Uber, the company known for its ridesharing app, is dipping its toes into the grocery delivery waters with a new service called Corner Store that will allow consumers in Washington, DC to order from a short list of health and beauty care staples. The test of the service is slated to last a few weeks, but will go longer if response is strong.
Consumers in DC will use their existing Uber app to set their location and order products from the available list of over 100 items. Uber drivers will go the specified location to deliver orders. Charges for purchased items go to the customer's Uber account and no additional fees are required. There is no minimum order amount and current hours of operations are 9 AM to 9 PM Monday through Friday.
Corner Store is the latest in an increasingly crowded field for deliveries that includes Amazon, FreshDirect, Google, Instacart, Peapod, Walmart and others. Uber's pricing is said to be on par with drugstores. The company does not charge an additional delivery fee and there are no minimum dollar order amounts.
As with other services, the question becomes whether Corner Store can make money with its delivery model.
"Long term, this is most likely not going to be economically feasible unless Uber starts to figure out other ways to monetize this, through adding delivery fees or charging advertising fees to brands that take part in the program," Stephen Mader, director of digital retail at Kantar, told BBC News.
How likely is Uber's Corner Store test is to succeed?