Best Buy is boosting its same-day delivery game.
The Richfield-based electronics retailer expanded a pilot program to courier everything from phone chargers to laptops within the span of several hours to customers in 13 U.S. markets.
The move comes as more retailers and Silicon Valley alike have been racing to find ways to satisfy customers’ thirst for instant gratification in an age in which a car ride is just a tap away through apps such as Uber.
And they are trying to compete with Amazon.com Inc., which has pressed forward with fast delivery concepts and shaped customers’ expectations in the process.
Best Buy first dipped its toes in same-day delivery last fall with a test in San Francisco in a partnership with Deliv, which uses a fleet of independent contractors as drivers. It added New York City to the program earlier this year. Then, late last month, it quietly rolled out same-day delivery to the other 11 markets where Deliv operates.
The service is not yet available in the Twin Cities.
“It’s still pretty early,” said Carly Charlson, a Best Buy spokeswoman, adding that the company is still testing the service. “But it’s a nice service to be able to offer, especially in markets like New York. When you want it now and you need it now, it works.”
Deliv, a 4-year-old California-based firm, already partners with several other large retailers such as Macy’s and Kohl’s as well as a number of shopping malls in select markets. Earlier this year, the company announced that it raised $28 million from a group of investors that included the United Parcel Service. Major mall operators such as General Growth Properties and Taubman Centers have also invested in the company.
Daphne Carmeli, Deliv’s chief executive, said electronics is one of the top categories for which customers place same-day delivery orders. Sometimes they are for last-minute gifts; other times it could be because someone loses a cellphone charger.
Customers not only want such items fast, but they also want to know when they will arrive, she added.
“It’s about avoiding that yellow sticky on your door that you missed your delivery,” she said.
With Deliv, customers can track their orders in real time to know when they will arrive. In some cases, they can even pick a delivery window.
Meanwhile, Amazon has been stepping on the gas when it comes getting items to customers’ doorsteps faster. On Wednesday, it announced it has nearly doubled the number of metro areas in the U.S. that can now receive free same-day delivery on orders placed through its Prime program.
While the Twin Cities is not one of those 27 markets where it is available, it is one of the 20 metros where Amazon has launched a two-hour delivery service called Prime Now, which is available on a smaller list of products and only through a smartphone app.
Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has also been testing same-day delivery, or what it calls “rush delivery,” in a handful of markets since 2014.
It does so through a partnership with Dynamex, a logistics company, in Minneapolis, Boston and Miami. Target also has partnered with Instacart to bring groceries and select household items to customers in as little as an hour in the Twin Cities, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Same-day delivery from Best Buy is available on orders placed through its website, not on purchases made in stores. Customers will be given the option when they check out if they are in a ZIP code eligible for the service that is within 10 miles of a store. Most delivery fees range from $12 to $20, except for printer ink, which Best Buy is delivering for free.
The orders are being fulfilled from about 160 Best Buy stores in markets that include Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.