Uber has this Tuesday announced the kick-off what it touts to be an on-demand grocery delivery service that will take Latin and North America by storm. It will roll out in cities across Latin America and Canada, with the US to follow in a month. This happens to be the firm’s biggest and most significant move as it relates to online grocery shopping ever since it snapped up Cornershop, a mover, and shaker in the online grocery sector in the two Americas.
The announcement comes a day after Uber made known the fact it paid out nearly $3 billion for the purchase of a US-based delivery firm known as Postmates. That particular deal will have all details tied up next year and will enable Uber to make a big splash and massively expand its food delivery capacity in the states.
Online Food Delivery Made Easy
Uber’s announcement today means that folks in the supported countries Latin and North America will now be able to order groceries and have these delivered wherever they might be. Orders can be performed both through the Uber Eats app and the main Uber app.
Consumers will be able to order food and groceries from the local food shops and get what they ordered reasonably fast. The period between an order and delivery could be as little as one to two hours, according to Mr. Daniel Danker, who works as the Uber Eats head of product.
According to Danker, beginning from July 7, 2020, Uber’s new food delivery service will be available to consumers in 19 cities across both Canada and Latin America, with the US to follow. When it does launch in the states, it will fall under the Uber subscription services umbrella -Eats Pass and Rider Pass- with free delivery possible on all orders worth more than $30.
Uber In The COVID Era
As to be expected, Uber is working hard at diversifying its operations, mainly because the economic disruptions brought about by the COVID pandemic is massively hurting the fortunes of what used to be its main revenue earner- ride-hailing. Thus, Uber’s expansion into other business sectors makes sense if the company is to survive a world that has changed in a very short period due to the debilitating effects of global politics and a frightful pandemic.
In a phone call with reporters, the aforementioned Mr. Danker noted thus: “I think this would make a lot of sense in a pre-COVID world.” “But our world has just fundamentally changed. And so this represents even more of a huge responsibility for us.”
Uber’s new focus on food delivery is a sensible and pragmatic way of ensuring the survival of the company. It has a lot of growth potential too, as people are currently stuck at home and ordering food deliveries like they expect it to be their last meal!
Little In The Way Of Glad Tidings
Uber has little to be cheerful about though, as growth in the Indian market has lagged and Uber Eats has had to shut down operations in no less than 8 countries. More, as regards its new food delivery focus, Uber is entering what can only be described as a crowded market in which there are already established operators who are unlikely to welcome the appearance of an upstart like it. Its competitors in the niche include heavyweights like Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, and Instacart.
The food delivery niche is not all that profitable either, with all the aforementioned established operators fighting for a slice of a small pie. While online sales of food items are certainly higher than what they used to be, most consumers worry that shopping online for food might compromise their security, see them charged more than what they would pay for in physical stores or simply result in food that’s delivered too late to be useful for anything but the rubbish heap.
Oh, well. Uber is sure to muddle through!