Archive for October, 2006

5 Reasons Why 4-Hour Delivery Is More Sensible Than “Next-Day” Delivery

October 24, 2006

5Explaining why 4-Hour Delivery is better than “Next-Day” delivery isn’t hard.

4 hours vs. 24 hours: do the math.

But explaining why Same Day Delivery is more sensible than “Next-Day” delivery seems challenging. After all, “Next-Day” shipping is a luxury in itself. Could a super-premium service like instant 4-Hour rush delivery actually be considered SENSIBLE?

The answer is yes; here are the Top 5 reasons:

  1. Shipping across a city is more efficient than shipping across the country
    If there are 5 stores within 30 miles of you that have the digital camera you’re looking for, why are you buying it on a site that will ship it from a warehouse in Kentucky? Lickety delivers from local stores. That makes sense.
  2. 4 Hour Delivery is often LESS expensive than “Next-Day”
    It makes sense when you think about it. Heavy items flying cross-country in airplanes make “Next-Day” delivery prices absurd. But local couriers charge primarily by distance, so heavy stuff can be delivered locally much less expensively. Trucks instead of planes? Now that’s sensible.
  3. “Next-day” often means you wont get it for 48 hours…or more!
    Did you wonder why we put “Next-Day” in airquotes? If you don’t place your order early enough with most e-tailers, there’s no way you’ll get it delivered the next day. In many cases, if you order after 2pm, you’ll be lucky if your stuff is just shipped from the warehouse the next day.
  4. Ordering “Next Day” on weekends means “wait until Tuesday”
    It’s Saturday afternoon at 4pm. You just bought that shiny new red iPod Nano. Yep, the same one Bono has. Sweet. You can’t wait to get that little puppy in your hands, so you order it for “overnight delivery”Whoops! Hope you don’t mind waiting, because no one ships on Sunday! They’ll wait until Monday to ship, meaning you get your package on Tuesday.Hey, how did overnight become “3 days from now”?Not a problem with LicketyShip. Local couriers are always on call – you order on Saturday, you get it on Saturday.
  5. Your time is damn valuable
    At the end of the day, you’re just worth it : )
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Media Madness!

October 16, 2006

Since our recent launch, LicketyShip has suddenly become a tantalizing topic for media mavens everywhere. For those keeping score at home, we thought it would be fun to put together a quick compilation of our recent reviews and mentions. Enjoy!

CNET
“Instant Gratification: fast pitches and same-day shipping”
Rafe Needleman gives LicketyShip a positive review on CNET’s Alpha Blog, smartly noting “The LicketyShip fee can actually be much less than expedited delivery from a standard shipping company, such as Fedex or UPS.”

Red Herring
“LicketyShip is Different…”
Red Herring covers LicketyShip’s headlining presentation at STIRR in Palo Alto. Notes writer Falguni Bhuta, “With the holiday season and last-minute shoppers, LicketyShip can make a fortune if it works.” We think so too!

TechCrunch
“LicketyShip Offers Same-Day Product Delivery”
Michael Arrington and crew do a follow-up to their mid-May sneak preview that hailed Lickety as the heir apparent to Kozmo (in a good way :). Our first review on TechCrunch came when we took top honors at Stanford’s E27 young entrepreneurs event back in January.

Engadget
“LicketyShip’s 4 Hour Gadget Delivery Service Goes Live”
The world’s most-read blog reviews Lickety as a compelling service for gadget nuts who need the latest and greatest delivered instantly!

The Gadgets Weblog
“Ok San Fran: It’s Time to Do Your Part for Geeks Everywhere”
One of the smaller blogs that covered us, but also one of our favorites. Eric Hanson implores Bay Area natives to use LicketyShip often so it can spread same day delivery service to other cities in need of instant gratification. That’s a great plan!

The Scobleizer
“Bay Area Geeks: LicketyShip Will Get You Stuff Fast!”
Robert Scoble waxes Lickety in one of our first live reviews. We didn’t have what he needed when he dropped by, but apparently we served his friends well :). Scoble’s first review of Lickety also followed our Stanford appearance.

The Wall Street Journal
“New Hot Spot for Tech Firms is The Old One”
LicketyShip earns a brief mention alongside YouTube and VideoEgg as hot companies that have recently relocated operations to the Bay Area. Stay tuned for a more in-depth WSJ article about Lickety in late-October / early-November.

VentureBeat
“LicketyShip Launches Courier Service from Local Stores”
Matt Marshall announces Lickety’s recent launch alongside Perenety and Zeedive.

Rafe Raves for Lickety!

October 12, 2006

Rafe Needleman of CNET gives Lickety a great review per his coverage of Wednesday evening’s STIRR event in Palo Alto.

Rafe smartly notes in his Alpha Blog that LicketyShip’s same day delivery fee “…can actually be much less than expedited delivery from a standard shipping company, such as Fedex or UPS.”

LicketyShip Headlines Stirr 1.7

October 12, 2006

Good times at Stirr 1.7 in Palo Alto last night. Fanny & Alexander made for a top-notch venue, and the patio feast was appreciated by all. What’s a mixer without nachos?

Between 7:32 and 7:33pm, LicketyShip closed the show with CEO Robert Pazornik presenting LicketyShip’s vision for the future of same day delivery. The sixty-second rule, well-enforced by the Stirr entourage, is a remarkable method for boiling down a company’s premise to its bare essence.

Megan McCarthy of Valleywag covered the event, as did Rafe Needleman of CNET, though his piece hasn’t run just yet (watch for updates here). Jeremia Owyang did a writeup, as well, complete with a photo timeline.

Catch Us At STIRR Today

October 11, 2006

STIRRAt 6:00pm today, we’ll be presenting at the STIRR event at Fanny & Alexander in Palo Alto. We’ll be presenting alongside 3 other companies: PrefPass, Vyatta, and vFlyer.

Rafe Needleman from CNET will be covering the event, as will Nick Douglas of Valleywag.

The invite-only list is full, but you can still get on the waiting list at STIRR’s website. Hope to see you there!

Why We Love MeeboMe

October 9, 2006

MeeboMeWe absolutely love our customers. It’s fair to say we would do almost anything for them. But giving users the immediate service they deserve is often more challenging than it appears.

E-mail, despite how often we check it, is sometimes too slow to solve an urgent problem, and phone service, while helpful, is extraordinarily expensive to implement with scale.

So it was almost a no-brainer for us to deploy the MeeboMe instant messaging service on our site. At nearly any stage of the shopping experience, customers with a problem (and in need of a quick answer) can reach us instantly by clicking a link to an always-on IM window.

After a couple weeks as users, we’ve found at least a thousand reasons to love Meebo, but here are our Top 5:

  1. Easy to Install
    It took all of 30 minutes to get Meebo going, and most of that time was spent picking the spiffy custom colors. No server-side ap to install, and everything just works.
  2. Easy to Use
    The UI is just plain slick – users never have problems figuring out what comes next. And the always-on feature means that anytime a customer visits a page with Meebo, our service staff is immediately alerted.
  3. Contextual Intelligence
    We deployed a different Meebo widget for each page of our site – there’s one for checkout, search, the ‘Get Help’ page, and our blog. So when a customer opens an IM window to chat, our service staff knows the nature of the user’s problem before he even types a sentence.
  4. Price
    There isn’t one – Meebo is free 🙂
  5. Our Customers Love It!
    This is all that really matters – our customers can get answers whenever they need them, and they like using Meebo. That means we do too.

Of course, there’s other stuff we’d love to see Meebo do:

  • Take messages – if our service staff isn’t available, messages just disappear into the ether. Would be great to save those for later.
  • Multiple Sign-Ons – right now, only one staffer can log on at a time to field questions through Meebo.

If you’d like to see how we use Meebo, check out the instant message window in the right column of this page. If the window says we’re “online”, say hello! Ask us about anything – our service, the weather, or whatever! We’d love to hear from you!

So Many Xboxes, So Little Time

October 4, 2006

xboxBefore LicketyShip opened for business, we each wrote up a top ten list of items we expected customers to order. Between our lists, we covered most of the usual suspects for speedy delivery: printer ink cartridges, blank DVD’s, laptop batteries, flash memory, wireless routers, mobile phone chargers, and so forth.

But there was one item that didn’t appear on any of our lists: the Xbox.

Though none of us saw it coming, the Xbox 360 has quickly become one of the most popular items ordered on our site. It may seem counter-intuitive (why would someone NEED an XBox in 4 hours?), but when you consider speedy delivery alternatives, same-day actually makes a lot of sense.

Overight delivery fees vary widely between e-commerce sites: Tiger Direct offers overnight delivery of an Xbox 360 for $94.82 (add to cart to see shipping price). Best Buy offers next-day service for $45.98, and Amazon offers overnight delivery for $13.98, but you may have to wait 2 days if you don’t place your order early enough in the day.

By comparison, LicketyShip 4-Hour Delivery for $19.99 is often less expensive, or just a few dollars more than overnight delivery. And you can wait until 7pm to order and still get it the same day.
So in the case that you DO need an Xbox right away, why NOT get it delivered to your door in a few hours?

How much more appealing will 4-Hour Delivery be as the holiday season approaches…

Web Standards Just Aren’t That Standard

October 2, 2006

The site in IE7One of our users sent us an e-mail today with a screenshot of our site in IE7.

Wow, we look screwy in it – graphics in the margins, overlapping text, incredibly weird spacing, pictures of unicorns and grazing antelopes appearing for some reason…

Of course, it’s probably way too early to start optimizing for IE7, and I’m sure changes will be made pre-release, but the vast disparities between 6 and 7 still concern me.

There’s already enough to worry about between IE, FireFox, Safari, and Opera. If there are differences between IE and IE, what good are standards anyway?

You’d think that web standards should be, well… standard. If only there were a group of some sort that addressed issues like this…