Browse Prior Art Database

Self-Organizing Customer Order Pickup and Delivery Via Mobile Social Networks

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237874D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-17
Document File: 5 page(s) / 135K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a process whereby customers who have a relationship with a common retailer organize into a social network comprising an Order Pickup and Delivery Group (OPDG) based on geographic proximity. Once organized, any customer in the group can trigger an order pickup and delivery event to peers in the group.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 30% of the total text.

Page 01 of 5

Self-Organizing Customer Order Pickup and Delivery Via Mobile Social Networks

Omni-channel commerce continues to proliferate across the world's retail landscape, and companies are constantly inventing new ways to fulfill customer orders in response to customer demands. A key initiative undertaken by many retailers is to leverage the physical store footprint, permitting many combinations of order placement, payment, and shipment involving the store. Still, most retailers face the challenge of making so-called last-mile delivery efficient and cost effective. Today, retailers largely attack this problem one customer order at a time, relying on commercial package carriers, which adds to the customer's cost.

In certain retail environments, such as retailers operating in rural areas with a geographically disbursed customer base, or retailers operating in regions lacking efficient last-mile delivery transportation, the cost of delivering an order from the store to the customer is high relative to the order value. Also, the travel time to and from the retailer may be an inhibitor to frequent visits to the store by the customer. In rural areas, distances of 20 miles or more are common, which results in a round trip, including the store purchase time, of an hour or more.

At the same time, cloud-based social networks accessed via mobile devices are enabling the delivery of new consumer-facing services at any time and from anywhere. For example, urban transportation companies exist that facilitate ride sharing on demand, by matching consumers needing rides with roving fleets of drivers.

The core idea merges these two ideas to create a self-organizing, customer-order-pickup network, which facilitates the pickup and delivery of multiple customer orders by one consumer in the network. By sharing such trips, consumers effectively leverage the social network to gain better access to the retailer. The retailer, in turn, stimulates additional purchases triggered by having any one consumer in the group visiting the store, and sharing that event with the social network.

The novel contribution is a process whereby customers who have a relationship with a common retailer organize into a social network comprising an Order Pickup and Delivery Group (OPDG) based on geographic proximity. Once organized, any customer in the group can trigger an order pickup and delivery event to peers in the group. This event alerts other customers in the group to place orders and authorize the orders to be picked up by the triggering customer. The triggering customer then picks up all such authorized orders and delivers the orders to each customer's location. The Social Network facilitates the process of organizing the groups, coordinating the orders, and arranging and confirming the delivery to each member of the group.

As depicted in Figure 1, the retailer establishes a social network platform in a cloud-based environment and makes it accessible by its customers from a v...