A Race Against the Clock, Again, in Package Delivery

In this day in age, technology has allowed people to do this in unbeatable times. With the iPhone you can instantly download and start using an app within seconds. People expect things to be done correctly and instantly. People expect to have access to items within minutes not days. Delivery services are trying to keep up with people’s high demand in quick delivery services. Customers are able to purchases items online in mere meets, but are obligated to wait days to see their new purchases. Companies like Kozmo have attempted to shorten the delivery times, but have failed in doing so. The United States Postal Service has decided to take on this challenge.

The USPS has decided to experiment in same day delivery of online orders within San Francisco. This new type of delivery will be called Metro Post. The way Metro Post will work is that it will pick up goods ordered online from participating retails in the city before 2pm and plans to delivery to homes from 4pm to 8pm. In order for this to be successful, the United States Postal Service Metro Post packages will go through a different processing center by being directly passed between Post Service employees. A flat rate will be charged for any packages less than twenty-five pounds, but the pricing has yet to be released.


The USPS is hoping that this faster type of delivery will bring in more income. Other companies have already developed fast delivery options. Last Month, Wal-Mart announced that it will do same day delivery orders in a few cities. In addition, in lower Manhattan Urban Fetch showcases over 10,000 products that can be delivered within an hour. There is no delivery fee from Urban Fetch as long as the order is over $100.  Recent news has shared the United States Postal Service has been experiencing troubling times. Their finances have gone from bad to worse.


In class, we have discussed the important of customer satisfaction as well as quality. While faster delivery options would appeal to more clients, it’s important to still provide quality products. When things are rushed, more accidents tend to occur. I’m curious to see if USPS will be able to provide fast delivery that is accurate. When packages are being delivered, they are jostled around. It’s essential that USPS remembers to not only deliver products in a timely manner, but to still deliver them in one piece. Do you think people are becoming too impatient? Do you feel that same day delivery will provide quality work? What suggestions would you give the United States Postal Service in order to make same day delivery be successful? Is there a type of inspection process that would beneficial to the United States Postal Service?



Compensation for Recommendations

Have you ever recommended a product you found online to a friend? I know when I was working in retail that I would often recommend products that my own store didn’t carry. I recommended products despite the fact that I wasn’t going to make the commission on that sale. But imagine if you could make commission on your recommendations? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be compensated for endorsing that product? Well now you can.

Social media shopping sites are now paying users who post product links that will create traffic to their websites. For example, if you add a lipstick to your Pinterest board with a link, you can be compensated for every time someone clicks that link.

Beso, a retail website, now pays users that send clicks to major retails such as Target and Gap. The sites determine who gets paid by providing each user with a unique link. Whenever someone uses that “unique” link to purchase an item, a payment is deposited into the referring user’s account. This is known as affiliate marketing. Links are easily traceable whether it’s via a Facebook status or photo on Pinterest. The social media shopping sites acts as a middleman. They will collect a fee from the retailers and as well as a fee from depositing payments into the users’ online accounts. Beso pays users approximately 14 cents per click they send to retailers. Other companies like Pose only pay when a purchase is made with a referral link. The average payment made per purchase is 5% of the price.

In the past, it was common for companies to purchase favorable mentions. The idea of buying someone’s “word of mouth” has been taken to a whole new level. Anyone on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so forth have an opportunity to make money. The Federal Trade Commission is arguing that this practice is blurring the lines between a recommendation and a paid endorsement. The FTC is stating that readers must be flagged. If someone is being compensated for his or her endorsement then it should be disclosed to the public.

Facebook and Twitter policies allow their users to post referral-based links, but require their users to disclose if they are getting paid. Beso is encouraging their users to add hash tags like “#spon or #paid” which would state whether their recommendation is sponsored or paid for.  Many users don’t think their friends or family will have an issue with them being paid for their endorsement. Because of this, some users are not disclosing if they are being endorsed. They feel it’s unnecessary to mention.

Personally, I often purchase products that have been reviewed and rated highly. This poses a threat to trusting anyone’s recommendation. How do I know if this product is reviewed accurately? Is the product really that great or are the reviews falsified by a user who was looking to make extra money?

Are people less likely to believe reviews online now that people are being compensated? Do you think the lines are being blurred? Is it necessary to disclose if your recommendation is being sponsored?