Australian delivery startup Shippit has announced its first major retail partnership, signing on with Harvey Norman just a month after its alignment with Australia Post. The partnership will see Shippit deliver online and in-store purchases to Harvey Norman customers in all major cities around Australia.
Rob Hango-Zada, joint CEO of Shippit said today’s announcement is just the first of many key strategic partnerships the startup has in line to push growth.
“We are really excited to finally announce our partnership with one of Australia’s largest and longest standing retailers. Our experience from working with hundreds of retailers across Australia is that our service really is one-of-a-kind. In the case of Harvey Norman, what appealed most was the stand-out shipping experience our platform could offer their customers,” he said.
Shippit connects online retailers to traditional courier companies and offers greater flexibility in delivery options and experiences. The startup offers a sign-up process and a point-and-click approach to booking and tracking parcel deliveries.
While Harvey Norman will still use Australia Post for standard deliveries, by the end of this week its stores will also have access to Shippit’s distribution network and smart delivery management technology such as three hour delivery scheduling, live GPS delivery tracking and progress notifications.
The new delivery service is available for small appliances, consumer electronics and small goods. Upon delivery each customer is encouraged to rate their experience and provide feedback to reduce order and delivery friction to help the major retailer provide a better experience for local retailers and their customers.
The partnership shows Harvey Norman has come in leaps and bounds since 2011, when it first announced it would open an online store after a much-publicised fight between owner Gerry Harvey and online retailers. Harvey was the leader of a campaign from major retailers to have the government apply the GST apply to online purchases made through overseas retailers. Not wanting to take sales away from his bricks and mortar stores, Harvey Norman’s online presence at the time simply a website that acted as a catalogue, with customers only able to browse products.
Reflecting the indecision at the time among many as to whether online retail was truly the way of the future, Harvey said of the online store, “My heart’s beating very strongly on whether we make any money out of it. I haven’t got any choice. I’ve got to cannibalise our stores.”
Now, Hango-Zada said Shippit has worked with Harvey Norman to co-develop a ship-from-store dispatch process to strip hours of wasted time and transform the current shipping process undertaken by in-store staff.
Harvey Norman will be the first major retailer to offer a three-hour delivery window to Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia. A delivery window from 7am to 10pm on weekdays will now be integrated into Harvey Norman’s online store.
Gary Wheelhouse, chief digital officer for Harvey Norman said, “We have looked to smart software to help overcome this challenge and the despatch system that Shippit has developed takes our operations into consideration, making it frictionless for our franchisees’ store staff to send out products for same day delivery.”
Since launch in 2015, Shippit has signed up with some of Australia’s leading courier companies including Bonds Couriers, CouriersPlease, TNT, Mail Call Couriers and Fastway Couriers. Shippit has also provided online delivery for more than 300 merchants Australia wide with big name brands such as Glue Store, The Academy Brand, online retailer The First Thread and now Harvey Norman.
Shippit has demonstrated a fast growth in the Australian parcel delivery market, with the company last month revealing it has seen a 50 percent month-on-month growth. To date the startup has raised $500,000 in seed funding and is increasingly driving growth across the ecommerce and digital markets by strategically aligning with companies like Australia Post and Harvey Norman to expand its distribution network.
Image: Rob Hango-Zada and Will On. Source: Supplied.