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Aggregators Expand Into Highly Consumable Retail Categories to Drive Frequency

Aggregators Expand Into Consumable Retail to Drive Frequency

As restaurant and grocery aggregators push beyond their original categories to grow their penetration in retail, some are turning to consumables overall to drive purchasing frequency.

Take, for instance, nutritional supplements, which many shoppers consume daily. On Thursday (Apr. 4), Uber announced Thursday (April 4) a partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe to make the health and wellness retailer’s products available on the Uber Eats marketplace.

“Nutrition needs are personal and often urgent,” Beryl Sanders, director of U.S. grocery and retail partnerships at Uber, said in a statement. “That’s one of the reasons we’re most excited to bring The Vitamin Shoppe onto Uber Eats to help consumers find what they need on the app with a few taps — from vitamins and supplements to sports nutrition and on-the-go healthy snacks and drinks — and have it delivered to their doorsteps within hours, if not minutes.”

DoorDash, too, is expanding in consumable categories such as beauty, with many consumers going through skincare and cosmetics products regularly. The aggregator announced last month the addition of a range of beauty merchants to its platform, partnering with Sally Beauty and MAC Cosmetics and expanding its existing partnership with Sephora.

Consumers come to us today for a need-it-now use case,” Fuad Hannon, the aggregator’s vice president of new verticals, told PYMNTS last month. “‘I’m out of mascara. I’m out of lipstick. How can I get it delivered?’ And the core of DoorDash’s platform has been an on-demand 30-minute delivery… We’re really excited about what beauty offers our consumers in terms of beginning to think about DoorDash for not just consumption categories like grocery or alcohol or restaurants, but increasingly non-consumption categories.”

In February, the aggregator expanded its presence in another consumable category, pet food, announcing a same-day delivery partnership with Pet Supplies Plus, the United States’ largest independent pet retailer, to deliver on demand from 720 of the chain’s stores.

With additions of this kind, aggregators can attract a wider customer base and increase revenue streams. Diversification also reduces the risk associated with dependency on a single vertical.

Plus, entering new verticals enables on-demand delivery aggregators to tap into additional markets. For instance, branching into pet supply delivery can attract pet parents who may not have previously used the platform for their own food needs.

Additionally, on-demand delivery aggregators’ fleets of delivery drivers and technology infrastructures can be costly to maintain. Expanding into new verticals allows these companies to maximize these resources, improving profitability. For example, during off-peak hours for food delivery, drivers can be deployed for cosmetics or vitamin deliveries, optimizing their productivity.

Many shoppers seek digital convenience. PYMNTS Intelligence’s “2024 Global Digital Shopping Index: U.S. Edition ” was created in collaboration with Visa Acceptance Solutions and drew from a survey of more than 2,400 U.S. consumers. It found that more than 1 in 4 shoppers prefers to make purchases via digital channels with no interaction with physical stores. Plus, U.S. consumers rely highly on a range of digital features, with 85% using multiple features regularly.

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