Uber is fueling its expansion aspirations by disrupting the grocery selection, payment, and delivery model, taking cues from the successful Instacart platform while incorporating additional features that prioritize payment simplicity and convenience.
During Uber’s Go-Get event in New York City, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi introduced a range of innovative platform upgrades that generated substantial excitement, particularly regarding enhancements to family and group grocery shopping experiences and streamlined payments.
In a captivating multimedia blog post playfully alluding to “The Kardashians,” Khosrowshahi unveiled the Group Grocery Orders feature, designed to facilitate shared grocery carts for families and groups, such as roommates. Each participant can contribute their desired items to the cart, set deadlines for adding essentials, and even enjoy the seamless benefit of automated bill splitting at most stores. Additionally, users can establish recurring grocery orders, ensuring that family members remember to add their items each week.
Highlighting the convenience of the new grocery feature, Khosrowshahi emphasized its ability to circumvent the cumbersome process of determining who owes what, or whether one will be reimbursed through Venmo, stating, “We do all of it for you.”
During Uber’s Q1 2023 earnings call, Khosrowshahi hinted at the forthcoming addition of the native grocery experience to the Uber One subscription service, recognizing its potential to captivate a broader audience and drive cross-vertical engagement. This integration has already resulted in a substantial increase in the percentage of Uber Eats customers who subsequently explore new verticals.
Instacart introduced the Family Cart feature in 2022 as part of its Instacart+ subscription. Daniel Danker, Instacart’s Head of Product, expressed the ease it brings by stating, “Subscribers can now share Instacart+ with another person for free and shop together to make ordering truly effortless.” Nevertheless, unlike Uber’s Group Grocery Orders, the Instacart Family Cart does not currently support payment splitting among its members.
In contrast, DoorDash ventured into on-demand grocery delivery in 2020 and presently boasts over 100,000 non-restaurant stores across its Marketplace and Drive platforms in North America. DoorDash strengthened its partnership with discount grocery chain ALDI in February, emphasizing the commitment to providing an exceptional experience with a focus on selection and value.
Although DoorDash offers a Group Order feature, it does not handle payments for such orders as Uber’s innovative Group Grocery Orders does.
According to the recent PYMNTS study titled “Changes in Grocery Shopping Habits and Perceptions,” which surveyed more than 2,400 U.S. consumers, convenience emerged as the primary driver for younger shoppers when it comes to ordering groceries online for delivery. On the other hand, older consumers are more motivated by cost-effectiveness and better prices. The study revealed that Gen Z (45%), millennials (42%), and bridge millennials (44%) prioritize convenience, while baby boomers (38%) and seniors (38%) gravitate towards digital channels due to cost-effectiveness.
Uber’s visionary approach to grocery shopping, encompassing collaborative cart-building and simplified payments, exemplifies the company’s commitment to revolutionizing the market and catering to the evolving needs of consumers across various demographics.