Same-day delivery platform Postmates is going live with a delivery app in the Shopify App Store, in beta during Q3, that lets smaller Shopify merchants offer their customers the new option of a two-hour delivery window as the immediacy wars continue to heat up.
“Our mission is to bring more offline merchants, online,” said Akshay Thakor, Vice President, Business Operations, Postmates in a release. “By giving merchants on Shopify an on-demand delivery offering, we are able to help these merchants better compete and meet their customers right where they are.”
From within Shopify, merchants can view orders to fulfill through the Postmates Delivery app. They can also receive email notifications when customers opt for two-hour delivery.
For the initial launch, merchants have the ability to manually create deliveries from Postmates app or directly from Shopify’s orders page.
Recently, Postmates announced a similar offering to sellers on Square, providing on-demand delivery capabilities to its SMB customers. The Postmates delivery API was rolled out in 2014, allowing businesses to integrate and leverage its delivery platform from their own app or website.
Postmates, with its “ET”- looking logo, relies on crowdsourced and gig drivers like competitors GrubHub, Shipt and Instacart to provide same-day delivery. Major customers include Walmart, 7-11 and Walgreens. It primarily delivers from restaurants and grocery stores as well as making liquor deliveries, and operates in nearly 3,000 U.S. cities and towns.
Gig-based delivery providers have faced some major challenges lately, with workers complaining about pay squeezes – leading to a strike last week at Instacart – and California set to enact a law in January (being challenged) that would reclassify contractors as employees.
Shopify is going all-in on ecommerce order fulfillment, seeing the back end as key to its future growth and success as it battles Amazon, eBay and Adobe’s Magento, among others. In June, it announced creation of its own fulfillment network, set to go live in 2020 by leveraging 3PL partners. Then in September Shopify said it was acquiring robotics company 6 River Systems for $450 million to beef up its fulfillment capabilities.