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Shutl enables retailers to offer same day, direct from store deliveries

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Shutl has launched an innovative new service that aims to enable shoppers to get delivery of items they order online as quickly as if they were to make a trip to the shops themselves.

Shutl has been set up by eCouriers founder and CEO Tom Allason and is chaired by former Amazon Europe boss Dr Simon Murdoch.

“Shoppers can buy almost anything online in minutes but they still have to wait days for delivery,” says the company. “Worse, orders arrive at a time chosen by the courier, not the customer. In fact, today only one in ten online retailers give the option of choosing morning or afternoon deliveries, let alone anything more flexible.”

“Ecommerce has come a long way in the last 15 years,” Tom Allason explains, “but delivery has hardly progressed at all. We’re going to change that. Shutl brings delivery up to date, at rocket speed.”

Shutl gives online shoppers the choice of receiving their order within 90 minutes of purchase or selecting a one-hour delivery window at any point in the future, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It does that via a technology platform that automatically connects retailers with local same-day courier companies.

The platform aggregates capacity across these carriers into a web service which, in turn, links into retailers’ ecommerce platforms. For each order, Shutl picks the best carrier for each delivery and the selected carrier then collects the purchase from the consumer’s local store and delivers it straight to the customer’s home or office.

In most cases, says the company, “Shutl delivery is comparable to the cost of standard multiday delivery. In many cases, it will be cheaper and can even be offered to the consumer free of charge.” This is possible because:

  • For many deliveries, same-day couriers are more cost-effective than the standard multi-day carriers that retailers currently use.

  • Shutl is able to benefit from volume discounts on carriers’ standard pricing.

  • Shutl lets courier companies sell their short-term spare capacity, which can allow prices below those which would normally be viable.

“We know that people’s time is precious and that online shoppers want convenience and flexibility,” says Allason. “We put customers in the driving seat. We give shoppers what they want, when they want it.”

Shutl is available initially in the London area only but will be steadily expanded across the country over the course of 2010. The company has been working with a number of independent retailers in advance of the launch and is also working with a couple of major high street retailers. The first of these is now set to go live with Shutl during the first quarter of 2010 across its London stores.

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