Start-Up Adds 'Human Touch' to Online Shopping


Here’s one way to save on shipping but still shop online — order something(s) over the internet, and then have an actual person pick it up for you and send it off.  That might sound strange, but that’s exactly what the recently-launched Suddenlee sets out to do.

The site lets customers (in the Northeast only, for now) browse over 300 retailers, put everything they want into one virtual shopping cart, and pay for a single round of next-day delivery.  And all of it comes the next day. The trick to how they get all your purchases together in one box is actual, breathing human beings: Suddenlee sends out (real, live!) people to the physical locations of each store.  It’s almost like employing an anonymous personal assistant.  They purchase all the goods, put them together into one overnight shipment, and voila — you’ve saved a bundle.

Of course, the growth potential of a service like this might be limited — there are physical barriers to expansion (all the stores have to be geographically close by) not to mention high costs (fuel costs, labor costs, and more of sending people out to multiple stores, not to mention the high overnight shipping costs). We’ll be watching to see if Suddenlee can pull it all off — but we certainly support the human touch!