eCommerce “Challengers” - GoPuff, Shipt, and Instacart
Although Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify seem to capture all the eCommerce headlines, newer players like Instacart, GoPuff, and Shipt (now owned by Target) are innovating and delivering some serious growth. Investors have taken notice - Instacart and GoPuff were recently valued at $39 billion and $15 billion respectively. For brands looking to protect their futures online, it’s time to learn more about the “next wave” of eCommerce.
Let’s start with a little background about each of these players…
Instacart, an American company that operates a grocery delivery and pick-up service in the United States and Canada promises the consumer, “Whatever you want from local stores, brought right to your door!” With the assistance of a personal shopper, Instacart allows customers to shop on their mobile device via their app. Originally geared toward groceries, more and more stores are hopping on the Instacart bandwagon. The service has expanded into the convenience store space as well as wholesale stores like Costco and specialty retailers like Ulta and Best Buy. According to BusinessOfApps.com, Instacart has an estimated 9.6 million active users and more than 500,000 shoppers who shop for and deliver items.
GoPuff, founded in 2013, is a relative newcomer that offers “Daily essentials delivered in minutes,” for a small $1.95 fee. Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev were college juniors when they founded the company, landing themselves a spot on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the retail and commerce category. Valued at $8.9 billion as of March 2021, GoPuff operates in more than 650 US cities. Users can order items online or utilize the Gopuff app to have grocery, home, baby, pet essentials or OTC medications delivered.
This is a membership-based grocery marketplace enabling delivery of fresh foods and household essentials, Shipt’s motto is “Your favorite stores, delivered today. Get the things you need from stores you trust.” Target acquired Shipt in 2017 for $550 million. Shipt currently operates as an independent subsidiary following the acquisition and delivers groceries, home products and select electronics.
Determining how to prioritize these channels can be a challenge for many brands. Collectively, they represent a relatively small part of the eCommerce pie, so we don’t recommend betting the farm on them. In general, we’d advise most brands to spend 70-80% of their efforts and funds on “tried and true” channels where they’ve already demonstrated ROI. Use the other 20-30% to experiment with new channels like these.
To win, you’re going to need a few things. First of all, you’re going to need to have distribution. In the case of Instacart, retail participation is so broad that most mid-size or larger CPGs will be covered. You’re also going to need a way to get your best content into these platforms. Finally, you’re likely going to need a way to advertise your items.
Online ordering and speedy delivery are the name of the game these days. The benefit of making your brand available across online retail is that you’re more easily found and you’re positioned for long-term growth.
If you’re ready to tackle these emerging retailers and need a little help, let us know! Our team has the knowledge and tools to develop a retailer strategy, build your digital shelf, and manage your retail media. We’d love to talk - Book your free expert consultation here!