Seattle startup FLEXE looks to enable online retailers to compete against Amazon's logistics capabilities.
Recently, the on-demand warehousing and fulfillment services company announced a new next-day delivery service, which the company noted is faster than Amazon Prime's two-day shipping.
"For the first time in history, eCommerce brands have an alternative to Amazon," said FLEXE cofounder and CEO Karl Siebrecht. "Our customers are under tremendous pressure to meet consumer demand for fast, cheap shipping. FLEXE gives them the same network scale as Amazon, allows them to ship products in their own branded box and gets them up and running in 30 days."
FLEXE said that its next-day delivery solution enables eCommerce brands to reach 98 percent of the US population via next-day ground shipping. The company boasts more than 500 warehouses across all major North American markets.
It will be interesting to see if and how Amazon reacts.
Earlier this month, the online retail giant dropped its free shipping threshold to $25 in a move to better compete against Walmart — the second such price drop in the past three months. Target also recently announced a next-day delivery service, Target Restock, with plans to roll out within the next few months.
But for SMBs and smaller enterprises, it's been tough historically to compete against Amazon's logistics capabilities. Now, Flexe looks to even the delivery playing field via its service.
"Having products on the ground, close to customers — especially in top metropolitan markets — is required if you want to compete in eCommerce," said Dale Lawing, senior vice president and general manager at Iron Mountain, a FLEXE warehouse partner. "Our partnership enables FLEXE clients to leverage our secure facilities and skilled workforce.”
While Amazon does have a faster shipping option with Prime Now, its reach is limited to Prime members in major urban markets. Prime Now offers free two-hour delivery on over 25,000 items across 25 categories in over 30 eligible U.S. cities.