‘Friendshippr’, a new revolutionarycrowd-shipping mobile app, was launched at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin on October 28th, 2013. Friendshippr works through a users’ own Facebook network and creates connectivity for people to have theiritems couriered by their own friends, anywhere across globe. The Android and iOS friendly mobile application makes domestic and international “friend to friend” shipping easy and interactive.
As the world is getting smaller, exposure to goods available in different parts of the world is increasing. The global marketplace fuels demand for items not normally available in one’s own market, like chocolates from Switzerland, Baklava from Lebanon or any item particular to a certain place. Traditional shipping companies don’t necessarily capture all thedemand, as it’s often cost prohibitive for a customer to ship the desired item. Even when a customer may be willing to pay the premium, some merchants may not even offer delivery. This establishes one of the motives behind the existing offline “friend to friend” shipping activity happening today.
Separately, this activity is common when a person forgets an item somewhere they’ve traveled to (i.e. a laptop charger left behind). Wanting to sendcertain discretionary or perhapseven perishable items to a loved one also is a common reason for it. The solution: people resort to using their friends to be their “couriers”.
But that’s where a new problem may emerge, and finding a friend traveling on a certain route and willing to help becomes tricky. That’s where Friendshippr does the heavy lifting.
Friendshippr is atrue global platformworking exclusively with your first-degree and potentially second-degree connections on Facebook without giving out your personal information. Friendshippr takes social media, your existingfriends, and optimizes the way one can ask for a favor.
“The act of people sending things with their friends instead of using traditional shippingisa social phenomenon that already exists; it’s not new at all.” says Ramy Assaf, Founder and CEO of Friendshippr. “We examined this social behavior happening betweenfriends – and the pain points involved with it. You don’t always know who is traveling next, and the window of opportunity to ship things with friends often passes quickly. It’s just an offline activity, that’s scattered and impulsive – usually just happening by luck,” points out Assaf.
Friendshippr is specifically designed to provide more visibilityand transparency, better organizing this activity. The app provides a private and secure networkwhere the “couriers” are all familiar to you.
“Facebook has built one of the most powerful pieces of social infrastructure in the history of mankind, and they’ve opened it up to developers to build on. We’re simply innovating on top of what they’ve provided. This application works more like a utility allowing one to circumvent the noise, awkwardness, and a lack of contextual targeting one may face on Facebook when posting a query and just hoping the right person sees it”adds Assaf.
Posting a shipping request or adding your travel route becomes much more effective with Friendshippr. It allows for more of a match-making experience with friends more likely to accommodate your request based on their current location. This makes use of different data already available and intelligence including geo-location on mobile.
Shipping requests come with details about the item, pick up and drop off points, and an optional reward, primarily social based rewards instead of monetary – but up to the discretion of the user. All this gives more information and comfort to a friend before they decide to respond. Just as importantly, it also gives the option to ignore or disregard posts, without the posting party knowing, removing the ‘having to say yes out of courtesy’ factor. There are no direct messages, so one user cannot be cornered by another.
“We’ve learned thatmost attempts to solve this connectivity problem today by posting such requests on Facebook end up unsuccessful.Friendshippr is tailored to solve these issues,” Assaf continued.
Falling into the “share economy” category, Friendshippr stays familiar, essentially replacing crowd-sourcing with “friend-sourcing” Assaf explains.
He concludes, “We are not competing with traditional shipping companies; this is a different market entirely. Friendshippr is for people who already want to use their friends but have trouble finding that friend.”