Groupon says its focus is on the bottom line, rather than top-line growth.
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But for retailers that make same-day delivery work, they'll be ready if it proves to be a way to win the hearts and wallets of shoppers before they drive, or click, to another merchant.
Speedy delivery (A sampling of same-day delivery services for online orders)
U.S. Postal Service Metro Post: Customers in San Francisco can order online until 2 p.m. and receive deliveries between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. as part of this pilot project. Fee: Close to standard ground shipping, which for many orders is $10 or less.
Shutl: Scheduled to launch in Q1 in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. Delivery is available 24/7, or when stores or warehouses are open. Fee: Set by retailers; Shutl recommends less than 5% of order value.
eBay Now: Consumers in the test markets of New York and San Francisco can have a personal shopper pick up the items ordered from a retailer's store and have them delivered between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on most days, with extended hours for holidays. Fee: $5 with minimum order of $25.
Walmart to Go: Customers in five major metro areas—Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Jose/San Francisco, Denver—can order online until noon, then choose a 4-hour delivery window running to late in the evening. Fee: $10.
Amazon Local Express Delivery: Order deadlines range from 7 a.m. to noon in 10 major cities—Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington—for delivery as late as 8 p.m. Fee: $8.99 per order or $3.99 on eligible items for members of Amazon Prime, a program that also offers two-day shipping for an annual fee of $79.