TFG intros Uber-like delivery option
TFG (The Foschini Group) is today launching a Web application which will allow its online shoppers to have parcels delivered wherever they are, and do away with specific addresses.
The Web app, Deliver 2 Me, uses geolocation services (similar to e-hailing taxi service, Uber) and was developed from the ground up by local start-up, WumDrop.
"What makes this technology remarkable is its scalability. Deliver 2 Me isn't locked into a native mobile app like most geolocation services − it leverages the increasingly powerful suite of features found in mobile browsers to deliver an accurate delivery location to the driver, and a clean, easy to use interface to the end-user," says Wilson Canda, WumDrop CTO.
The service was tested in December in Cape Town and will initially launch in the Western Cape city.
Testing included delivering parcels to a tourist on Table Mountain, a surfer on Blouberg Beach, a freelancer moving between Long Street and Mzoli's restaurant requiring a location change, and finally to a mom strolling along Sea Point Promenade.
"This delivery solution is now live in Cape Town and we plan to expand the service to Johannesburg and Durban in the next couple of months. Deliver 2 Me allows customers to pinpoint their exact location for delivery, but without having to download an app onto their phone," says Brent Curry, CIO at TFG.
To use the service, a customer places their order online with TFG and chooses the Deliver 2 Me delivery option. When the parcel is ready (within five working days), TFG sends an SMS and the customer chooses either ‘Deliver now' or ‘Deliver later'.
‘Deliver now' will allow customers to drop a pin or type in a specific location, and the parcel will be delivered within a maximum of three hours (traffic dependent). The ‘Deliver later' option allows customers to choose another time or day when delivery is more convenient.
Customers are also able to change their location while delivery is taking place.
The TFG eMall hosts 11 linked stores, which means customers can shop across all online brands and check out in one bag. Stores currently online are @home, Anatomy, Duesouth, Duesouth Escapes, Fabiani, Foschini For Beauty, hi, Markham, Relay Jeans, Sportscene, and Totalsports.
WumDrop will work exclusively with TFG for now, but hopes to use the technology with other partners at a later stage.
The start-up first made headlines in 2015 when it won the MTN Business App of the Year award. WumDrop founder Simon Hartley says: "Deliver 2 Me is the next logical step in WumDrop's journey. We started this business because we believed it was ridiculous that people couldn't get local packages at the exact time and date that they wanted, and were beholden to the mechanics of arcane delivery services.
"Fairly soon after starting WumDrop, it became apparent to us that the very concept of addresses was one of the biggest inhibitors of getting packages to individuals accurately. So for the last 18 months, we've been driving at a scalable solution to deliver to people, not places."
He says Deliver 2 Me was specifically designed as a Web app to avoid forcing customers to download a piece of software onto their devices just to have a package delivered.
"From a retailer perspective, designing Deliver 2 Me as a platform-agnostic Web app as opposed to a native app removes the need to spend huge sums of money on a marketing campaign, asking customers to download an app for the sake of a non-shopping function."
However, he says for retailers that already have an app that they are happy to promote, Deliver 2 Me can plug into that app via WumDrop's API.