Article, a digitally native furniture and home decor brand, announced on Thursday the launch of an in-house delivery service called Article Delivery Team. The delivery teams will operate in New York and Los Angeles with plans to expand to other major North American cities over 18 months, according to a company press release.
By owning last-mile delivery, the company said it can better improve and adapt to customers’ needs. "Negative feedback has been reduced by as much as 83% in ADT pilot program service areas," according to the release.
The company said ADT will be able to reschedule delivery appointments and ship alternate sizes or colors of products.
Efforts to solve the issues around last-mile delivery are nothing new — the U.S. Postal Service has been working at it for centuries, and UPS and FedEx have tried their hand at it for decades. But more recently, due to the rise of e-commerce and the Amazon effect that normalized fast delivery, more retailers have taken matters into their own hands.
Target in 2017 attempted to ease the delivery burden with its acquisition of Shipt for $550 million and it has since rolled out that service nationwide. Amazon has also announced a slew of plans to solve the last-mile delivery problem — everything from drones (which did not receive federal approval last May) to, most recently, a test of a small autonomous delivery service called Scout.
Article, however, may be paving the way for a new trend other direct-to-consumer brands could follow. This move is significant for a company that sells home decor and furniture because delivery of large, bulky items is notoriously difficult. Add in the other problems associated with last-mile delivery, and it equates to a large pain point for consumers.
Delivery is a factor consumers take into consideration when judging a company and deciding whether to do business with them again, even though, for most companies, delivery isn’t done in-house. By controlling and managing its own delivery, Article said it will adapt to customers’ changing needs, which it hopes will solidify lasting relationships among its consumers. And for a purchase like furniture that’s only made every so often, loyalty is essential.
"We set out to make furniture shopping remarkably better from end to end. The more we're able to directly control the components of the shopping experience, the better we're able to achieve our mission," Aamir Baig, CEO of Article, said in a statement. "Delivery is a critical component of the overall experience, and bringing it in-house allows us to make it both dramatically better and far more efficient."