Uber’s main app and Uber Eats will now be home to a new delivery service after the brand acquired Chile-based grocery delivery app Cornershop. The South American startup currently runs in 19 cities across Latin America and Canada, and is being introduced in the U.S. with services in Dallas and Miami. Uber is partnering with regional and chain grocers in each location—including big-name retailer Walmart—and orders can be fulfilled in as quickly as two hours. Current app users who have Uber Pass or Uber Eats memberships qualify for free delivery on any grocery orders over $30.
To begin an order on the Uber app, users can click on the grocery tab and choose a store to shop. From there, users can place orders like they would from any other mobile courier including paying and tracking their order on the app. Grocery orders are fulfilled and delivered by Cornershop shoppers, with Uber and Uber Eats contractors able to sign up as delivery shoppers in the near future. As Uber is only just rolling out the grocery service, many of the grocers on the site are large players in the industry, but smaller merchants are encouraged to join, giving users more variety on where to shop.
Uber’s new service could reach e-commerce shoppers who have shown a significant interest in grocery delivery during the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a Gartner report. With a surge in food delivery demand continuing to rise, Uber’s new endeavor could benefit from the growing momentum. Joining the thriving grocery delivery market could also help Uber begin to recover from months of decreasing ride-hailing sales by meeting a new demand from homebound consumers. The grocery launch arrives soon after Uber’s purchase of fellow food courier Postmates, which also offered a small-scale grocery delivery service. While the apps could have been competitors in the grocery market like they were for food delivery, Uber can now enfold Postmates into its growing grocery strategy. The expansion could provide Uber access to a new network of drivers and customers, amplifying its presence further still.
The demand for grocery delivery is accelerating across the world as consumers look for socially-distant shopping alternatives during the Coronavirus pandemic. Uber’s new grocery service could appeal to these consumers throughout North and South America, allowing it to continue developing beyond its core ride-hailing service.