‘Online shopping, reinvented’: New Suddenlee Web service
Wouldn’t it be nice if someday retailers delivered overnight whatever you wanted, at an affordable rate? Wouldn’t it be fabulous if someday you could receive online purchases from several different shops in just one box? Well, someday has officially arrived.
New Web service Suddenlee is offering guaranteed next-day delivery from more than 300 retailers, all packaged in the same shipment – no matter how many different stores you purchase from. Bypass that annoying, nail-biting 5- to 10-day wait to get your goods, while still experiencing the convenience of Internet shopping. And enjoy the ease of paying for multiple purchases in just one transaction. Such instant shopping gratification quickly becomes addictive.
“The number one reason people shop online is for convenience,” Erica Kammann, CMO and co-founder of Suddenlee, explained. “And consumers have just come to expect and be okay with waiting. I didn’t want to have to wait seven days. Everybody wants something right away, right? So that’s what we are all about.”
The equation is simple: You select what you want, pay for everything at once, and then kick back and wait to receive your package the very next day.
The fees are surprisingly low. The base price, including all shipping and handling charges, is $10 for merchandise from two stores, plus $2.50 for each additional store – charges that easily match standard shipping rates on most websites.
The idea was born, in part, out of Kammann’s frustration with online shopping, especially the long wait for purchases to arrive. “As a consumer, (I) always hated waiting for packages to arrive,” she said. “I was one of those people that was constantly pressing track on the UPS website. I thought there had to be a better way.”
While working a marketing job, she met Ron Fauntleroy, a logistical whiz with extensive experience at UPS. The two teamed up to eliminate the nuisances of Internet purchasing. After bouncing around ideas for a couple of years, the duo felt the time – and the market – was ripe.
“We’ve found it ironic. You shop online predominantly for the convenience,” Kammann explained. “When you sit back and think about it, unfortunately people are shopping on their mobile devices because they don’t have time to sit at their desktop computer, but they’re willing to wait 5 to 10 business days to receive their package. So it was really that frustration as a consumer that helped establish the model for us.”
With more than a decade of marketing experience, Kammann has put in time at some well-known companies, including Gap and Sears, before leaving to work full-time to bring Suddenlee to fruition.
To fulfill the orders, Suddenlee has hired a team of shoppers who personally visit stores to buy requested items, and then package and ship the merchandise directly to the consumer.
“We see ourselves as almost a personal shopping service. (We) go into the store just like any consumers would,” Kammann said. “We’re shopping stores just like shoppers do every single day.”
Named for its promise of quick delivery and the suggestion of something unexpected, Suddenlee holds no inventory of its own and therefore provides shoppers with whatever they are looking for.
“We’re not in the business of selling any particular product or any particular style. Our product is our service … So we’re not distracted by figuring out what (is) the latest and greatest merchandise that we should have on the site,” the co-founder disclosed.
Launched just last week, Suddenlee is currently only offered in the Northeast (as far north as Boston, west as Pittsburgh and south as Richmond), but plans to expand to other areas soon.
With only a few days under its belt, the Web service has provoked a tremendous reaction, already resonating with customers. The response, Kammann said, has “blown (them) away.” She is excitedly looking ahead to the holiday season, when she thinks the service will truly take off and prove its worth.
“We think as Christmas rolls around and people start thinking about their Christmas lists, we’re excited to see and provide a solution for people to minimize their wait and also minimize the cost that they pay for shipping fees,” Kammann said.
While hopes are running high, the company’s future is still up in the air.
“We’re going to see where our business takes us and where our customers take us,” Kammann explained. “We’re kind of a first mover on this model, so we’ve got a lot to learn, and I think that we learn every day from the orders we receive and the customers that we talk to. So they’ll really guide the evolution of the company.”
To take advantage of the Suddenlee service, simply add the Suddenlee Shopping Tool to your browser bar. Visit your favorite retailers in the Suddenlee network and add whatever items you fancy to your Suddenlee shopping cart, specifying the price, color, size and other relevant information. Your purchases are complete in just one transaction.