Delivery on demand: the desire for instant access anywhere

September 30, 2015
5 min read

I recently stumbled upon Avaya’s promotional “Stuff Business People Say” video, which uses comedic actors to call attention to terribly overused office jargon. The clip struck a chord with me, and not just because of its eerie familiarity to the clichés heard frequently in many offices.

The video is tongue-in-cheek in nature but rings true across the board, especially a specific part which pokes fun at how so many new concepts today are “the Uber of…” – everything from dry cleaning to food trucks to tax auditing. “The Uber of…” is a funny-sounding categorization, but it’s completely accurate. At Mintel, we’ve explored the trend where consumers expect to have products and services brought directly to them, wherever they are.

As detailed in the 2015 US Consumer Trend My Wallet, My Way, consumers have come to expect convenience and immediacy in all of their brand interactions. Those expectations, combined with rising smartphone ownership and widespread connectivity, have paved the way for “Straight to You” concepts to become commonplace. Moreover, these approaches are permeating entirely new categories outside of those in which they’ve been seen in the past.

Mintel’s research confirms this cross-category interest. In fact, according to Mintel’s Beauty Retailing US 2015 report41% of consumers say they would be interested in availability of delivery services from in-store beauty retailers. Another 24% of families with four or more people in the household say they would be interested in a subscription service to have cleaning products delivered to their homes, according to Mintel’s Household Surface Cleaners US 2014 report.

As consumer desire continues to deepen and the marketplace becomes more competitive almost daily, we’ve seen that a number of brands of all sizes are starting to offer near-immediate delivery of everything from clothing to cars to fresh meat:

  • The 2014 introduction of Amazon Prime Now has set off a spur of stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, that offer same-day delivery. Macy’s is the most recent major retailer to begin offering same-day delivery; it recently expanded its service to 17 US cities. The chain has partnered with Deliv, a start-up that uses drivers to pick up online orders from stores and malls.
  • Gap partnered with the Virgin Hotel in Chicago to allow guests to shop online at Gap and have styles delivered straight to their hotel room.
  • Taco Bell has announced plans to begin testing delivery in select locations.
  • In London, consumers will soon be able to order cocktails on demand at any time from Spartans Cocktail Taxi. Orders are delivered via a Volkswagen Camper Van which has been transformed into a portable cocktail bar, complete with a professional cocktail maker.
  • New York-based start-up Vroom allows people to purchase a pre-owned car online and have it delivered to their door. Consumers will have a seven-day money-back guarantee and receive free delivery nationwide.
  • In Germany, Jäger und Sammler is an online butcher that will deliver high-quality meat straight to consumers’ doors, within an hour.

In addition to speedy product delivery, we’ve also seen unprecedented direct-to-your-door services popping up. Among them:

  • IBM is offering a breast milk delivery service for working mothers. The program will allow women traveling on business to ship their breast milk home for free.
  • Los Angeles start-up Heal sends a doctor on demand to a patient’s location within 60 minutes. Heal also will pick up medication and other needs from the pharmacy.
  • DUFL is a personal travel valet that stores a person’s clothing and allows them to virtually pack and select which clothing items they are interested in bringing on their trip. Customers will get to travel bag-free, and will always have clean and packed clothing at their specified destination. DUFL will also pick up the suitcase from their hotel.
  • Tiny Chapel Weddings is a towable, rentable, on-demand chapel on wheels that can bring a wedding venue to anyone near Richmond, Virginia.
  • Sprint Direct 2 You will send customers who are upgrading from an existing service a Sprint expert and a smartphone straight to their location. The experts will be responsible for showing customers how to use their new phone and transferring content from their old one.
  • A new US start-up, Filld, delivers gas on demand to consumers wherever they need it for a $7 surcharge.
  • In the US, start-up zTailors is an on-demand tailor that will come to a shopper’s home or office for a fitting and deliver the finished custom-tailored clothing within a week.

As consumer demand intensifies the swiftness with which companies must now act, brands should consider how they can utilize proprietary on-demand services or partner with existing ones. Brands need to keep in mind that approaches should be intuitive, fully transparent and agile with drop-offs.

To find out more about Mintel Trends and how they impact your market, click here.

Stacy Glasgow is a Consumer Trends Consultant at Mintel. Stacy joined Mintel in 2013 bringing with her an exciting blend of CPG, agency and marketing experience. Her time is spent traveling the US engaging clients across global CPG, Beauty and Financial Services in meaningful discussions around the consumer trends that will propel their businesses forward.

Stacy Glasgow
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