In the retail shipping wars, the upstart Verishop just launched a major shot across the industry's bow.
The 3-month-old e-commerce platform founded by CEO Imran Khan, the former Snapchat chief of strategy, is launching free one-day shipping in the U.S. ー no membership fee or minimum purchase required.
Khan told Cheddar on Wednesday that free, fast shipping is becoming a critical component of any e-commerce venture as shoppers become more demanding and discerning. "We are maniacally focused on customers," he said. "We want to serve them better."
Verishop, which says it focuses on highly curated "everyday luxuries" in the home decor, beauty, and fashion verticals, enters a crowded market. Target, Walmart, and Walmart-owned Jet continue to build out their shipping infrastructures with new free-delivery offerings. Specialty direct-to-consumer brands like Glossier and Allbsirds are fighting for customer dollars in their niches. And a little company named after a river in South America looms over them all.
Still, e-commerce represents just 10 percent of the $5.5 trillion retail market, Khan noted. He sees that rising to 25 to 35 percent in the next decade, and says there is room for more than just the biggest, most-well known platforms. That theory has been more or less proven in China, where Alibaba and JD.com share the market with startups like Pinduoduo and Suning.
"Not one company ー no matter how big they are ー can solve all of their customers' problems," said Khan.
Khan was tight-lipped about how, logistically, a company that didn't even exist last spring was able to offer nationwide one-day shipping gratis, saying only that Verishop partnered with both UPS and FedEx.