last year, San Francisco, a new start-up company Rewinery flagship parity Courier, bottled wine served in an hour. Through Rewinery service, users can spend $5 on the first day on a bottle of malbec, the second day for $10 a bottle of chardonnay. These bottled drinks via Courier delivery of riding a bike, and the freight is cheaper.
have to say, in the streets of San Francisco’s bike is very much, either send sushi, or to send fresh groceries, or the distribution of newly bought clothes, the business mode, customers often move finger, can finish the order, wait for express delivery. However, in the business of all kinds of compatible with the order, distribution, Rewinery service is not true, beautiful reminiscent of the dotcom bubble in 2000 times collapse of online retail site Kozmo – good is very good, can’t adapt to the rhythm of the market, eventually fall a closed end.
look back a year later, in less than a year, Rewinery has withdrawn from the market. This is really let a person gasp, seemed to see again the Internet bubble in 2000, Kozmo, Webvan once unlimited scenery but then defeat at the end of the Courier website. “Webvan” a flash in the pan, as it were, the ups and downs, not only became the failures of the classic, is to let people have a kind of mindset, as if this kind of Internet business “a temporary, perhaps is adumbrative soon lose”.
after all, this is in line with the traditional view – based on the development of the Internet of express delivery business is not quite, it is impossible to the steady development. Under the traditional ideas, express delivery business needs self-built warehousing, inventory management, hire a delivery man, and so on, all this is not only energy cost management, also cost money. And most people can accept the freight price is quite low, and will hold the freight is too expensive than myself from door “idea, so the distribution of funding is generally difficult to back to this.
of course, with the development of science and technology, business model also synchronized to upgrade. Now, express delivery business emerge in endlessly, “Courier business cannot live” point of view is no longer so bright. Although such as Rewinery a batch of Courier business and could not well developed, but like Caviar, SpoonRocket, DoorDash several main express startups, currently has developed well, according to CB Insight, these companies have successfully last year nearly $500 million in financing. Even Webvan, founder of Louis Borders also founded the grocery express startups, going to fight back margin. In recent years, fire a handful of applications with taxi Uber is also used to raise $1.4 billion in financing to expand service coverage, to development business from fujian to the delivery. Also many vc through the operation mode of the Uber, Uber in the field of “XX” to describe all kinds of Courier service startup: such as velocity laundry service Washio express delivery of Ice Cream, Ice Cream, Life, and even distribution of marijuana Eaze and so on. So many Courier start-up, let investors also have to careful consideration, this looks good prospects, whether it is repeated the Internet bubble in 2000, or the development of the express delivery business opportunity really coming?
at harvard business school professor John a. Deighton has written about Webvan case analysis. He likes to take “glowing shoes” metaphor of express delivery business, “there is no scale effect of express delivery business, like shoes, you make a profit on a pair of shoes, and one thousand pairs of shoes are the same.”
in the past few years, Deighton of Webvan case analysis basic didn’t how to speak in class, because the Achilles’ heel of Webvan business operation is too obvious. The students can not understand the Internet bubble of prosperity is how to cover these defects. But in the last year, Deighton has 3 degrees are required to analyze Webvan case. He said, “now, has not the same.”
yes, with the development of Internet, the most obvious, the most significant change is that the combination of these companies are trying to pass and intelligent software to promote the development of express delivery business. At the same time, began to learn from the entity in the supply chain from the Courier company, to the role of the middleman, platform to contact the customer and the delivery man, avoiding the warehousing, inventory management, and other aspects of the operation, in order to avoid repeating forebears. However, the Courier company will face the renewal of the logistics business, the more difficult challenges – journey far away small order processing pattern. In Deighton point of view, this energy is not to earn money small remote orders, also makes the express delivery business to become more diversified factors as a whole.
about this on the one hand, the choice of express delivery business entrepreneurs and investors generally believe that the software will be able to solve the problem of logistics scheduling, with the appropriate algorithm, delivery man can optimize the distribution route, to reduce the delivery of every single time, thus to maximize the number of distribution.
invested Postmates vc Spark Capital partners Nabeel Hyatt said, “now people generally optimistic about the Courier service reasons, is the network effect brought about by the Internet, but that it was previously strongly negative.”
must want to see, today’s Internet environment is different from past had the very big. In 1999, access to the Internet at home family accounts for less than one half of the United States, and now, about 98% of American households have access to the Internet. At the same time, the popularity of smartphones and Courier business development provides a helping hand – is terminal user access networks, the subscription service more convenient, the density of existing users and potential users will be able to boost, eventually to achieve the scale of customer groups.
in addition to the change in the Internet environment, express delivery business business model has changed significantly. Operation mode in the 90 s, Webvan depend on the number of a cost of $35 million, covers an area of 35 square feet of distribution center. Instacart and recent development of express delivery business, only a small office in San Francisco, 70 employees, are engineers and managers, but opened 1 hour in 12 cities develop smoothly delivered food articles express delivery business.
The general manager of
Instacart Aditya Shah said, “we are not specific to purchase, distribution, but in contact with anyone who is shopping accordingly. (in our business mode, no storage, we basically do not truck.” Of course, these shopping + delivery staff still need to pay. But contrast self-built warehousing, logistics, conceit Instacart handled clearly went to the part of the express delivery business pressure.
the founder of Rewinery Paulp Lerner thought “(Courier service) the most complex link is not for customers, but the process of product delivered to customer. If the delivery charge is too high, the user will lose interest, but if the gain competitiveness in price, then the merchants in the possibility of loss.”
Instacart, for example, every time buy, for only $3.99 shipping fee together, but, according to the Shah’s shopping member hourly wage is $20. So, if use the most advanced algorithms to scheduling logistics distribution, excluding artificial hourly wages and subsidies, etc., Instacart almost can’t make money.
when it comes to the question is, Shah, confident, like Borders on Webvan flowering performance in general. He said “we have plenty of money, so, this is not the key question that we want. Growth is the most important.”
this kind of “growth for the first message” idea in silicon valley is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, after all, for Internet companies, the extension will bring new vitality. The express delivery business, is a digital world and real life connected to each other on the Internet side of the new bridge. Rewinery founder Lerner says, this is not a simple thing, after all, “in the Internet, anything could happen in real life.”
in Josh Lerner of harvard business school study enterprise management are not optimistic about the express delivery business in the future, “although some buying it, but this kind of operation mode obviously violate the basic principles of economics.”
the problem is, how many people want to steal lazy, save energy, and is willing to pay for the express delivery business?
the economists, lazy is not a bad thing. Observer to watch the express delivery business, or the Courier company will help people to Keynes foresaw the social environment, as the development of science and technology reached a certain level, labor will be replaced by leisure. But it may also result from a not so good – the rich to pay for all of the service, while the poor can only be achieved by providing various services necessary to life, which can lead to social polarization. That, of course, at least until amazon will take goods, packaging, and express the business such as all mechanical automation, currently only possible — although amazon has pretty high degree of automation, even small aircraft began to develop test delivery?
this time, may listen to the Union Square Ventures, the founders of Fred Wilson’s point of view (he was in Kozmo project also lost a lot of money). “I also want to know the answers to these questions of attention. But unfortunately, we don’t know the answer. This is why we don’t have again into the cause of the express delivery business.” On the future of the industry, of course, not sure does not affect his own registered using related Courier business. After all, as a user, the worst situation is but a Courier company collapse, have to run a trip to the store.
the development of IT technology has let countless changes have taken place in our life, the relationship between people and the Internet is increasingly close, the entire Internet business background environment compared with the past, almost can be said to be turned upside down.
“Courier business is not to live” point of view, despite its reasons, is also the time to turn the article. But whether the Courier business from now on all the way singing song, vigorous development? No one can fully determined. Can only say that now, express delivery business development environment is better than in the past, and more support to change the business model innovation. As for the future, still depends on the feedback from the market.