How Gopuff is fighting back against the rapid grocery delivery crash

At a time where the already overcrowded grocery delivery market is slowing down following pandemic highs, international rapid delivery company Gopuff believes it is a “pioneer” in the field after seeing order number soar by ten times in the past six months.

As the Covid-19 pandemic kept customers behind closed doors, investors poured billions into “quick commerce” grocery firms which aimed to to deliver products from milk to phone chargers within 15 minutes from bespoke dark stores. Many firms opened up in the UK like Gorillas, which didn’t even last two years, announcing last month it is laying off 300 employees and exiting four markets,

These markets included Italy, Spain, Denmark and Belgium, as it seeks to shift from “hyper growth” to “a clear path to profitability.”

“We’re confident that Gopuff will continue our momentum and we can get through what we see as a sector slowdown,” Bryan Batista, senior vice president of Gopuff tells Grocery Gazette.

“We only see strength,” adds Batista, who joined the company earlier this year.

With the likes of Getir, Gorillas and Just Eat all offering grocery delivery services in as little as 15 minutes, Gopuff aims to focus on offering products, from fresh food to branded items in “the fastest way possible”.

Gopuff currently operates in over 35 UK locations, covering 70% of the population within each of the more than 15 major cities it delivers to, offering thousands of items.

“Some of the ways that differentiate us are that we have the broadest selection of products available on offer. We also have a local focus, giving independent businesses availability to be present on the platform,” Batista says.

“We want to show neighbourhoods and communities that we understand what they want. We want to enable these local brands and also focus on a fast, excellent customer experience.”

Some companies available from the rapid delivery service include Gails Bakery, Little Moons Ice Cream (which recently saw a 700% increase in sales following a viral trend on TikTok) and Deliciously Ella.

On the cost-of-living crisis

“I can’t ignore the pressures we see in the economy, particularly with the cost of living rising,” he says.

This has stemmed from Gopuff’s decision to launch its Tesco Express Price Beating initiative, which matches or beats the cost of 100 essential items at the Big 4 grocer.

“We think this is really important because we want to show customers that, we know cost of living is on your mind, we want to make sure our products and our platform is affordable,” Batista emphasises.

“So this is the way we’re dealing with it, ensuring that our platform is competitive from a price perspective.”

As a result of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, Gopuff revealed its newest partnership with Collective Benefits to give delivery partners and store team members access to fuel discount cards and high street deals.

Commenting on the new launch, Batista added that the company “wants to make sure employees have access to discounts across a wide variety of things to help with with what we see as a strong inflation in the market.”

On staff cuts and customer fees

The partnership with Collective Benefits follows the rapid delivery service laying off 3% of its global workforce. According to recent reports, Gopuff also increased its customer fees, cut its drivers’ shifts and slashed delivery hours.

Commenting on the recent controversy Batista noted: “fiscal responsibility has always been central to our business”. He says this includes “focusing on making sure Gopuff is a sustainable business”.

“We built our business on a very strong foundation which means we need to be responsible from a cost perspective, and grow in a really thoughtful and sustainable way.”

Recent reports of Gopuff possibly shutting 22 warehouses in the US, were neither confirmed nor denied. Batista pointed out that in the company has over 600 warehouses in the US.

“This means we’re constantly evaluating the best way to serve our customers. Sometimes that will mean adjusting our network a little bit.”

On the Covid-19 pandemic

“As terrible as the Covid-19 pandemic was it brought instant delivery more to the forefront and served a positive purpose to make people aware of our offering,” Batista says.

He describes the pandemic as an “exciting time for the business”.

“With cars being stuck at home if anything it brought instant delivery more to the forefront, just like it did with food delivery,” he adds.

“During the pandemic, more and more people became aware of the service which allows you to get your essential items delivered in a safe and fast way, so in that case, the pandemic served as a positive purpose to make people aware of our offering.”

On the future of Gopuff

“We’re seeing really strong momentum in the market, despite a lot of what you hear with the reality of the global economy, a lot of what you see happening in the sector with other players, we see strength and we see momentum, and we want to continue building on that.”

“The customer is at the centre of everything we do. We want to continue expanding our product range being priced competitively, offering more and more local brands that suit the local tastes of our customers,” Batista concludes.

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