Instacart just leaves deliveries at the door as customers hole up against the coronavirus
Instacart announced yesterday a new feature — Leave at My Door Delivery — after seeing increased demand from customers in recent days as a result of concerns over the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The delivery service has been testing the feature in recent months and decided to give customers the ability to opt-in. Instacart reports a significant jump in deliveries over the last week to customers in California, New York and Washington, the states where many of the virus cases have been reported to date.
Whether other services such as DoorDash, Grubhub and UberEats will follow Instacart in offering deliveries sans an exchange between driver and customer remains to be seen. A spokesperson for Grubhub told CNN Business, “This is obviously a complex and fast-moving situation. We are focused on prioritizing the health and safety of our drivers, diners, restaurant partners and employees during this challenging time. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, including assessing and analyzing the potential impact on our business.”
Demand for delivery is only expected to increase as many people look to reduce their contact with others. A survey of U.S. consumers conducted on Feb. 25 and 26 by Coresight Research found that 27.5 percent were already limiting their visits to public areas as a result of the outbreak.
Reports of delivery delays have surfaced in recent days as consumers do more of their shopping online. Same-day services, in particular, seem to have been somewhat overwhelmed by the increased demand, with Amazon Prime Now, Instacart and others limiting delivery windows or instead offering next-day service.
The New York Times reports that as of last night there were 215 reported cases of people infected with coronavirus across 20 states. There have been 14 fatalities in the U.S. to date.
- Instacart accelerates launch of grocery drop-off service amid coronavirus fears – Reuters
- Instacart now offers deliveries that don’t require human contact amid coronavirus fears – CNN Business
- How Many US Consumers Are Changing Their Behavior Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak? – Coresight Research
- Amazon Prime Now and other delivery services hit with delays as online shopping surges amid coronavirus outbreak – CNBC
- Tracking Every Coronavirus Case in the U.S.: Full Map – The New York Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How will retailers deal with the increased demand for deliveries resulting from the coronavirus outbreak? Do expect many customers will stick to their shift to online shopping online once the current emergency has passed?