RTIH got the lowdown on Bodo, which was founded by former CloudKitchens and Deliveroo executives and offers a plugin for e-commerce brands that facilitates one-hour and same-day delivery directly from their website or store.
RTIH: Tell us about yourself and Bodo
JG and BN: Bodo is a logistics platform that enables brands to deliver environmentally friendly one-hour and same-day delivery to our customers directly at the online store checkout.
We do this through quick and easy plug-ins, a network of central hubs and a fleet of couriers. At its core, the platform is about helping businesses connect customers with the brands they love quickly and sustainably.
We launched the platform in January and immediately got a lot of interest from brands (especially before Black Friday and Christmas).
We work across brands from beauty to consumer technology, including partners such as TRIP, SURI, Mirror Water and Underdays to name a few.
You can think of it like Amazon Prime for direct-to-consumer brands, offering a fast and sustainable delivery experience without sacrificing customer data and brand experience.
We were both early employees at CloudKitchens, helping to grow the business from LA to international markets. I (Jack) also worked in business strategy and data science at Deliveroo.
RTIH: What was the motivation for establishing the company?
JG & BN: We observed that nearly half (46%) of consumers abandon their shopping carts if delivery times are too long, requiring a fix for broken delivery systems that facilitate customer strikes, long wait times, and unreliable tracking methods.
We want to enable brands to create eco-friendly checkouts alongside the customer experience.
We use electric fleets, our hub is solar powered, and our packaging is recycled (and recyclable). Impatience and instant gratification should not come at the cost of the planet.
RTIH: What has been the industry response so far?
JG and BN: We have received great response from both brands and customers. In fact, we’re currently back on track with Black Friday and Christmas demand from brands.
We’re collecting very interesting data showing increased customer acquisition, higher basket sizes, and shopping behavior when same-day and one-hour delivery options are selected. We will release this in a series of studies soon.
RT: What is your biggest challenge?
JG and BN: Black Friday, Christmas presents, Royal Mail strike.
In the first three months of operations, we did not anticipate the demand we would receive from brands. As a result, we are closed on boarding for the rest of the year.
Interestingly, this is the case with the consumer brands we work with. Demand is hard to predict when you release a new product, and that last (good) problem you’ll have is selling.
When customers are excited about your product, the last thing you want to do is stall.
RTIH: What are the biggest challenges facing the omnichannel retail sector today?
JG and BN: Omnichannel retail by definition combines the benefits of in-store retail with the convenience of online shopping.
How do you offer a delivery experience comparable to the convenience and instant gratification of in-store purchases? Why should a customer shop online instead of in a store?
This is where Bodo fits. It’s an incredible experience for customers to receive their order in 30 minutes or the same day. This is especially true when combined with our WhatsApp communications and live driver tracking.
According to our first-hand data and customer reviews, fast delivery drives word of mouth, brand love and better purchasing behavior.
RTIH: What’s the best question you’ve been asked about your company or market recently by an a.) investor or b.) customer?
JG and BN: Sustainability is key to our business ethics, but it is also increasingly important to consumers. We get asked a lot how we can make express delivery eco-friendly.
At Bodo, which starts with how we put products in the hands of customers – we use electric bikes and source locally to reduce our carbon footprint. Our facilities are also solar powered and we use reusable packaging for all products.
RT: What can we expect to see from Bodo in 2023?
JG and BN: We just announced our $2.3 million seed round led by BAM Ventures, along with angels like sweetgreen founder and CEO Jonathan Neiman, serial investor Cal Vepuri, and MeUndies founder and CEO John Shokrian.
In 2023, we will expand Bodo’s technology offering and expand our micro-fulfillment center network, with a third UK warehouse on the way. We will be expanding into more UK cities as well as the US market.