Today Shyp is launching a new service so that you can avoid the post office when you return those online purchases that don’t work out.
The return service will include a list of 13 featured stores. Right now that list includes Amazon, Everlane, Bonobos, Rent-the-Runway, Target, JCrew, Madwell, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, and The Gap. Consumers will pay the usual $5 for the privilege of using Shyp; however, consumers can use pre-paid return-shipping labels from retailers. If you don’t have a return shipping label or misplaced it, you can give Shyp your order number and they’ll look up the requisite information to get your return to the right retailer warehouse.
When cofounders Kevin Gibbon and Joshua Scott first launched Shyp nearly a year ago, they were not thinking it would be a big vehicle for shipping returned goods. Rather, they were hoping to help create a shipping infrastructure for the growing workforce of independent e-commerce businesses owners and craftsmen. But consumers had another idea about how Shyp should be used.
The company found that over 15 percent of customers were using Shyp to return online purchases.
“People were hacking the system. They would have a purchase from Amazon, they’d go to Amazon and initiate a return, and then they would [go to Shyp], enter in the Amazon Warehouse as their destination, and then hand us the pre-paid label,” said founder and CEO Kevin Gibbon over the phone.
To help build out that use case and make the return experience better, Shyp decided to team up with a number of retailers. As a result, Gibbon said, his company has made some deep connections with certain retailers. Though he wouldn’t comment on potential future products, it’s easy to see how Shyp’s service could eventually be baked into a retail site as part of their return process.
“Ideally, we want to see our service everywhere,” said Gibbon.
The stores featured on Shyp will rotate depending on which retailers his customers are shipping to the most. The company sees the new product as a boon to the e-commerce industry, whose sales only make up a fraction of the overall retail economy.
In the fourth quarter of last year, e-commerce made up only 6.7 percent of total retail sales. While there may be many reasons that e-commerce hasn’t taken off, it’s no secret that returning goods back to e-tailers is a major pain point. Sometimes returning a package can be as simple as dropping it off in a mailbox. Other times you need new packaging, and that can require hours of standing in line at the post office. And even if you don’t have to wait in line, you do have to travel somewhere, either to the post office or a UPS or FedEx location to get your return shipment out.
Shyp’s new solution could potentially give online consumers wary of the return shipping process a new reason to shop the web.
The company currently offers services in Miami, New York, and San Francisco. Expect to see Shyp launch in Los Angeles later this year.