Leveling the Playing Field in e-commerce: FLEXE launches next-day delivery for everyone
It’s no secret that retail and e-commerce have been going through a massive disruption due in large part to the “Amazon Prime Effect”. Amazon’s enormous investments in its supply chain and logistics network has transformed, and in some cases destroyed traditional retail and e-commerce businesses. In the process, Amazon has permanently raised the bar on consumer expectations for every retailer. Free and fast delivery are now a requirement. 80% of respondents in a recent study say that shipping cost and speed are extremely important in their buying decision.
In the ongoing battle with Amazon, e-commerce players are re-thinking their strategies in order to stay competitive. Creating a fulfillment network that competes with Amazon’s is thought to be impossible, but the alternative, using Amazon as a sales channel or fulfillment solution carries its own set of existential risks. Having goods shipped in a box with a smile on it may seem harmless, but the requirement to grant Amazon access to all their customer and order data puts these companies at risk of being cloned and under-priced by Amazon itself.
This all leads up to why we are so excited about the announcement today from FLEXE. FLEXE has built the first and largest marketplace for on-demand warehousing and fulfillment using over 550 warehouse locations all connected by a single, unified software platform. Today they launched a new fulfillment service for e-commerce companies, called Next-Day Delivery, that let these businesses deliver their goods even faster than Amazon Prime, but without investing billions of dollars in capital expenditures. It’s “fulfillment as a service” for e-commerce companies giving them the same reach as Amazon without the capital investment, while maintaining their brand identity and the direct relationship with their customers.
From the first meeting we had with co-founders Karl, Ed and Francis, we realized that their approach to re-thinking the $1.5 trillion a year logistics industry had the potential to be transformational. We’re proud to partner with them as they continue to think big, and as summarized by a poster in the FLEXE office, “Move fast…and don’t break things.”