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Dolly app expands Seattle delivery following Crate and Barrel partnership

Moving application Dolly is bringing its haul of services to the Seattle metropolitan area following its recent partnership with home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel, suggesting that peer-to-peer apps can benefit from major brands’ support.

Dolly, which helps businesses and consumers move thanks to a variety of pre-screened “Helpers,” collected an $8 million Series A funding, prompting the app to offer its options to 3.5 million new customers in the Seattle region. Consumers seeking to purchase new furnishings for their homes may also use the app to shop retailers such as Crate and Barrel for discounted items, a tactic that could prompt other P2P applications to team up with national brands for added commerce features.

“We work with a number of retail, storage, housing and donation organizations, including Crate and Barrel,” said Mike Howell, CEO of Dolly. “Having a strong network of partners provides a tremendous advantage to driving awareness of the Dolly brand.

“Which is a real win-win because our partners get the benefit of broadcasting to their customers that they’re innovating the delivery experience in an effort to provide delivery that’s more convenient, more affordable and easier to use,” he said. “Whether you’re moving into a new building, buying a new couch or even doing a spring cleaning run to your local charity organization, Dolly provides a seamless, worry-free experience anytime you need a truck and some muscle.”

Enhanced customer service
Seattle residents will now have a chance to use Dolly’s services when moving to a new office or home. To begin using the mobile platform, which is optimized for iOS and Android devices, users must answer several questions about their upcoming move to receive a guaranteed, up-front fee.

Customers will be assigned “Helpers,” who are pre-screened individuals that will complete the haul and delivery process. Users can select the most optimal 30-minute pickup slot and then track the job in real-time via a GPS.

They may also speak directly with their Helpers through text or calls. Once the job is completed, payment may be made directly in-app.

Crate and Barrel was one of the first retailers to join forces with Dolly upon its initial launch in Chicago. The home furnishings retailer believes that the partnership displays it commitment to offering more customer service options, especially on mobile.

Dolly began offering delivery options for items purchased via Crate and Barrel and Land of Nod’s outlet locations, enabling consumers to circumvent the long process of traditional store delivery.

Crate and Barrel placed signage in select bricks-and-mortar stores to promote the partnership and drive more users to the Dolly app. This suggests that other furnishing brands may be well-suited to team up with peer-to-peer delivery platforms on mobile, as those types of app target their ideal audiences: new homeowners or redecorators.

Dolly is currently in the process of adding new alliances with other retailers, storage units and charitable organizations to its roster.

Steady expansion
Following its Series A funding, Dolly is expanding its suite of services to the Seattle metropolitan area, encompassing regions east to Bellevue, south to Tacoma and north to Lynnwood.

The company claims it has helped users move more than 30,000 items during this past year, and attributes its growth in part to word-of-mouth marketing.

Dolly is aiming to expand further to nearly 20 major metropolitan areas by the end of next year, a goal that could be aided by the support of more home goods manufacturers and retailers.

“We expect to announce a few new corporate-level retail partnerships soon, with many many more to follow as we continue to demonstrate that Dolly is the perfect solution for local moving, hauling and delivery,” Mr. Howell said.

“That focus touches a large number of potential partnership verticals – furniture/home accessories, home improvement/garden centers, storage units, residential communities and charitable organizations – where Dolly can take the hassle and stress out of the delivery experience.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York