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Verizon Wireless Testing Same-Day Smartphone Delivery
Verizon Wireless Testing Same-Day Smartphone Delivery

By Jennifer LeClaire
October 16, 2013 9:55AM

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Same-day delivery for smartphones is a great idea on paper. Verizon Wireless has tapped into an obvious need. So much so, it has been tried before. Several times in fact. Why have companies not succeeded? Any company who can crack this code will be a winner, said Jeff Kagan, a wireless industry analyst in Atlanta.
 



If you’ve ever needed to get your hands on a new smartphone in a hurry -- whether you just wanted the latest model or your old phone broke -- you will appreciate Verizon Wireless’ latest competitive differentiator: same-day delivery.

It only makes sense to get your shiny new phone in your anxious hands nearly immediately, especially in a world where Google, Amazon, Walmart and eBay are testing same-day delivery in major markets. Think about it for a minute. Why should you really have to wait seven to 10 days for your wireless carrier to send you a phone that’s in stock?

Verizon is entering what some bloggers are calling the lag-less future. It’s a future where you can make a few clicks online and answer your doorbell a few hours later to find a delivery driver with a brown package in hand. Verizon’s pilot program is now underway in Philadelphia, making it the first wireless carrier to offer the same-day delivery option.

Appealing to Affluent Millennials

Why is Verizon so bullish on the notion of same-say delivery? The company points to a recent Boston Consulting Group study that found that “affluent millennials” -- consumers ages 18 to 34 with six-digit incomes -- are the most fertile target market for same-day delivery. The report concluded these young shoppers are 56 percent more likely than the average online consumer to opt for same-day delivery.

Verizon is making the option available to customers who want a phone right now for any reason. For example, a student might need to replace a lost phone or maybe he needs a smartphone before flying back to college. New and existing customers in the Philadelphia market can choose same-day delivery when ordering online by 10 a.m. Monday through Friday with delivery guaranteed by 7 p.m. The cost is $19.99. That compares with the priority overnight delivery fee of $14.99.

Of course, standard, overnight delivery and in-store pick-up is also available. Melanie VanderValk, Verizon Wireless vice president of national distribution, said, “We want customers to have multiple options to help them get the most from their wireless experience.”

Skepticism Over Model

We caught up with Jeff Kagan, a wireless industry analyst in Atlanta, to get his thoughts on the latest move in the wireless carrier wars. He told us same-day delivery is a great idea on paper.

“There is an obvious need. So much so, it has been tried before. Several times in fact. Why have they not succeeded? Any company who can crack this code will be a winner,” Kagan said.

“The question is simple, will this Verizon offering be the one? I hope so, but after watching so many other trials over the years, I'm skeptical at this early stage.”

Verizon Wireless will introduce same-day delivery to additional markets -- New York City, Dallas, San Francisco and Pittsburgh -- in the near future. The same-day delivery initiative is part of the company’s plan to take advantage of local inventory and proximity to enable shipments from company-operated communication stores.
 

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