Over the recent years, (almost) all the large e-commerce retailers started to offer same day delivery to their customers. These services are generally carried out by third party logistics providers. With the emergence of same day delivery, new third parties that provide this service also emerge. An example of such a company is Deliv. The goal of the company is to close the last mile gap between retailers and customers. The main way in which Deliv differentiates itself from competitors is that it crowdsources same day delivery. This is done by using a network of on-demand drivers. This creates the advantage for the company that the investments are relatively low in comparison to large competitors. An example is Amazon, which has to invest in expanding the network of distribution centers to enable same day delivery. This while Deliv has no inventory and no fleet of vehicles. This is the reason why Deliv is able to provide the service for $5, which is a relatively low fee in comparison to competitors. Another way in which Delives differentiates itself is that it sells the service to stores and malls instead of directly to customers. Deliv partnered with malls because over 85% of the largest retailers are located in malls. By doing this, Deliv created its own distribution network (Halzack, 2012).
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Capturing the voice of customers with virtual prototyping
With the increasing demand of customers to be able to customize, companies are analyzing what customers really want by ‘capturing the voice of the customer’. According to Carulli et al. (2013), this is one of the strategies that can be used to have an effective product development process. By capturing the voice of the customer, it is possible to incorporate customer needs into features of a product. This can be enabled by using the method of virtual reality technologies.
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3D printing as enabler for future mass customization
Although 3D printing is not completely adopted by companies yet, it provides the opportunity to let consumers customize products to their needs. This is due to the fact that this way of producing provides flexibility (D’Aveni, 2015). Therefore, new business initiatives emerge that make use of 3D printing for ‘mass’ customization. An example is a company called Digital Forming. Within the company’s app, customers are able to adjust product parameters such as shape, color, size and materials. There is a professional design that serves as a basis for the design process. Therefore, the company also refers to it as ‘co-design’. Examples of products that can be customized and 3D printed by Digital Forming are jewelry, iPhone cases and coffee cups. After the customer has designed its product, it is produced in a 3D printing manufacturing facility of Digital Forming.
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