If you’re doing some serious shopping, it can be a bit of a pain to have to carry around a load of bags for the rest of the day.
This is the premise behind Dropit – a new retail delivery service that enables a ‘hands-free’ shopping experience. Essentially, it means that you can go into a participating London store and have whatever you buy delivered straight to your house or hotel within the same day.
It sounds kind of cool – but is there really a demand for this kind of service? I was intrigued, so decided to download the app and give it a whirl. Here’s my two penneth.
How does Dropit work?
Dropit works via an app which customers can download or access via the POS device in a store. Buying a day pass for £10 allows you to ‘drop’ as many bags as you like in one day, which will then be collected and sent to you in a single delivery at a chosen time.
For my trial, I chose to use Dropit in Lululemon’s Regent Street store – one of over 30 that now offer the service in London’s Regent and Oxford Street area.
It was all very simple to do. When I went to buy an item in-store, I told the employee I wanted to use Dropit, which meant I just had to enter my details into the POS device, select a delivery time, and wait for them to scan the receipt and a QR code. It didn’t take long, though it obviously meant a bit of extra waiting time than merely buying and walking out of the store.
I chose my item to be delivered to my flat the following evening, and sure enough, it was – packaged inside Dropit’s signature bag along with a matching purse that held the day pass and receipt.
I was also able to track my item on the app to see its progress. The app also includes a list and map of all participating stores, though there’s not much else to it than that.
In terms of who actually delivers the goods, Dropit partners with a third-party service (similar to most retail stores), so it’s not a company like Deliveroo that actually employs people to deliver.
Who is it aimed at?
The value proposition of Dropit is quite straightforward – it means you don’t have to carry around bags while you continue shopping or go straight out for the evening. However, the question really is whether this is a big enough problem for people to pay £10 on top of their goods to have their bags dropped off elsewhere.
Personally, I can’t see myself ever using it in my every day life, unless it was a (first world) emergency and I really couldn’t take shopping bags along with me, say if I was going to a gig after work.
Consequently, I do wonder if the service is more aligned to luxury shoppers – people that are willing to pay slightly extra for the comfort and convenience. Or, perhaps even tourists who are really serious about shopping but also want to enjoy their day doing other things.
The fact that Dropit often cites hotels in its promotional copy suggests that people from out of town are a target customer.
What’s the benefit for participating stores?
Meanwhile, there seems to be more in it for retail stores. One benefit is the possibility of extra dwell time in-store. If people aren’t weighed down by heavy bags, I guess they might be less worried about carrying things and therefore more inclined to spend.
There is also the benefit of accessing data about offline consumers that would usually only be gathered from online purchases. Details such as where people shop and how much they spend could prove massively beneficial for understanding, targeting and retargeting customers.
Finally, Dropit’s partnership network means that it also opens up possible marketing opportunities for retailers, including promotion within the app itself or social media.
Is it worth it?
Personally, I can’t see much of a demand for Dropit from your average shopper. Most people don’t tend to buy that much in one go – or at least prefer buying online if they do. Similarly, I can’t imagine many people would even think of carrying bags as an issue.
Having said that, there’s no doubt that the service does provide real convenience. The app and delivery service itself is also seamless and slick, which definitely adds to its appeal. Ultimately, I think Dropit solves a problem that most people probably don’t even realise they have. Which I suppose is the hallmark of some of the most successful companies out there.
For rich people or tourists who are serious about shopping in London, it could be something to consider. Retailers keen to get their hands on untapped data will certainly be keeping their fingers crossed.
For more on retail, subscribers can download the 2017 Digital Trends in Retail report.