Uber is aiming to compete with the likes of Amazon.com and Google when it comes to same-day delivery with its newly announced Corner Store service.
Launched as a limited-time trial run, the new service is accessible starting today, August 19, through the Uber app. Users simply scroll over to the new ‘Corner Store’ option within the app and then browse through hundreds of items they may need, including candy, hair care products and medicine.
Uber is marketing Corner Store by emphasizing how it saves customers time and forgoes the need to make a mad dash to the store after a rough day. Items ordered will be delivered later in the day (provided a driver is available to make the trip), and you’ll even be notified via text or phone call when your order is close by.
Additionally, you’ll only be charged for the items you’ve ordered. Delivery fees, tipping the driver and paying with actual cash aren’t needed; charges go straight to your Uber account. In the event of a missing item, though, don’t worry. Uber provides a way to contact them and will see you’re reimbursed.
Unfortunately, Corner Store can only be used by those that live in the Washington DC area, and even then, you have to live within a specified shaded area. On the upside, there are two different delivery zones. Those interested in trying Corner Store are required to fill out a form, which only asks for email and zip code.
Uber Corner Store is available Monday through Friday, from 9am to 9pm EST. When the trial run ends is a mystery for now, with Uber saying that it’ll run for a few weeks. Supposedly, the more you enjoy it, the more it may stick around.
Uber is already a major player in the taxi and car service, and it’s clear that the tech company has much larger goals that include spreading to other businesses. Corner Store is now in direct competition with Amazon’s own same-day delivery and Google Shopping Express. While the latter only covers part of California and Manhattan, NY, Amazon just recently expanded to Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Previously, it was only usable in four cities: Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Consumers and industry investors may be skeptical of yet another deliver service looking to sell the same products as the rest, but according to Rick Heitzmann, a tech investor with FirtMark Capital, it’s less about making money and more about becoming familiar with people.
“[For tech giants] it’s not about making money on the delivery service,” he said. “It’s about getting people’s payment info into their system so that shopping with them will be seamless in the future.”