Paribus, a service that helps consumers save money by price-checking online purchases, has taken aim at another online shopping frustration: delivery guarantees that don't deliver. Paribus launched a delivery monitoring system that automatically detects when items from select retailers are delivered later than promised and secures compensation for the delay. FierceRetail talked to Paribus CEO Eric Glyman about the technology.
Eric Glyman (EG): The idea for Paribus came from my first job when I worked in retail. I saw a lot of customers who would come in and buy an item at full price only to have it go on sale the next day. They didn’t know that they were paying a lot more than they should and were eligible to get their money back. Karim [Atiey] and I wanted to build a tool that would help people avoid taking the time-consuming legwork of tracking their online purchases, studying each merchant’s policies and filing individual claims to get the money they deserved.
Our goal when developing this new feature for Paribus, delivery monitoring, was to combat an online shopping frustration that many people have had to deal with at some point—you pay extra shipping fees to make sure your package arrives on time, and then the delivery arrives later than the retailer promised. To pay extra for a package that arrives late just seems unfair. We wanted to create a product that makes the situation a little less painful when it didn’t go perfectly for our users the first time. Shipping policies differ from one retailer to another so we wanted to save people the time and effort of navigating these policies on their own.
FR: How can consumers access the technology?
EG: Paribus is free—consumer can register online at paribus.co or download the app. The Paribus delivery monitoring feature is automatically activated when a customer places an online order at select retailers, currently Amazon and Walmart, with a promised delivery date, whether standard or rush.
FR: Once a shipment is detected as late, who contacts the retailer?
EG: Paribus works by connecting to a customer email inbox to fetch online shopping receipts so the proprietary technology can automatically identify and track the shipment of purchases made at select online retailers. If an online order is delivered later than the retailer promised, Paribus contacts the merchant via email to request compensation.
Protecting consumer data is a priority for Paribus and Capital One and our software only collects information from receipt emails so that consumers don't need to worry about us reading personal emails.
FR: What role, if any, do delivery companies have in this process?
EG: This process is driven by Paribus. Our recent tests showed packages often arrive later that the retailer promised—even when rush shipping fees are paid—and we are proud that our delivery monitoring service can help consumers get compensated in some way when that happens.
Paribus conducted a study that ran from December 2016 through February 2017, where we tracked 6 million shipped online orders at Amazon and Walmart. Of those, approximately 240,000 (4%) arrived late.
FR: What else do retailer need to know about this new technology?
EG: We’re not aware that any of our main competitors are offering a similar service for automatic late shipping compensation requests at this time. We find that many users have had positive experiences with the new service and are enjoying the feeling that comes when they get a refund or a store credit when their item did not arrive on time.