adjunct to the Amazon Prime Now service, private individuals will collect and deliver parcels in a neighbourhood of their choosing using their own vehicle.
Flex delivery drivers will need to be over 21, have their own car and an Android smartphone – the Amazon Flex app isn’t available for iOS devices. In return for working a maximum of 12 hours per day in blocks of 2, 4, or 8 hours, they will receive between $18 and $25 per hour, which is more than double the pay of a barista in Starbucks, one of Seattle’s other big business success stories.
Other US cities lined up for Flex include Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, New York and Portland (and although Amazon isn’t clear it’s probably the one in Oregon, not the one in Maine).
While Amazon Flex is a car-only service, one delivery company that is familiar with the sound of feet pounding the street is Doddle, who has been trying out its own hyper-local service, Doddle Neighbour.
Speaking to eDelivery in an interview yet to be published, Tim Robinson, CEO of Doddle, described Doddle Neighbour as the answer to the question of how to establish a Doddle presence in an area where it currently has no store.
The Doddle Neighbour will act as a collector for their local community, and will coordinate drop off and collection of parcels for their neighbours. A trial is understood to be underway in Bromley, south east London.
Doddle is taking ownership of, and responsibility for, all insurance and legal considerations for the service, Robinson told eDelivery.
Doddle is also celebrating its first birthday this week, having opened 43 stores, created 350 jobs, and signed up 85,000 customers in the last 12 months.
House of Fraser, meanwhile, has announced two new premium delivery services – pre-noon and afternoon, which complement the existing pre-9am and evening delivery services it offers shoppers.
The pre-noon service allows customers to order by 9pm for their shopping to be delivered between 9am and midday (Monday – Saturday), while the afternoon option offers an order placed by 9pm to be delivered between 12pm and 6pm (Monday – Friday) the following day.
The department store group says it has continued to develop its multi-channel business and that since the launch of its ‘Buy & Collect’ proposition in 2010 has continued to adapt to changing shopping habits and customer demands.