Saturday, October 22, 2011

One of online purchasing's last disadvantages is going away - but not here

Throughout the history of online purchasing, there has been one big disadvantage to the online option. If I head down to my local Barnes & Noble, I can get a book right now. If I go to Barnes & Noble's online website, I have to wait days to get the same book.

But what if I could purchase a physical product online...and get it in an hour?

Mike Butcher describes such a system in England:

Shutl, the home delivery startup that offers speedier options for Internet shoppers, has now launched its service for Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool....

Retailers include Argos, Karen Millen, Oasis, Coast and Warehouse with other major high street names expected to follow suit shortly. It already operates in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Manchester.

When you place an order, Shutl uses a local shop, gives the order to a local courier, and allows you to track the progress of your order online via GPS information.

According to Butcher, Amazon has a similar service, but it is in only two cities - London and Birmingham.

Could such a service take off in my country? Possibly, but the Inland Empire of California wouldn't be the first beneficiary. Even places such as New York City and Silicon Valley might face some issues due to traffic. How many courier services in New York could guarantee to deliver something in 90 minutes?

But if you live in a major city on the other side of the pond, visit
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