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Bloomberg reports that "on-demand delivery startup Postmates is taking a page out of's book and offering a subscription service it hopes will hook customers by charging a monthly fee for free delivery."

Postmates Plus Unlimited, as it is called, will cost subscribers $9.99 a month, which will get them "free same-day delivery on orders of $30 or more from Postmates's stable of partners - some 3,000 stores and services in the U.S. Subscribers also avoid paying the 9 percent service fee that Postmates usually charges customers on each order."

According to the story, "The company hopes its subscription service will create a virtuous cycle in which customers order more often, luring in new merchant partners." While it may cut into margins in the short terms, Bloomberg writes, Postmates believes that it will in the long term help it negotiate better, more profitable deals with the merchants it represents in the marketplace.

"The great thing about Amazon Prime is it centers everyone's default e-commerce to Amazon, and on Amazon, you default to products on Prime," Sean Plaice, co-founder and chief technical officer at Postmates, tells Bloomberg. "That's the same thing we're looking to have here. Why use any service but Postmates to get your food delivered? You have a subscription. It gives you the best, most affordable delivery."

Postmates currently operates in 40 US markets, with a merchant community that includes 7-Eleven, Chipotle and Walgreens.
KC's View:
It may be imitative, but it is smart ... Postmates is trying to create its own ecosystem, hoping consumers will see its merchant network as the first best choice. You can't compete just by doing things the same old way...