Most of the world is just starting to get used to the idea of taking a photo of a cheque in order to deposit it into their bank account, but snapping a shot of that precious vase you need to ship to your grandma instead of spending an hour popping bubble wrap carefully wrapping and boxing it might be an easier adjustment. Shyp, a new startup out of San Francisco, claims that an app and the ability to take a photo is all you really need to put Amazon speeds on your shipping needs.
How Shyp works
1. You realize that you were supposed to send that replacement part to your client and completely forgot. They’re expecting it soon and you don’t even have a box.
2. You open your Shyp app, take a photo of the object you’re shipping.
3. Within a half an hour, roughly, a Shyp employee will be at your door, ready to pick up your item, pack it, and get it where it needs to go.
Why Shyp might work beyond a single city
Right now, Shyp is pretty limited to San Francisco, which makes sense when you think about getting someone to your house, to a center for packing, and then back out again to someone else’s door. They use local couriers, find the lowest price, and contract them out to do the legwork. To add a cool factor (because who doesn’t love a cool factor), Shyp has a machine that will cut a custom box to fit whatever is being shipped as to limit wasted space.
So, how would this concept work on a larger scale? Well, let’s think about how Uber changed the way we view taking a cab. If Shyp is able to weave a reliable network in other cities, they might be able to start taking a piece of the e-commerce shipping pie. They currently ship internationally, but the package needs to start in San Francisco.
Small business e-commerce potential
And that’s where we think Shyp would be helpful for other businesses. We talk to a lot of brick and mortar businesses about how they can use their website to drive more sales and often that conversation results in some kind of e-commerce solution. Offering a way for customers to purchase your products with the click of a button is extremely useful, but if packaging and shipping these products isn’t realistic, you might be able to use a company like Shyp to pass some of that work off.
At this point, I can’t imagine that a high volume e-commerce business would be able to use Shyp (especially because of the local factor), but if all goes as planned for this disruptive startup, it could make this kind of speedy shipping accessible for small businesses.
Just think about the Etsy potential – talk about a scenario where having a custom box would be handy!
Where does the money come from?
If Shyp claims to compete with other shipping companies, how could they possibly make money? Well, thankfully Wired just wrote an article about the startup and asked them about this:
“Because it ships so many packages, Gibbon says Shyp gets significant discounts from the major carriers. This makes sense because pooling packages saves their drivers a bunch of trips. ‘It’s actually a lot cheaper for them to just go here,’ Gibbon says. Meanwhile, he says Shyp charges customers the cheapest retail price they would pay to ship an item, which still ends up being more than what the company pays. Shyp keeps the difference. ‘As soon as you have volume, there’s margin you can play with,’ Gibbon says.”