Uber is expanding Uber Eats’ services with new features such as the ability to place orders when grocery stores aren’t open for later delivery, live tracking of orders from store to door and easier product replacements. The improvements will start in select cities before rolling out across the country throughout the summer.
The upgrades are aimed at benefiting retailers as well as customers. Some of the planned improvements include barcode scanning, more efficient inventory management, easier options for adding product images and real-time support to fix any issues that come up.
“With grocery items now available from Uber in 33 countries, the shopping experience on Uber Eats is about to get better than ever,” said Therese Lim, Director of New Verticals Product at Uber and Oskar Hjertonsson, Founder and CEO of Cornershop in a statement. “By investing in strong grocery partnerships and building features that consumers, merchants and shoppers are looking for, we’re bringing the whole world one step closer to truly getting anything delivered to their doorsteps.”
Cornershop, which Uber acquired from Walmart in 2019, was a key element of Uber Eats’ expansion from restaurant into grocery delivery. The service launched in July 2020 and initially served select cities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Canada before expanding to parts of the U.S. Uber also boosted its delivery capabilities in July 2020 through the acquisition of Postmates for more than $2.6 billion.
Uber Eats has since entered partnerships with multiple major U.S. grocers to offer same-day delivery, including Walgreens, Albertsons Cos. and Costco. The grocery delivery space has become crowded as more and more retailers become involved, and many services are experimenting with different ways of standing out from the crowd. Part of Uber’s strategy is offering on-demand alcohol through Drizly, which the company acquired for $1.1 billion in February 2021.