Postmates takes steps toward e-commerce platform with new service

An on-demand delivery platform is providing e-commerce capabilities as part of a new offering for small retailers.

Initially launching in Los Angeles, Postmates Shop enables customers to browse products for purchase and delivery from local retailers. Participating retailers can create a virtual storefront, hosted on the Postmates site and app, that gives customers digital access to their products.

Leveraging Postmates Shop, retailers will be able to sell their inventory by showcasing products with organized, configurable catalogues including high-resolution images. Retailers on the Postmates Shop platform can offer customers on-demand delivery, in-store pickup, or non-contact curbside pickup. 

Postmates, which was acquired by Uber in July for $2.65 billion, is moving beyond its core offering as a food delivery platform to provide something closer to a hosted e-commerce experience for small retailers in verticals including apparel and home décor. Postmates Shop is still far from being the type of complete e-commerce platform offering as Shopify or BigCommerce, but future moves bear watching.

Mike Buckley, former VP, digital commerce operations & new business models at Nike, has joined Postmates as senior VP of business. "I joined Postmates because they have had tremendous momentum and I see a unique opportunity to give smaller retailers tools to be more competitive," said Buckley. "Postmates' mission is to enable anyone to have anything delivered on demand, and that goes well beyond prepared food. Now more than ever, we want to provide a solution to local retailers to help them get back to business and reach new customers."

Each store's return policy is visible at checkout before the customer completes the purchase. Delivery and service fees apply, with subscribers to the Postmates Unlimited service receiving free delivery.

Los Angeles-area small retailers including Anastasia Beverly Hills, OWL Venice, Big Red Sun, Urbanic, Zadig & Voltaire, Buck Mason, Timbuk2, IRO, Industry of All Nations, Vardagen, Coutula, 12th Tribe, Hourglass, Supervinyl, and Parachute Home are participating in the launch of Postmates Shop.

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