Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 36 seconds

According to a Retail Touch Point survey, ““Two of the top three concerns among retailers are related to customers: expectations around delivery times at 49%, and expectations of free/low-cost shipping at 44%.” Demand for fast and affordable shipping has continued to grow. A decade ago it was normal for consumers to pay extra in order to receive their purchases within 2-3 days. Today Amazon and Walmart’s free two-day shipping has started the precedent that swift, reliable shipping shouldn’t cost extra. 

Many small e-commerce stores cannot afford free shipping and regularly loose customers to retail giants who can. With 79% of US consumers stating that free shipping would make them more likely to shop online- it’s become problematic for small retailers. I have been guilty of this as well. Always one to wait until the last minute I tend to purchase items on Amazon because I need the item immediately and cannot wait 6-10 days for my item.

Like Shopify, an e-commerce platform that enables small businesses to create their own branded store without having to rely on Amazon or other big marketplaces; Shipium hopes to enable small businesses buy allowing any retailer access to inexpensive two-day shipping.

Founded by two ex-Amazon employees (one of whom worked at Zulily) – the Seattle-based startup recently received a $2M seed round led by PSL Ventures. Their mission is simple – create a better and faster experience for both e-commerce shop and their customers. According to co-founder Jason Murray, Shipium’s potential clients are any e-commerce store that isn’t Amazon. In a statement, managing director at PSL Ventures Julie Sandler said, “Shipium offers unique and powerful leverage for e-commerce companies all over the country, and we frankly cannot imagine two founders on the planet better positioned to scale such an audacious vision to retailers everywhere.”

Murray and co-founder Mac Brown have kept relatively quiet about how Shipium manages to offer their clients cheap and efficient shipping. For now Murray explains, “We are all about improving sales conversions through shipping fees, and reducing shipping cost for our partners.” He adds, ““We’re trying to offer a logistics solution that gives retailers an even playing field.”

According to their website, Shipium provides software products that enable their partner retailers to provide an amazing experience to their customers. Included with their software are delivery experience APIs, customer delivery dashboards, fulfillment network performance, and shipping insights.

While Murray and Brown are quick to tell Geek Wire that at this time they don’t have any direct competitors – there are not the only start-up trying to solve the gap of rapid shipping. Also based in Seattle- Flexe offers online companies on-demand warehousing, fulfillment, and logistics services. Digital freight shipping and logistics company Convoy is also trying to solve the problem with their mission to “Save Money, Save Time, Ship Responsibly.”

With less than three weeks left until the holidays- retailers are scrambling to ensure that their products get to consumers on time. With startups like Shipium, e-commerce stores can compete with Amazon and Walmart to offer fast shipping right up to a few days before the holidays begin.

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 Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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