Retailers + Delivery Services Adapt to Altered Landscape


NRF | April 7, 2021


When the COVID-19 pandemic began, one of its first economic effects on retail was accelerated growth in e-commerce. Same day services were essential for retailers' options as people were shopping from the comfort of their own homes. Many retailers outsource their delivery services, which have faced new challenges, both from increased volume and evolved customer expectations. Secure noncontact delivery has become a key factor in their success.


Shipt, a same-day delivery service, was acquired by Target in 2017. Shipt serves over 120 retailers; among its partners are Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS Pharmacy, Best Buy and Petco.


“Just a few years ago consumers would primarily use same-day delivery services for groceries,” says Rina Hurst, Shipt’s chief business strategy officer. “Now, the landscape is much different. Consumers expect more items — whether it’s wellness products, pet supplies or home décor — to be delivered quickly and safely to their homes."


Shipt's innovations include:

  • Launched a pay-per-order option so customers could try it out before committing to a year-long subscription

  • Allowing for proactive substitutions with a number of retailers; when an item runs low, it asks customers to proactively choose a backup as orders increased - no matter what day of the week

  • Default no-contact delivery: Shoppers leave orders in a secure spot at a customer’s door and text once they have done so


From the changing environment, brought on by Covid-19, massive growth in ecommerce, massive shrinkage in delivery times will be permanent. It seems likely that delivery services will be permanent as well.


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