I have a secret, and it’s time I told the truth.
I’m having a love affair. I know it’s wrong. I’m not proud of it. But I’m not gonna stop and you can’t make me – because you make it easy.
I suspect you’re all doing it too. People… I’m in love with my couch.
Well, technically I’m in love with sitting on my couch. Lazing on my couch. Curling up under a soft blanket with my laptop/iPad and consuming all the ridiculous, delicious, awesome content my TV can serve up.
I like being home, and I can do this because, unlike even a few years ago, I don’t have to leave the house to go shopping anymore. Those frantic, stressful trips to Safeway after work have gone by the wayside in our house, along with those last minute trips to Macy’s because oh crap, I forgot about a wedding coming up this weekend. This, all thanks to the ease, convenience, technology and ingenuity of the new trend in online shopping and business – home delivery.
Here are the three reasons I am able to sustain the love affair with my couch, while Silicon Valley comes to me:
- Google Shopping Express – I feel sorry for WebVan. Remember them? Back in the height of the dot com, they were first on the scene to provide same day/next day home delivery of fresh produce. But back then, people weren’t ready to fully trust online shopping, and without the backbone support of a behemoth like Safeway, their business model didn’t survive past its expiration date. But now – yes, BUT NOW (writhing hands with maniacal laugh) – we do trust online shopping. And commerce-as-a-service has become a thing (dare I say paving the way for tech wearables like Fitbit to keep us moving!) Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a major metropolitan area like Silicon Valley, Manhattan or LA, you don’t have this – yet. But let me paint a picture of the absolute game changer Google has created with its same day delivery service. Yes, I didn’t think it was possible for Google to add yet another meaning to its name, but when they arrive at our front step, the kids say “Mom! Google’s at our door! #MINDBLOWN. I still haven’t figured out their business model yet. I can order, say, one container of dental floss from Walgreens (or Target, Whole Foods, Nob Hill, REI and more as part of their shop and drop service). They go out and hand pick it off the shelf from a local Walgreens store, bring it back for bagging, package it up (sealed with cute stickers with sayings like “Enclosed is one less errand to run” or “Saved time inside.”) and drive it to my front door – almost faster than I could physically drive to a Walgreens and get it myself! Currently there are no minimums and free delivery. They’re the crack dealers of non-perishable goods. I will be continuing, even when they start charging for delivery, so I guess you could call me an addict too.
- StitchFix – Haven’t we ALL dreamed of having a personal stylist? Someone who knows our style so well that they effortlessly plow through rack after rack of clothes at boutique after boutique, only carefully handpicking the perfect item – ON SALE – for us to rock?! Well, reality check. I’m no celebrity. I’m a working mom on a tight budget and in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t NOBODY got time fo dat!” Until now, that is, when I found StichFix. This online, deliver-fashion-to-my-door service lets my personal stylist (read: Not the same one everytime but one of a team of what I imagine are very hipster, gorgeous ladies in a loft somewhere in SoHo) hand-pick items they think I will like, informed by my personal fashion profile.
My profile, to sum it up, defines my fashion as “Think Paris in the 70s”, and I have to say… they just about nail it everytime. Each month I receive a box of items within my pre-defined price range, allowing me to try them on, asses their fit and style, and buy it or easily return it in the pre-paid shipping envelope they also include. The next best part to getting beautiful, boutique-level, well-made clothing in the mail? The perforated insert that shows how to pair your new item both casual and dressy, accompanied by the personalized note from my stylist describing why she chose each piece for me and why she thought I’d like it. A great example of “Commerce-as-a-Service” (which I don’t even know if that’s a thing but if it’s not, you heard it here first!) #YES
- Nit Busterz Mobile Lice Removal Service – Sorry to get gross here, but any Mom understands that Lice are the bain of our existence (I dare you to stop itching your head right now!) I HATE LICE. PERIOD. These tiny legit spiders do not belong on my child’s head much less this planet. I thought we were through this stage, having a 10 and almost 16-year old. But this year alone, it’s been unexpectedly my older child who has gotten them not once – not twice – but THREE times in the last 9 months. I learned the reason when Bay Area 11 did a story on the now epidemic outbreak levels of Lice in Bay Area high schools, and it makes total sense. SELFIES. These kids are taking so many selfies, touching their heads together for a brief moment to snap the picture that the lice easily hop from head to head. AACCKK! The selfie is the Bering Strait of infestation! A few weeks ago, when it happened again, I decided I’d been traumatized enough by the hours of combing insects out of my beloved children’s hair, and called the mobile service called Nit Busterz (yes, you can make lice cute by adding a “z” to the end of your name. Brillz.) It was a Saturday so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the owner answered her phone while at the airport on her way out of town, and used her iPad to locate the nearest available “agent”. The appointment was booked for later that afternoon, and by dinnertime, we were successfully lice-free once again. I never had to leave my house for that effing louse. #WINNING
There are a bunch of others that get honorable mention too. Safeway.com. Armadillo Willys, who for an order for 25 people or more will bring your entire meal out to your house, set it up with a checkered tablecloth and utensils so you can enjoy delicious BBQ all without lifting a fatigued finger. And of course, the world domination plan that is Amazon.com. If it not for the social nature of my friends, and the fact that I have to be home to sign for wine delivery, I would probably never see the light of day again.
Thank you, technology, for bringing Silicon Valley to me. Now… if I could only figure out how to break it to my couch that I have a hot, sweaty date with the gym…