Ordering an appliance online is the easy part. It's what comes next -- scheduling a delivery time or trying to get assistance if there's a dent or installation problem -- that can ruin the experience.
Austin startup Convey wants to change the way online retailers handle delivery, and it has raised $4.5 million to expand its efforts.
Convey received the funding from Silverton Partners with participation from Techstars Ventures, Capital Factory and Corsa Ventures. The company has raised a total of $6.9 million.
The company, formerly called Pivot Freight, says its software makes it easier for customers to track orders and communicate with retailers, while providing retailers with information they need to solve potential problems before they happen.
"Customer delivery is an area where retailers have traditionally thrown the ball over the fence for the carriers to deal with," said Rob Taylor, Convey's CEO. "Large items in particular are problematic because all of these deliveries require appointments. The retailer is relying on the carrier to provide great customer service, but that doesn't usually happen. Everybody I talk to has had a disastrous experience with a large delivery."
So far, the Convey's customers include Jet.com, Build.com and Living Direct.
Convey was founded in Phoenix in 2013 and moved to Austin a year later to take part in Techstars, a three-month accelerator program for startups.
Taylor said the 10-person company will use the funding to expand sales, marketing and development. and plans to add up to 15 workers by year's end.
Morgan Flager, a venture capitalist with Silverton, said online retailers are realizing that a good delivery experience is key to repeat business.
"One of the areas of customer experience that's in the dark ages is what happens after you make the purchase," Flager said. "It's not a well managed process, and when people have a bad experience with a retailer on the delivery side, they don't tend to return. If they have a great experience, they will. It really matters."