Shop The Instant Gift Guide! (offers good through 12/24)

The Instant Gift Guide is Here!

🎉 We’ve just dropped our first-ever holiday gift guide, filled with amazing gifts and party items Ohi can have delivered in as little as two hours — right up until December 24th!

Feast your eyes on The Instant Gift Guide 🎄and have a holly, jolly holiday! ❄️

Check it out here: 👇

Refer a Brand to Ohi and Get Paid $2K!

As an Ohi client or friend of Ohi*, you’ve seen how Ohi instant delivery delights customers, improves the DTC post-purchase experience, and boosts e-commerce performance.

Here’s your chance to spread that joy to other brands that sell DTC online and get paid for it!

How it works:

  1. Make initial intros via the form below. (NOTE: The brand you’re referring must already be selling DTC online.)
  2. Ohi takes it from there. If the referred brand looks like a match with our platform, we’ll set up meetings with the referred employee(s) to show them our platform and demonstrate the value. We’ll even waive the first month’s platform fee as an added signing incentive for the brand!
  3. You’ll be paid $2,000 for each referred brand that becomes an Ohi client!

Start referring ASAP; all referrals must be in by 11:59pm PST on December 31, 2022!

Eligibility & Other Info:

  • *You must either be (1) an existing Ohi client (i.e. an employee of an existing brand on Ohi’s platform), or (2) a “friend of Ohi” invited to participate in this program by an Ohi employee, in order to qualify for a bonus payout under this program.
  • Referrals must be made by 11:59pm PST on Dec 31, 2022 for referrer to qualify for a bonus payout upon successful net new client signing.
  • Eligible net new client referrals must sign a contract with Ohi for at least a one-year term.
  • Based on a referred brand’s compatibility with the Ohi platform, Ohi reserves the right to pursue or decline to pursue an opportunity with each referred brand.

Does Delivery Speed Matter in E-commerce?

delivery speed matter in ecommerce

Gone are the days when two-day delivery was exciting. Customer expectations and shopping behaviors around delivery speed have shifted. People want everything delivered ASAP, a preference that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions that presented.

As a result, many more e-commerce businesses are building ‘speed’ into their DNA, cutting down on the wait time window by expanding into same-day and two-hour or less delivery coverage.

The playing field is jam-packed with marketplaces racing to deliver orders at an unbelievably fast speed, begging the question, just how much does delivery speed really matter? Here’s a round-up of various studies offering insights on the question. 

The shift to e-commerce was already happening but has been accelerated by the pandemic

People ordered stuff online before the pandemic, but not near the rates we see today. So, what gives? The demand for instant delivery of groceries, food, and other convenience products increased when the coronavirus forced Americans to stay at home. Contactless delivery was a necessary evil that consumers have increasingly come to appreciate, even as the pandemic wanes. More people began shopping online with greater frequency in 2020 and 2021, accelerating the ongoing shift to e-commerce by more than five years, according to IBM’s US Retail Index.

Regardless, these events unfolded a new chapter in e-commerce, giving rise to instant commerce, also called quick commerce, kickstarting the delivery speed trend.  

Expectations around delivery speed are higher than ever, thanks in large part to Amazon Prime

Amazon has always been ahead of the delivery speed curve and is known for having the fastest and most convenient delivery options. This e-commerce giant has subtly shifted consumer perceptions of delivery speed from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have,” and continually pushes the envelope with faster and faster offerings such as its Prime two-hour delivery.

Prime first debuted in 2005, providing two-day delivery as part of its subscription-based membership. Then in 2009, when e-commerce was still in its infancy, Amazon became one of the only major retailers to introduce same-day delivery. Same-day delivery was initially offered across just seven cities and cost Prime members $6 and non-Prime members $15. And within the next five years, customers began embracing same-day delivery, ordering 10x the number of products using same-day delivery. 

Amazon’s logistics clout has disrupted a decades-old market dominated by FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS). Businesses like Amazon and Walmart have followed suit, throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into making same-day or two-hour delivery possible for their customers. 

Image source: Vox

Online shoppers place a premium on convenience and speed.

Interestingly, a survey found that 96% of respondents equated “fast delivery” with same-day delivery, 61% wanted their orders to arrive within 3 hours after checkout, and 25% declared that they would outright abandon their carts if same-day delivery wasn’t an option. 

Meanwhile, Instacart recently reported that 85% of shoppers in a survey by The Harris Poll said they prefer to receive grocery orders in two hours or less.

Shoppers are willing to pay more for faster deliveries

Time is money to many shoppers, particularly to hyper-busy segments such as parents or young professionals. This demographic is typically more willing to pay a premium for convenience. Here’s a rundown of several studies that shows the significance of delivery speed to these online shoppers. 

  • 53% of shoppers in the US showed a willingness to pay a premium price for a same-day delivery window. (McKinsey
  • In 2020, Amazon reported 200 million paying Prime members worldwide, up from 150 million paid Prime members worldwide at the end of 2019. 
  • In fact, according to Statista, millennials between the ages of 25 and 40 and Gen Z between the ages of 18 and 24 are more willing to pay for faster delivery than boomers or Gen X. 
  • According to Delivering on Demand: Consumer 2021 Insights Survey, 65% of consumers are willing to pay more for faster deliveries. 

Call it the “Amazon Effect,” perhaps, but consumers now expect options for two-day, same-day, and even sub-two-hour delivery options at the checkout, and they are willing to pay for it. 

Optimizing delivery speed promise can substantially affect a company’s sales

The recent study “Sooner or Later? Promising Delivery Speed in Online Retail” suggests that optimizing delivery speed promises can significantly impact a company’s sales. The research showed that when the retailer promised customers one day faster shipping, sales increased, profits increased, and customers spent more per order. The one-day faster promise increased sales by 0.73%, profits by 2.0%, and value per order by 3.5%.

Similarly, the research also illustrated that a slower delivery speed promise negatively affected the variables. For example, the data shows that a one-day slower delivery speed could result in a decrease in sales by 0.51%, profits by 2.7%, and value per order by 3.1%. 

Repeat purchase rates associated with 2-hour delivery were even higher than same-day delivery

ROI data from Ohi, an instant commerce provider for DTC brands, shows a strong payoff for businesses that invest in delivery speed.

Ohi analyzed some of its large partner brands that use Ohi’s 2-hour and same-day delivery and found that orders with same-day delivery had 30% higher repeat purchase rates than standard UPS/FedEx. But interestingly, repeat purchase rates associated with Ohi’s 2-hour delivery were even higher: up to 24% higher than same-day delivery and 61% higher than standard UPS/FedEx.

Outcomes observed were similar for customer lifetime value (CLV). Customers who initially ordered with Ohi same-day had 23% higher CLV than orders fulfilled through UPS/FedEx. CLV for Ohi 2-hour delivery was up to 16% higher than same-day delivery and 43% higher than standard UPS/FedEx.

To sum up ‘delivery speed in e-commerce’

So is delivery speed essential to a great overall shopping experience? If your e-commerce business does not cut down on the gap between the checkout and the customer’s doorstep, your customers will seek an alternative brand or marketplace that satisfies their need for speed. Besides, building delivery speed into your e-commerce strategy can put your brand on the path to a frictionless buying journey for your customers, which will help increase your online conversion rates and improve customer loyalty.

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.

Oh, Hi Philly

We’re happy to announce that two-hour, same-day, and next-day delivery is now live in Philadelphia.

Get your products in the hands of Philadelphians faster than they can say “Whiz wit” for their cheesesteaks.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please reach out to your account manager or contact us here.

Q&A: Understanding Micro-Fulfillment

QA Greg Michael

Given the ongoing trend towards instant commerce, micro-fulfillment continues to be a hot topic in the e-commerce space. We sat down with Ohi’s Michael Witalec (VP of Ops) and Greg Szczepanski (Head of Special Projects, Ex-GoPuff) for a Q&A on micro-fulfillment and how Ohi approaches it.

There’s been a lot of buzz around micro-fulfillment in recent years due to the rise of fast grocers and quick/instant commerce. How does Ohi fit into this trend?

Greg: Ohi is leading the next generation of instant commerce. Our unique distribution model enables brands to meet their customers’ expectations of rapid delivery on their own direct-to-consumer (DTC) websites. By offering a DTC-focused solution that helps brands with many aspects of their post-purchase experiences (centered on a curated instant delivery experience), we stand apart from other fast grocers and other quick/instant commerce models out there by giving control over the customer experience (and data) back to the brands themselves.

So, what is micro-fulfillment with Ohi like?

Michael: Micro-fulfillment is the miniaturization of traditional fulfillment, from both a space and time perspective. We’re in dense urban areas to intentionally shorten the distance to the doorstep, requiring a much smaller footprint. We’re tendering orders in much smaller batches and often interacting with the same person who will interact with the customer, which enhances the end customer experience.

What kind of products or brands work best with Ohi’s micro-fulfillment model and why? 

Greg: While micro-fulfillment works best with non-bulky items and lower SKU counts, as you might expect with inventory being distributed throughout the country in small non-traditional warehouses, Ohi prides itself on flexibility. We’re eager to explore innovative solutions with any DTC-focused brand.

Last-mile delivery seems like a critical success factor in micro-fulfillment. How does Ohi ensure timely and accurate last-mile delivery? 

Michael: Final delivery is critical to success because that’s where the direct interaction with the customer is strongest (and most tangible). We’ve built many strong delivery partnerships that enable us to optimize the final delivery experience for every order. Combine that with our LiveOps team and continuous system monitoring, and you get a big piece of our signature instant delivery experience.

What are some things for direct-to-consumer businesses to consider when choosing a micro-fulfillment strategy or partner? 

Greg: Great question. From a financial aspect, evolving a DTC-focused business delivery system has traditionally been critically important to reach or maintain profitability. Businesses invest deeply in their supply chains to reduce the cost of fulfillment and TnT, and this mentality is pervasive among operations teams. With Ohi, while we are favorable in the cost department for many situations (e.g. because inventory is forward-positioned), we find that the instant delivery experience presents unique ROI beyond cost reduction – in terms of the customer experience, which leads to improved repeat purchase rates, customer lifetime value, and other growth-focused ROI

Additionally, by leveling up their DTC performance with Ohi, brands enjoy greater margins and control over more of their overall business, while avoiding some of the negatives associated with their B2B2C channels, including chargebacks.

Given how important demand forecasting is for micro-fulfillment (because each MFC has very limited space), how does Ohi approach it?

Michael: Very carefully. Space is only a constraint over a fixed period of time, so with Ohi’s  AI-based predictive demand forecasting models and regular input from our brands, we’re able to achieve high in-stock performance with our MFC network. With our hubs, which we’ll talk about more, we’re also able to control the distribution to MFCs in real-time, based on inventory levels.

Fulfilling orders out of (what will eventually be) hundreds of MFCs sounds incredibly complex; how does Ohi keep it simple operationally for clients?

Michael: We learned early on that simplicity was critical to our clients, as they want to focus on growth opportunities and not day-to-day logistics. We borrowed from tried and true methods to launch hubs, which dramatically reduce injection points and aggregate demand for the client. From there, our team handles the more complicated aspects of allocation across the MFC network for our clients.

What are Ohi’s “hubs,” and how do they work with the micro-fulfillment centers?   

Greg: Ohi’s hubs help to facilitate replenishment of inventory to MFCs while simplifying the inbounding process for our clients via fewer injection points. Because they’re actual distribution centers and are much larger than MFCs, hubs maximize efficiency when it comes to the intake, processing, storage, and distribution of goods (to MFCs) for our clients. This means less money wasted paying for temporary storage, dealing with stockouts, or losing customers due to delayed or incomplete orders.

Traditional fulfillment typically involves much larger warehouses on the outskirts of cities. How does having MFCs hyperlocal to customers affect last-mile delivery costs?

Greg: Consumers nowadays want same-day deliveries. Many companies are trying, often unsuccessfully, to meet the demands of today’s customers with outdated fulfillment networks. 

Ohi MFCs utilize small and automated storage close to the end customer to achieve cost savings and accelerate delivery times. There are three key components that allow Ohi to perform this process successfully: 1) a robust enterprise and logistics management system to manage the warehousing, inventory, and order management; 2) forward logistics facilities that minimize travel distance/time/cost; and 3) easy technical integration with clients’ e-commerce platform.

Increasing oil prices have been quite the headline in recent months. How do rising energy costs affect Ohi’s micro-fulfillment cost versus, say, traditional fulfillment with next-day air?

Michael: We’ve been in a dynamic environment since our launch a couple of years ago, with real estate, labor, and now fuel markets becoming volatile. Our model utilizes economies of scale with larger movements of inventory to a forward location (the MFC), reducing fuel on a per-order basis. Combined with our growing use of electric-powered and eco-friendly transportation, we’re reducing our carbon footprint while reducing dependence on traditional energy sources.

It seems like micro-fulfillment might involve a lot of extra transportation/trips – how does Ohi make this sustainable? 

Greg: With Ohi forward positioning our clients’ products in small MFCs around the country, we have substantially reduced the amount of transportation and delivery required on a per-order basis, despite the increase in the number of dedicated deliveries. Importantly, our close proximity to end customers allows us to use eco-friendly transportation (walkers, bicycle messengers, and electric vehicles) and reduce the need for wasteful cardboard packaging. For our residual carbon footprint after those measures, we’re able to use carbon offsetting (through our partner, EcoCart) to provide carbon-neutral order fulfillment.

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.

Instant Delivery: How Top D2C Brands are Leveraging ‘Speed’ as a Competitive Advantage  

News flash: the slow and steady tortoise no longer wins the race.  

The modern shopper’s need for fast delivery has intensified, thanks in large part to the expectations that industry bellwethers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have helped shape in the past couple of years.

Direct-to-consumer brands and smaller retailers literally have zero chance of protecting (much less growing) their market share without similarly adopting the ways of the speedy hare. 

Fortunately, the emergence of instant commerce and micro-fulfillment players like Ohi empowers them to close the gap and even out-compete many leading marketplaces when it comes to e-commerce fulfillment.

How top DTC brands are leveraging instant delivery

Instant delivery is way more than just a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s a must-have upgrade, and it’s very much mandatory if you want to meet your customers’ expectations.

A 2021 global consumer insights survey by PWC revealed “fast/reliable delivery” as consumers’ #1 overall consideration when shopping online.

And businesses who don’t upgrade to at least Amazon-like delivery speed will eventually lose out to Amazon or other big retail companies that are solving for instant commerce.

Happy customers help you grow your brand’s bottom line. According to proprietary Ohi research, the D2C brands that are leveraging instant 2-hour delivery had 24% higher repeat purchase rates compared to same-day delivery and an astounding 61% higher repeat purchase rates when compared to standard UPS/FedEx.

Instant delivery is game-changing for D2C-focused brands, and here are a few success stories that illustrate that very point.

Top DTC Brands Benefiting from Instant Delivery

Olipop’s CLV has grown by 150% with Instant Delivery 

Olipop is a leading fizzy tonic brand, the maker of a new kind of soda made from all-natural ingredients, combining the benefits of prebiotics, plant fiber, and botanicals.

Although the brand has a solid omnichannel presence, they believe a direct-to-consumer strategy is crucial to growth. 

And for that purpose, the brand needed a D2C/DTC fulfillment partner to meet its high customer experience expectations.

Olipop’s ROI has steadily increased since teaming up with Ohi.

Thanks to the flexible and fast delivery of its sparkling tonics on Ohi’s platform, Olipop now provides its customers with a tremendous post-purchase experience that matches its excellent pre-purchase experience. As a result, many of their customers have repeat subscription orders; with Ohi, Olipop customers can schedule and reschedule deliveries within seven days and in three different time windows. 

For Ohi-shipped orders, Olipop experienced a 150% higher customer lifetime value (CLV) and a 140 percent increase in lifetime orders (versus non-Ohi).

The significant increase in repeat purchases highlights the significance of “fast, free, and flexible” delivery for customers and explains why Olipop customers rate Ohi 4.6/5 stars for exceptional service.

Ovira more than doubled its repeat purchase rate

For centuries, women have endured painful periods (dysmenorrhea), pains associated with endometriosis. Ovira is a DTC-focused company devoted to helping women end this pain. Ovira’s revolutionary device, Noha, minimizes pain using pulse therapy. 

Because period pain can be spontaneous and unbearable, Ovira wanted a fast delivery of the Noha device.

Ohi seemed like the perfect instant fulfillment partner Ovira sought to meet its customers’ need for convenient and fast delivery.

Having teamed up with Ohi, Ovira now delivers delightfully fast, on-brand, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable brand growth. 

With instant delivery as part of its post-purchase customer experience, Ovira’s repeat purchase rate has more than doubled (+120% for Ohi-shipped orders in comparison to orders shipped via FedEx/UPS). In addition, Ovira’s customers who ordered with Ohi rated us an average rating of 4.7/5 stars. 

These numbers clearly emphasize what it means for Ovira’s customers to have instant pain relief products.

Health-Ade’s customer lifetime value topped 40%

To minimize fulfillment costs while providing a great customer experience, one of the country’s most popular kombucha brands sought a better alternative to conventional 3PLs in its major metro areas.

Health-Ade, established in 2012, has quickly developed a nationwide customer base that adores its kombuchas for their delicious taste, an exciting variety of flavors, and countless health benefits.

Kombucha has special handling/transport requirements because it must be refrigerated to maintain peak freshness and probiotic qualities.

Traditional e-commerce fulfillment wasn’t a good fit for Health-Ade: they realized that delivering glass bottles over long distances via UPS/FedEx using a traditional 3PL wouldn’t be viable. First, there’s the risk of breakage. And then there are the ridiculously high costs associated with shipping weight and extra-packaging materials and the need to keep the kombuchas cold, typically necessitating the use of expensive cold packs. 

Health-Ade required more efficient handling of e-commerce fulfillment in its most critical metro areas.

Ohi delivered on all that and more.

Ohi enabled instant commerce for Health-Ade allowing them to deliver Kombuchas instantly to their customer base within a week of deployment.

After partnering with Ohi, Health-Ade has seen its customer lifetime value (CLV) increase by 49% on orders shipped with Ohi (versus standard FedEx/UPS), showing just how valuable the instant commerce experience is to customers.

Health-Ade’s customers have rated Ohi an average of 4.6/5 stars for service excellence.

Athletic Brewing Company experienced a 30% increase in their repeat purchase rate

Athletic Brewing, a non-alcoholic craft beer brand, was looking for a faster and more reliable fulfillment partner and had been unimpressed with traditional 3PLs’ fulfillment capabilities and overall lack of D2C-friendliness.

As impressive as Athletic Brewing’s products are – beers brewed from high-quality, all-natural ingredients for “the modern-day beer drinker”- they needed an instant commerce solution to kick their customer experience up a notch and drive meaningful D2C growth. 

After learning how Ohi could elevate their customer experience and drive significant ROI while keeping its powerful brand front-and-center, the brand turned to Ohi’s instant delivery solution.                                                                                            

Athletic Brewing provides its customers powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences via the Ohi platform.

Athletic Brewing now enjoys a 30% uptick in repeat purchase rates on Ohi-shipped orders compared to orders delivered through FedEx/UPS. Additionally, athletic Brewing customers rated Ohi an average of 4.7/5 stars.

With Ohi’s shipping options – 2-hour, same-day, and next-day delivery – the DTC-focused brand delivers great-tasting beers to its customers alongside a custom-branded post-purchase experience. 

Customers receive real-time tracking information via email/SMS (tailored to Athletic Brewing’s brand guidelines), allowing them to track their orders to their doors.

So how does Ohi do it? 

We keep our inventory “hyperlocal” in micro-fulfillment centers in major metropolitan areas. This enables our partner brands to deliver their products to customers within the same day or two hours – in time for a spontaneous dinner, a late or early morning drink, or to relieve period pain. 

We’re proactive – our dedicated teams analyze your brand’s product demand at the SKU level, consistently working with the operations team to ensure there’s sufficient inventory available across the micro-fulfillment networks. In addition, Ohi’s account managers work with brands to ensure seamless procedures while identifying ways to boost efficiency and ROI for our partner brands.

Our technology constantly monitors delivery speed and consistency within the Ohi network, modifying courier utilization and other factors to ensure customers get what they ordered within the chosen delivery window. 

And because we keep our inventory as close to customers as possible, our packaging and last-mile shipping are also more environmentally friendly. 

Fast & free wins the race!

Many of the world’s top marketplaces and big retailers are already looking beyond same-day delivery and upping the ante once again with sub-hour delivery options.

And with 15-minute delivery becoming a thing in New York City and elsewhere, your D2C brand crossing the finish line in 3-5 business days just won’t suffice any longer. The race will have been long over before your brand reaches the line.

About Ohi
At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.