Yesterday I was followed by a Twitter account named @Konbini_CC. The words jumped out at me immediately: “Detroit’s Delivery Service”. I dug in a little deeper and discovered that Konbini is a service that promises home delivery of sundry groceries and packaged food items anywhere in our neighborhood as well as Corktown, Lafayette Park, New Center, Downtown, and Midtown.
A few things really stood out and they are things that I believe will make this work:
- The items themselves are reasonably priced and available in individual quantities.
- The entire system is all e-commerce and you can use debit or credit cards
- The delivery fee is reasonable
- They deliver until 3am
This is a novel idea for a small business, and it’s one that I think will work in this area. It’s like other quirky, modern small businesses (such as Detroit Greencycle curbside recycling pickup in Woodbridge) that have popped up to serve the burgeoning group of connected consumers in these growing areas of the city.So, it sounds all well and good, but does it really work? I decided to put it to the test.I added a single Babybel cheese wheel for $.75 and a can of Diet Coke for $1 to the cart—that seems like a good mid-afternoon snack while I write blog posts.
The cart was extremely basic and easy to use. When I entered my shipping address it automatically added Michigan sales tax, making my order total $1.86. After delivery cost was added in ($3.50), the total was $5.57.
I was expecting to be able to pay with a credit card right on the site, but the only options were credit card on delivery or cash on delivery. The person or people who are running Konbini are taking a leap of faith here by not accepting any money in advance, but I still trust people enough that I think they won’t have any major problems (I tend towards optimism, clearly).
I placed my order at 1pm, and at 1:10pm, bike delivery guy Javier was knocking at my door, bag in hand, and out of breath. I handed over my credit card and he used his Square reader to run the transaction. It was extremely simple and fast.
There are a few minor complaints; the pictures can be slightly misleading in that some of the products appear to be travel-sized items while the picture can make it seem like a full-sized product. Having actual milk delivery instead of just chocolate milk would be super helpful. The website says “bottle” of Diet Coke, but I got a can. These are all minor quibbles that can be easily worked out and ultimately they’re just little details. The service itself works, and well.
So here I sit, in a future world where I clicked on a picture of a baby cheese wheel and a diet Coke on my computer, waited 10 minutes, and handed my credit card to a guy on a bike. I read about a world like this in sci-fi books when I was a kid, and now here it is in reality. It’s no flying car, but it’ll definitely do.
Oh, and Konbini, if you delivered Amp energy drinks, Lincoln would never leave the house again, just saying.
Konbini is doing a mini-launch this month until the 19th of December. They plan on launching full-time starting in January of 2013. You can order at their website.