Gopuff launches scheduled delivery, gifting and store pickup • TechCrunch

Once heralded as the next big thing in on-demand delivery, fast grocery delivery startups like Getir, Gopuff and Gorillas are facing logistical challenges that could very well be insurmountable. Yet even in the face of sky-high competition and operating costs, they are taking what steps they can to sustain themselves. For example, Gopuff today launched features aimed at eliminating some of the platform’s biggest pain points, such as the inability to schedule orders in advance or pick up orders from nearby warehouses.

Starting today, Gopuff customers can place an order when the Gopuff Market closes (exact times depend on the market) so that Gopuff will deliver the order as soon as it reopens. (It goes without saying that this does not apply to locations where Gopuff delivers 24/7.) Alternatively, customers can schedule an order in advance for a specific date and time, similar to most major food delivery apps, or schedule an order for pickup where Gopuff offers retail and in-store shopping.

The in-store shopping experience is still pretty limited. According to Gopuff, only at BevMo! outlets (remember that Gopuff acquired BevMo!, the spirits retailer, for $350 million in 2020) and New York City locations are one option to buy in-store. However, Gopuff says strict pickup of online orders will be offered at “many” places (it’s unclear how many), with hours similar to in-app ordering.

Gopuff is also introducing freebies, which will allow customers to add gifts to their cart for recipients both on and off the platform. Once the recipient’s address, name and phone number, and a gift message are entered, 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 alerts when the order is near, delivered or cancelled.

Gopuff did not initially respond to TechCrunch’s question about whether gift recipient information is retained for marketing or other purposes. Gopuff, like many app-based products and services, collects a wide swath of personal information which it reserves the right to use for ad targeting and promotion of its subscription services, as well as to share with third parties, including partners. commercial and “affiliates and subsidiaries”. ”

In a follow-up email, a Gopuff spokesperson clarified that gift recipient information is not retained for use in this way.

The new features are only available through the latest Gopuff app (version 8.1.0), the company notes, which began rolling out across the country this morning. While Gopuff has partnerships with Uber and Just Eat Takeaway to make its inventory readable through Uber Eats and Grubhub, respectively, the company says customers using those platforms won’t be able to take advantage of scheduling orders, giveaways, and pickups. , despite the fact that Uber Eats and Grubhub support those features for most other businesses.

Gopuff has been in trouble lately, no pun intended. Originally intending to go public as soon as mid-2022 after choosing former Disney CEO Bob Iger as an adviser and investor, Gopuff pulled out of Spain, one of its markets, this summer to cut costs and laid off to 10% of its global workforce. . More cuts hit Gopuff in October, mainly affecting various customer service departments, as the startup reportedly looked to secure a credit line of up to $300 million to fight inflationary headwinds.

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