Imagine the end of a long day of shopping. You’re left with several bags of all shapes and sizes from various stores, they’re heavy, you don’t have a car, and you’re slowly realizing you will need to carry all of this home. It’s a burden most shoppers are familiar with, particularly those in urban areas.
But a new service calledDropit is promising to relieve that part of the shopping experience. It takes the best part of retail store shopping seeing and feeling items in person and adds in a distinct benefit of online shopping: Not having to carry anything home. We recently had a demonstration of Dropit’s service in London, and a company representative told us the service will launch in the U.S. later this year. Here’s how it works.
The concept is simple. You buy stuff from participating stores, leave it all at a special location in those stores, and by the next day it will all be dropped off at your house. There is a delivery charge involved, but it’s a reasonable 10 British pounds, or about $13 at current conversion rates — that’s for as many bags as you can fill during the day. At the moment, before Dropit comes to the U.S., it’s available in the West End of London. That’s where we tried the service out.
Dropit is controlled through an app on your phone, which means it needs to be well-designed, simple, and reliable. It’s available for Android and iOS, and we tried it out on an iPhone X. Once you’ve shopped in a store, the app prompts you to start the drop-off process, which you’d do at the checkout. Pictures of receipts are taken, providing a record of everything being delivered for all involved. Once this is done, your items are secured inside a special Dropit bag, and the barcode is scanned in the app.
From here you can either end the Dropit session and a delivery driver will pick your items up later on, or you can leave it open and keep on shopping. This is a considerable benefit, as you don’t have to shop at just one store or pay multiple delivery charges. It’s a single session, at as many participating shops as you can cram in.
Once your credit card has had enough, you end the shopping day in the Dropit app, and it’s sent out for the delivery team’s attention.
Depending on the time of day you complete your Dropit delivery request, it’s possible everything will be delivered on the same day, minimizing the wait time completely. Otherwise, if you’re too late for same day delivery, your items will arrive the day after. We dropped off our products at around 5 p.m., so our delivery was scheduled for the next day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
The app is fast and smooth, and the instructions are simple to follow. It requires basic personal information and a payment method to get started. Unfortunately it doesn’t accept Apple Pay, but the Dropit app will take a scan of your card to save you the hassle of entering all the information.
The drop-off points are usually in the partner store at checkout, and staff don’t need to do anything except bag up the products and hand it over to the deliver driver later on. Everything is booked through the app. Our bag contained a variety of items, from toys to toiletries, and Dropit will take most things aside from anything breakable.
For same day delivery, the delivery distance is limited to the greater London area. For next day delivery, you can get your items delivered anywhere in the U.K. They’re also happy to send your goods to a hotel or an office, increasing convenience for travelers too. Our delivery point was outside London, and the Dropit delivery driver arrived before 8 a.m. the day after.
The app sent notifications before and after delivery — although the delivered notification was several hours late — and it’s also possible to track your order in the app.
Sadly, this didn’t include location data, only that the package was on the way. As you’d expect, everything was in perfect order and the bag was still completely sealed. It’s also seemingly impossible to break it open and reseal it, giving us peace of mind about security, and we resorted to scissors to get inside.
We were impressed by the simplicity and speed provided by Dropit. Anyone traveling into the city to shop — residents or tourists — should definitely try the service out. Tourists stand to really benefit from not having to carry around bags if an impromptu shopping break interrupts a day of sightseeing. Dropit’s partner stores include Uniqlo, New Balance, Gap, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, French Connection, Adidas, and M&S. You can find a full list here.