My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Mailpac's Dealbug heralds Same Day Drone door-to-Door Courier services to Jamaicans

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How Mailpac's Dealbug heralds Same Day Drone door-to-Door Courier services to Jamaicans

“We are simply sharing that knowledge with consumers before they purchase online so they have no surprises when the item gets delivered to them. They get to shop with the same transparency as they have when shopping in a normal retail store”

Khary Robinson, founder and head of Norbrook Packaging, the parent of company of Mailpac Express commenting to the Sunday Gleaner on Dealbug

Mailpac, my fave Courier for shopping online, has decided that just being a Courier isn’t enough. They’ve now decided to go retail with a website for DealBug selling the most commonly purchased and Shipped products by their many clients as stated in the article “MailPac Creates Virtual Store For Shoppers”, published Sunday December 8, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

More interestingly, they may be expanding not by building more outlets but by making Door-to-door Deliveries cheaper via the use of Drones as argued in my blog article entitled “Amazon plans to launch Amazon PrimeAir, their 30 minute Drone Package Delivery Service for Amazon Prime users - Playing Catch-up as Mailpac launches DealBug in Jamaica”,

I’ve been using them to buy virtually all of my gear online on Amazon as a test of my own advice as proffered in my blog article entitled “How to purchase items and subscribe to Magazines online and ship them to Jamaica” and the Geezam blog entitled “How to ship things to Jamaica after you’re purchase them online”.

However, in order to do so, I’ve had to contend with the fluctuation of the price depending on the Weight of the Goods, Customs Duties as well as Mailpac’s prices. Thus although the items are cheaper abroad, even when compared to prices locally, shipping and clearing the items once they’ve arrived are my main hassle, as I have to literally abandon my products awhile until I have enough money to clear them.

DealBug solves this issue; they offer the items that other members purchase on a regular basis from select suppliers online at one set price that’s already pre-calculated. This is based on their 15 years of experience shipping most of Jamaica’s impulsive purchases online to quote Khary Robinson, founder and head of Norbrook Packaging: “The reality is that the customs codes are very detailed so after 15 years of managing over 75 per cent of online purchases coming to Jamaica, we have a unique understanding of how much an item will cost when it is being imported into the country”.

Dealbug is hot with 2000 hits per day – 10% of Mailpac that’s Growing Strong 

Yes you read that right; DealBug, which was launched on Friday November 29th 2013 on Black Friday after months of advertising as stated in “Mailpac opens up virtual retail store”, published Friday, November 29, 2013, The Jamaica Observer and “Mail Pac and Scotiabank simplify Black Friday Shopping”, Published Friday November 29, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner .

As part of Black Friday, Mailpac had partnered with ScotiaBank to facilitate them getting a Scotia VISA Debit Card so as to make it easier to shop online as I’d recommended in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to use Scotia VISA Debit Card Online”. You can either visit their Promotional Website for ScotiaBank or text the phrase “Black Friday” to 347-7000 as shown below.

They are now receiving in excess of some 2000 hits per day according to the website. However the turnover from all that traffic is a measly 800 purchases per month or a mere 0.13%. This represent only 10% of Mailpac’s business as stated by Khary Robinson, Founder and Head of Norbrook Packaging, quote: “The unit is still small but we anticipate that with the unique access it provides to consumers to shop online, it unit will ultimately become the largest contributor to our online shopping revenue. The portal accounts for less than 10 per cent of customers, but is growing”.

Not bad for a company that started out as an acquisition of brother and sister team Chris and Sara Barrett’s Global Courier by Khary Robinson  owned Mailpac as announced on Wednesday November 9th 2013 as stated in the article “Mailpac buys Global Courier Services”, published Wednesday, November 09, 2011, The Jamaica Observer and “MailPac acquires Global Courier”, Published Wednesday November 9, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner

They’ve since been Growing Strong, House Tyrell of Game of Thrones Style with the arrival of Scotia VISA Debit Card in August 2011, with an official rollout in September 2011 as stated in “Scotia Replacing Bank Card With Visa Debit”, Published Sunday September 18, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This was a voluntary swap-out of the old Scotia Debit Card for these new Scotia VISA Debit Cards that had the capability to do online shopping, which I eventually did as chronicled in my Geezam blog article entitled “ScotiaBank’s VISA Debit Card – Jamaica’s Online E-Commerce Renaissance”.

Scotia VISA Debit isn’t alone – CIBC First Caribbean offers VISA Debit for E-Commerce

The only other Bank in Jamaica that offers Prepaid VISA Debit Card is CIBC FirstCaribbean, who were actually the first Bank in Jamaica to introduce a Prepaid Debit Card, their CIBC First Caribbean VISA Debit Card back in November 26th, 2010 as stated in the article “FirstCaribbean’s Visa Debit Card & Its Significance For Ecommerce In Jamaica”, published November 26th, 2010 by Ingrid Riley, SiliconCaribe.

Interestingly even back then Silicon Caribe’s Ingrid Riley had recognized the potential for the use of the CIBC First Caribbean VISA Debit Card to do e-commerce as stated in “First Caribbean Bank’s Visa Debit Card jumps at eCommerce for all in Jamaica”, published November 30th, 2010 by Ingrid Riley, SiliconCaribe.

CIBC First Caribbean has been a banking innovator but very slow on the uptake as it relates to utilizing their banking innovations as stated in the article “CIBC FirstCaribbean leads way in banking innovations”, published Friday, September 23, 2011 BY AL EDWARDS, The Jamaica Observer.

They were the first to introduce Cross-Network Bank Transfers in September 2012 in partnership with First Global as reported in my blog article entitled “CIBC FirstCaribbean Jamaica and First Global introduce Cross-Network Banking - The Avengers for the idea of a Cashless Society and Banking Anywhere”. I’ll be following up on this company in a further blog article! 

Dealbug’s future may be in the skies – Drones to deliver Packages coming soon

So what does the future hold for Mailpac? Before the acquisition in September 2011, they’d done like GraceKennedy and expanded their business into Ghana in Africa as stated in “Mailpac expands into Ghana as ShopUSA”, published Wednesday, September 28, 2011, The Jamaica Observer under the brand name ShopUSA.

In my blog article entitled “Amazon plans to launch Amazon PrimeAir, their 30 minute Drone Package Delivery Service for Amazon Prime users - Playing Catch-up as Mailpac launches DealBug in Jamaica”, I predicted that Mailpac might be doing drones, based on intelligence I’d picked up from sources in the know.

This in a bid to expand their Courier and Door-to-Door Service in a competitive environment as stated in “Mailpac takes aim at bigger share of consumer market”, published Wednesday, November 20, 2013 BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant Business Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer. Door-to-Door Courier Services are gradually expanding and Mailpac is facing competition from other Couriers feeling strong growth due to the introduction of Scotia VISA Debit Cards and CIBC First Caribbean VISA Debit Card.

Thus to reduce their Ground Shipping costs, Mailpac might along with DealBug be looking into the idea of offering Drone base Deliveries islandwide to persons who own smartphones in a move similar to UPS and FedEx as explained in my blog article entitled “UPS and FedEx developing their Own Delivery Drones to compete with Amazon PrimeAir - Premium Rush Package Delivery Drones herald the coming of Google's Personal Androids that are Almost Human”.

Drones along with DealBug would bring same Day door-to-Door Courier services to Jamaicans as Mailpac learns How to Train your Dragon 2 (2014).

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