Piggybee Peer-to-peer Delivery App: Crowd-shipping or Crowd-shopping?


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PiggyBee was among the very first ventures to launch a two-way marketplace for crowd-shipping & crowd-shopping by connecting people who wish to ship or get things with verified travellers or commuters. This 2012’s French-Belgian startup is a Peer-to-peer networking between crowd-shoppers and crowd-shippers.


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All the user needs to do is to specify the pick-up and delivery location while listing the item on the website. Travellers using the platform look for appropriate opportunities and share their travel plans accordingly with the user. Piggybee does the task of matching the requirements of both parties.  Travellers with unoccupied space in their travel bags can act as personal shoppers and delivery-person to their clients. Travellers get to earn some extra money to fund their journeys.

How Does The Piggybee Peer-To-Peer Delivery App Work?

You can easily find travellers on the homepage of the Piggybee website via the search bar. Requests from the clients and trip information from travellers are both published on the website. Piggybee proposes several travellers to the client (requester). Requesters can contact the travellers via internal messaging integrated into the website. The traveller transports the required item for the client. It could sometimes involve purchasing an item from his current country for the customer and delivering it to him on his journey to the client’s location.

In exchange for the parcel delivery, the requester pays a tip to the traveller. Both the parties can discuss the tip amount before finalising the deal. Through the website payment module, the requester gets to set the tip amount and purchase price (if a purchase had to be made by the traveller). All the payments on the Piggybee are secure. Piggybee charges an additional 10% commission to cover its operational coast. The requester pays the cumulative amount by credit card. Piggybee keeps its commission and pays the remaining amount to the traveller after the confirmation of successful delivery.

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Benefits of a Piggybee Like P2P Crowd-shipping Application

Unlike the conventional client-server model, this P2P delivery venture equally benefits both its participants. Since crowd shipping doesn’t require delivery vehicles and carriers, it allows room for cheaper, scalable and personalised delivery.

Piggybee reshaped the way we consume by facilitating the sharing of the economy. Many NGOs prefer parcel service through such P2P delivery platforms like Piggybee to cut down the cost of their campaigns. Often people reluctant to pay the huge shipping charges use the crowd-shopping feature of the website. The platform connects them to travellers who would get them the same product at a cheaper rate by going physically to the store.  Thus they get personal shoppers abroad who can bring them products which are rare to find in their country. Also, this saves them from paying the international shipping charges that might often cost them more than the product. With platforms like this, you can get yourself something as small as Torinese cheese or French sausage without having to pay for the delivery charge.

It not only allows travellers to fund their travelling but also provides a budget shopping alternative to the other party. It may especially prove economical to people who do regular travelling to different countries, like people who work as flight attendants or cabin crew members. It is how a Piggybee like the system supports the collaborative economy.

Tips for a P2P Crowd-shipping Startup

There are several barriers to crowd-sourced delivery implementation. So often crowd shipping firms may have to deal with the lack of demand and supply. And especially if you are starting up, you have got to be extra cautious.

  • The main crowd shipping customers in most areas are restaurants, retailers and supermarkets. You can collaborate with these customers to provide niche products that can only be ordered from and delivered by your Crowd shipping firm.
  • It is always advisable to start your services in urban areas first. Here you would get more number of users as compared to the rural areas. This strategy would fetch you a certain level of demand from requesters.
  • Provide the travellers, periodic incentives and peer review. It would ensure better service from their end.
  • Get a user-friendly app and website for your crowd shipping business. The mobile application can fetch you more users if it has a navigable user interface.
  • Ensure to integrate your app with tracking aggregators to trace the delivery item and control late deliveries. It would also ensure your clients better customer service so that they keep coming back.
  • Do a periodic analysis of the requesters’ behaviour. Often requesters prefer to have fast food, birthday cakes, grocery, dry cleaning stuff, cheap imported products delivered by crowd-sourced travellers. For other products, they prefer conventional carriers.

Typology of Business Models in Crowd-shipping Industry

There are three crucial business models in a P2P crowd-sourced delivery industry. Knowing various revenue models used in the industry will give us a better understanding of which type of model to pick for a Piggybee like P2P delivery service.

Have a look at this table.

Name Clients Offer Couriers Revenue Model
Intra-urban P2P Intra-urban parcel delivery Commuters Fixed prices
National P2P National/ Inter-urban parcel delivery Travellers Negotiated prices, Financial Fees
Social delivery P2P The courier first purchases the ordered item then proceeds to its national or international delivery. Travellers Reward, Barter, Financial Fees


Business Model Used by a Piggybee-like P2P Crowd-shipping App

The revenue model of International crowd shipping companies is very fragile. Such companies act as an escrow to ensure safety and assurance in international deliveries. The requester has to reimburse the traveller who brought the order and reward him with food or drink, local tips, or accommodation. The fee received as an escrow is the only source of revenue of such companies. Piggybee charges 10% commission as an escrow. What exactly is an escrow procedure? The escrow holds the payment the requester makes at the time of booking till delivery confirmation. The company disburses the money to the commuter only after he or she makes a successful delivery. The company deducts its processing and financial fee and transfers the remaining amount to the commuter’s account.

Technical Requirements of A P2P Crowd Shipping App

Are you looking forward to launching your crowd-sourced delivery app? Then it would be a smart step to be aware of the challenges you are going to face before getting started. There are a host of technical requirements in an efficient peer to peer crowd shipping application. Here are a few of them. Hang on and read further.

Live Tracking of Parcels

Live tracking of packages is the supreme requirement of any logistics delivery app. Real-time parcel tracking feature gives a real-time update on the location of the users’ parcel.

A Smart Auto Parcel Assignment Program

Any efficient crowd-sourced delivery needs a smart system for auto assignment of parcels. An AI-controlled assignment system narrows the potential of any delay and boosts your employee’s efficiency by providing them more time for core tasks. This functionality empowers package management, thereby enhancing the pick-up and delivery experience for travelers.

Integrating Advanced Search and Easy To Manage Admin Control

Any functional crowd shipping application would require an exhaustive and well-tailored search engine to process huge chunks of data. Apart from integrated advanced search features, the application or website must have an AI-powered admin control panel for efficient management of routine tasks. A fully-fledged admin panel should also provide you with all the updates regarding your business. All these technical requirements are not easy to achieve and require expertise and time. Leaving a tedious and tiring task in the hands of some trusted professional would be a lot more convenient than actually developing one with an in-house team. For that, you can choose to have a reliable technology provider you can go to is Esferasoft.

Cost of Developing a P2P Crowd-shipping App

What Is Esferasoft And Why Should You Choose It?

Esferasoft is an Indian AI software development company that provides a one-stop solution to all the challenges arising in the development of a P2P crowd shipping application. Esferasoft has already developed one such application for a Singapore based startup Airdely. What solutions did Esferasoft come up with to fulfil the requirements of a P2P parcel delivery application like Airdely? Read ahead to find out.


Esferasoft made use of a remarkably flexible Django Framework and AI/ML technology which eased the setup and the implementation of the project.

Dedicated Team Assignment

Esferasoft’s dedicated team of project managers, testing engineers, AI/ML developers, UX designers and business analysts worked dedicatedly to develop the customised P2P courier app.

Multi-threaded Binary Search

Esferasoft designed a multi-threaded binary search engine for matching travellers and requesters.

Secure and Safe

The database management team adhered to the security guidelines and made use of the latest technology for database security.

A Sneak Peek into Airdely

Airdely is an air courier service via its P2P crowd shipping app made by Esferasoft. It has a technically robust website and mobile application that facilitates registration of parcel senders and air travellers. Its mobile application uses an AI-controlled task assignment software to speed up the whole delivery and pick-up process.

Esferasoft not only planned but successfully executed the entire project architecture for Airdely. If you have any similar ideas for a business, feel free to contact the Esferasoft team and will provide you with ultimate AI/ML solutions and make it possible for you.

Note that Esferasoft is not associated with Piggybee in the development of the app. We regularly do research and surveys to get such type of information published. However, if you would like to develop a similar app, then you can contact Esferasoft.

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