Uber's "Corner Store" delivery service will enable customers to order from a limited availability of goods that one normally finds in a regular convenience store.
The delivery service will be available only in selected areas around Washington, D.C. Customers don't have to pay any delivery charges and can use their card that is linked to their Uber account when paying for their ordered goods.
The full list of items is posted on Uber's blog post.
Customers will be able to get their ordered items delivered on the same day. Uber is running the store for a few weeks and has set the delivery schedule from 9am until 9pm, Monday to Friday.
When placing an order, customers will have to search for the Corner Store feature of their Uber mobile app and indicate their location. If there's an available driver in the area, the customer will receive a link through a text message where he can check the list of available items. The driver will call the customer to take his order.
Uber's decision to enter the delivery service industry seemed like a logical way to expand its business. After all, Uber already has a number of drivers on the road who are more than willing to get paid for any rendered services. Moreover, Uber's delivery service will enable the company to expand its customer base.
Some customers in D.C. can start availing of the service as they can now see the Corner Store in their app. Uber has also created a sign-up page that is meant for customers who are interested to be included in the service's experimental run. As long as their location is within the identified delivery zones, Uber would be able to accommodate them in the service.
Uber reiterates that the Corner Store delivery service is just on a test launch in Washington, D.C. A number of tech investors are skeptical that this type of delivery service can survive as a standalone business.
"Delivery didn't work then, and it won't work now, unless you're a tech giant who doesn't mind losing money to win over consumers," said Rick Heitzmann, a backer of Zipments and a tech investor with FirtMark Capital. "But for them it's not about making money on the delivery service. It's about getting people's payment info into their system so that shopping with them will be seamless in the future."