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Shopify’s online merchants can now offer same-day delivery via Postmates

TechCrunch TechCrunch 3/05/2016 Sarah Perez

Postmates to date has scored deals with a number of high-profile retailers and restaurants, including AppleWalgreens, Starbucks, Chipotle, and 7-Eleven. Today, it’s expanding its reach again via a partnership that will bring a number of smaller businesses – even down to mom-and-pop shops – to its delivery service. The company has teamed up with e-commerce software provider Shopify to allow its online merchants the option to offer on-demand delivery to their local customers at checkout.

The service is live today in around 200 cities across the U.S., says Shopify.

In total, over 21,000 merchants using Shopify to power their online stores will be able to offer same-day delivery for many of their customers, order tracking, and on-demand courier service, the company notes.

This could significantly impact these smaller businesses, as shipping and delivery can be one of the bigger hassles that come from selling online, thanks to the time spent packing, labeling, and then actually shipping items to meet promised delivery timelines. By enabling Postmates, they can cut down on the time they spend managing deliveries, by allowing local customers to choose outsourced, courier-based delivery instead.

However, the option to delivery via Postmates is not automatically enabled, the e-commerce platform maker explains.

Instead, merchants will need to activate the option for themselves. A new “home card” will appear on their Shopify dashboard that informs them of the new feature. They will need to click “Get Started,” then proceed through the various steps to finish enabling the service.

This brief process includes filling out information like contact details, hours of operation, and any applicable special delivery instructions.

Setup can be done from the Shopify Shipping Settings screen, as well.

Afterwards, when a customer checks out from the online store, they’ll see the option to take delivery from Postmates. The merchant will only need to pack the item and request a pickup at that point. Then one of Postmates 25,000 couriers nationwide will arrive to take the order to the local shopper.

The expansion of Postmates’ potential reach comes at a time when the on-demand delivery market is heating up. For example, earlier this week, Amazon made a move to better highlight its one and two-hour delivery service Prime Now, by giving it its own dedicated website. The site complements its previously available standalone mobile app for the service.

Prime Now is currently available in over 25 metro areas across the U.S., while Postmates is available in 40.

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