DoorDash announced today it’s expanding beyond food to also deliver from convenience stores, like 7-Eleven, Wawa, Circle K, Casey’s General Store and others. The service is partnering with more than 1,800 convenience store locations across the U.S. in order to provide easy access to household essentials like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and over-the-counter medicine, as well as hot and cold foods, drinks, snacks and more.
The expansion comes at a time when customers are staying home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has driven grocery delivery apps to record usage. But it doesn’t make financial sense to place a grocery delivery order, with its built-in fees and limited time slots, when you only need a few household items. That’s sent consumers out to convenience stores, which are considered essential businesses even during lockdown orders from local governments.
But unfortunately, that means consumers are risking exposing themselves to COVID-19 just because they needed a roll of toilet paper, for example.
For less urgent household needs, consumers have been placing Amazon orders. In fact, they sent so many orders that Amazon even had to temporarily close its household goods delivery service, Amazon Pantry, as it cratered under increased order volumes.
DoorDash says it began to test convenience store delivery earlier this year but has accelerated the launch in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, when options for pickup and delivery services have become vital. It had been previously working with 7-Eleven to power its own 7Now delivery app through its white-label delivery solution, DoorDash Drive. It then became the first convenience store partner during pilot testing within the DoorDash app.
The fee structure for convenience stores merchants is the same as other merchants — each is a unique contract based on their needs.
At launch, the new Convenience category will appear in a banner at the top of the DoorDash app. You can then add items to your cart as usual. The order will be delivered to your doorstep through a non-contact, drop-off option or they can be picked up, depending on availability.
“Local businesses have been forced to change how they operate, and through this effort we hope to support and empower franchise owners and local convenience stores to reach customers through the DoorDash platform,” notes a company blog post authored by Mike Goldblatt, DoorDash’s head of Grocery Partnerships, and Fuad Hannon, head of New Business Verticals.
The company plans to add more convenience stores to the app on a daily basis, as the category expands. So if you don’t see any options today, you may soon.
DoorDash isn’t the only company now working to deliver household items outside of grocery stores. Yesterday, Walgreens announced an expanded partnership with Postmates to deliver from over 7,000 stores.