In 2005, Amazon forever set the stage for new expectations of how much eCommerce deliveries will cost and when items will arrive when the retailer rolled out its Prime membership program, which gave customers two-day shipping regardless of order size. In 2014, the retailer introduced Prime Now one-hour delivery in Manhattan, and has since brought the service to cities like Los Angeles and Denver. Now, in a country thousands of miles away, a global beauty company is arguably taking a similar approach through a new partnership in South America.
News recently surfaced that Avon was teaming up with on-demand delivery service unicorn Rappi for an experimental program that will allow customers to receive deliveries of Avon cosmetics within two hours of buying them. Avon said that certain representatives will be able to offer over 100 products with the option in São Paulo in Brazil, as well as Medellin and Bogotá in Colombia. Rappi is no stranger to on-demand delivery in the region: According to a Bloomberg report, the company counts 20,000 couriers among its ranks, and brings hot meals and groceries to customers “from Mexico to Argentina.”
According to the press release from Avon, Rappi has more than one million Brazilian subscribers, as well as “a growing presence across South America.” Looking to the future, the global cosmetics company noted that the experimental offering could come to other Brazilian cities, as well as big urban centers in Chile, Mexico and Argentina, over the first half of this year. Avon Chief Executive Officer Jan Zijderveld said in the press release that the news was “an exciting step in our efforts to open up Avon to new strategic partnerships to better serve our customers, support our representatives and grow our business.”
Zijderveld noted that the company is looking to bolster its offerings. “We expect to scale this and similar delivery services to meet the current and future expectations of our representatives and their customers,” she said. “This is just one example of how we’re transforming Avon, and we aim to make similar services available far more widely in 2019.”
Rappi is a consumer tech startup that, according to the press release, is “looking to be the ‘everything store’ of Latin America.” (Amazon, too, has been described as “the everything store” at times.) According to Crunchbase, the company has notched close to $400 million in funding – and $200 million in its August Series D round alone.
Beyond the latest Avon cosmetics trial, the startup uses independent contractors to connect consumers with items like groceries, clothes and prepared food. The company currently works out of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile as it seeks to “grow rapidly across South America,” according to the Avon press release.
The Same-Day Delivery Market
Avon and Rappi are not alone in their efforts to provide fast, same-day delivery to their customers. In the United States, Target announced in April that it was expanding its same-day delivery to help customers get the goods they want that much faster. Customers will be able to order an item and get it delivered to their home within two hours instead of dragging large and heavy items out of the store with them.
To use Target’s same-day delivery service, the customer tells the sales clerk during checkout that they would like their goods delivered. The delivery isn’t free, however: Shoppers can expect to pay $7 unless they are buying something large like furniture, in which case the delivery fee rises to $25.
The efforts come following two acquisitions by Target in 2017: Grand Junction and Shipt. It was previously reported that both firms specialize in shipping and were added to the family to help the retailer up its same-day delivery game. At the same time, it was reported that Target had been expanding its offering list, including Target Restock, its own version of Amazon’s Prime Pantry.
Will retailers beyond Target and Avon introduce same-day delivery options much as Amazon has, and will companies like Avon expand pilots of these kinds of offerings? For now, the recent offering suggests that same-day delivery is gaining ground thousands of miles from Seattle.