Fast food delivery startups like Getir, Gopuff, and Gorillas, once heralded as the new big thing in on-demand ordering, are running into logistical challenges that may be insurmountable. But despite competition and skyrocketing operating costs, they are taking every possible step to survive. In this case, Gopuff today launched features aimed at eliminating some of the platform’s biggest pain points, such as the inability to plan orders ahead or pick up orders from nearby warehouses.
Starting today, Gopuff customers can place an order when the Gopuff marketplace closes — the exact hours depend on the market — to have Gopuff deliver the order as soon as it reopens. (Needless to say, this doesn’t apply to locations where Gopuff delivers 24/7.) Customers can also schedule an order in advance for a specific date and time, similar to most major food delivery apps, or place an order arrange to be picked up where Gopuff offers retail and in-store shopping.
The in-store shopping experience remains quite limited. According to Gopuff, only in BevMo! outlets — remember, Gopuff acquired BevMo!, the alcohol retailer, for $350 million in 2020 — and New York City locations make in-store shopping an option. However, online order pick-ups will be offered in “many” locations, Gopuff says (it’s unclear how many), with the hours matching those of in-app orders.
Gopuff is also introducing gifts, allowing customers to add gifts to their cart for recipients both on and off the platform. Once they enter the recipient’s address, name and phone number, and a gift message, both the gift recipient and the sender will receive a text message confirming that a gift order is being prepared. The recipient will also receive SMS notifications when the order is near, delivered or cancelled.
Gopuff initially did not respond to ukbusinessupdates.com’s question about whether gift recipients’ information is retained for marketing or other purposes. Gopuff, like many app-based products and services, collects a wide variety of personal information that it reserves the right to use for advertising targeting and promoting its subscription services, as well as sharing with third parties, including business partners and “affiliates and subsidiaries.”
In a follow-up email, a Gopuff spokesperson clarified that information about the gift recipient is not retained for use in these ways.
The new features are only available through the latest Gopuff app (version 8.1.0), the company notes, which rolled out nationwide this morning. While Gopuff has partnerships with Uber and Just Eat Takeaway to make its inventory accessible through Uber Eats and Grubhub, respectively, the company says customers use those platforms, despite the fact that Uber Eats and Grubhub support these features for most other companies.
Gopuff has been having a rough time lately, no pun intended. Originally planning to go public in mid-2022 after bringing on ex-Disney CEO Bob Iger as an advisor and investor, Gopuff pulled out of Spain, one of his markets, this summer to cut costs, laying off 10 % of its global workforce . Further cuts hit Gopuff in October — primarily affecting several customer service departments — as a startup Reportedly appeared to secure a credit line of up to $300 million to protect against inflationary headwinds.