How many times have you ordered something online, only to miss the delivery?
According to the founders of the latest app on the block, SoPost, failed first-time deliveries have direct costs of almost £1 billion in the UK alone and this issue is something the London-based start up is hoping to address, if you’ll pardon the pun.
This latest app is something those on the lookout for media jobs won’t want to be without – after all, you don’t want to miss that interview date or job offer.
By mapping social IDs like Twitter handles, Facebook names, phone numbers and email addresses SoPost aims to link these with physical addresses so packages will always find you, whether you’re at work, at home, or at Mom’s. The service can also be used to send gifts to friends using nothing more than a Twitter username or a Facebook ID.
What is it Exactly?
SoPost founder Jonathan Grubin explains: “An address should be where you are, or where you want things to be sent, rather than the last postcode somebody has for you.
“SoPost is about turning the things that we know and that rarely change – like our social IDs and email addresses – into our physical locations, creating almost a proxy for postal addresses in the process.”
The idea is that postal addresses need no longer be fixed and solitary. By tapping into the SoPost tech you might tell the service that your Facebook name links to home as this is where you post your status updates, whereas your Twitter handle might be hooked up to your work address as you have to tweet as part of your job. You get the idea.
You can even link PO or locker boxes, College’s or anywhere else that’s willing to receive your mail. Imagine that? Your DVD’s arriving at your favorite coffee shop where you always check your email on a Saturday morning. Rather than hunting down missed deliveries, your mail is following you.
How Does it Plan to Monetize?
Currently SoPost takes care of fulfilment, but when it embarks on stage two and achieves integration with e‑commerce partners it will control the data and will disclose it only for the purpose of fulfilment and will enforce strict rules on what they can do with that data.
The company has also established some pretty cool partnerships with other online players. For example the Play it Again Sam record label will be giving CDs away to anyone who tweets with their campaign hashtag. Guess who’ll be taking care of the fulfilment..? SendGrid will be using SoPost to distribute gifts to its partners and We Are Tea is targeting bloggers and other influencers with a sample giveaway. These companies will be paying for SoPost’s services because anyone who has information has something valuable. Something they can sell.
Can it Make Money?
The SoPost strategy relies heavily on getting consumers onboard and handing over their details – they only weapon they will really have in their armory. Unfortunately the one big flaw in the plan might be that many people don’t know where they’re going to be each Saturday morning for example. Tech means people are increasingly mobile and they like it that way. So it may be that SoPost have created a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist.
People still order online even when they know they may not be around to take delivery of their items, and if they need something in a hurry they pay extra for next day delivery. Or they go to a store. With an expected seed round expected to raise total of around £100K SoPost has not set its aspirations too high. If it starts small and grows slowly it may just get there as the lure of typing in a name rather than a whole address certainly does sound convenient.