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FastAF’s Case for Two-hour Beauty Deliveries

FastAF's beauty shoppers often buy Olaplex with their groceries.

Beauty consumers want their products, and in cases where they want them in two hours or less, delivery start-up FastAF is there to provide an option.

FastAF aims to provide delivery across high-end beauty, grocery, snacks and drinks, home, office supplies and fitness in less than two hours. Often, the company provides delivery in 20 minutes, said Susan Panico, FastAF’s chief marketing officer. The service offers deliveries in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, said Panico outlining the case for fast deliveries to WWD technology reporter Adriana Lee.

“The pandemic accelerated that behavior of people wanting things delivered to their homes and then people wanting things delivered to them quickly,” Panico said. “It’s definitely something that’s here to stay — customers demand getting things they want and need very quickly.”

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The super-fast delivery trend began pre-pandemic, Panico said, with the “proliferation of mobile devices” that led to consumers becoming even more used to instant gratification. Consumers are getting used to quick delivery options, and even as people return “back to normal” as the pandemic evolves, executives expect FastAF’s momentum to increase, she said.

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FastAF’s shoppers use the service both for discovery and replenishment, Panico said.

“A lot of our customers come for particular products or particular brands that are their go-to, but there’s a big element of discovery as well in introducing them to new and emerging brands or products they may have not been exposed to in the past,” Panico said.

In beauty, popular categories include sexual wellness, skin care with CBD ingredients and Olaplex, Panico said. Olaplex’s Bond Smoother is a “very popular product people repeatedly purchase when they’re in there shopping for groceries,” Panico said. Feelist’s CBD Face Oil Serum is also a bestseller in that category, she added.

The company looks to partner with culturally relevant, mission-driven brands that use high-quality ingredients and think about sustainability, Panico said. “We’re looking for brands that care about the world around them,” she said.

FastAF partners directly with brands or distributors, warehouses its products and fulfills its own orders. “We’ve completely verticalized our business end to end. We have our own warehouses, we pack and fulfill our own orders, we have in-house drivers and what this really allows us to do is control the customer experience,” Panico said. FastAF delivers orders in branded bags, and delivery workers wear branded jackets, she added.

Right now, the service is available in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but Panico said there may be room for expansion. “We’re concentrating on a very specific customer in highly dense, urban, metropolitan areas…our customer tends to be in that Millennial age range, in the their older 20s to their 40s,” Panico said.

FastAF’s shoppers typically have a household income of $100,000 or higher, and the average order value is $142, which Panico said typically leads to higher tips for drivers.

It “makes sense” to expand to some suburban areas where that demographic lives, too, Panico said. “We can bring this service and this convenience to them there as well.”

Panico said shoppers’ habits shifted during the pandemic, more toward self care. With working from home and Zoom, she said consumers are less focused on makeup and more focused on hair and skin care, buying eye masks, Skin Gym products and Solawave wands.

“What the pandemic did is it brought a lot of people home, into themselves, and some of the self care aspects, I don’t think those are going to go away.”

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