Uber’s grocery strategy is too slow, according to former Amazon executive and supply chain consultant Brittain Ladd.
“Whenever I read an article about Uber’s grocery strategy, I feel like actor Lloyd Bridges in these scenes from the movie Airplane,” he wrote in a note on LinkedIn.
Uber global head of grocery and retail Oskar Hjertonsson recently unveiled a raft of new features for its delivery app as the company tries to bet on grocery in a “huge way”.
Uber senior director of new verticals and grocery product, Therese Lim, claimed the company was trying to make grocery ecommerce on par with in-store shopping.
One of the new features allows customers to place orders regardless of whether a store is open, either for the next available delivery window or during another open time slot.
Lim said the feature stemmed from customer feedback and aims to resolve constraints around when stores are open or have couriers available to shop.
Another new feature is live order tracking, which will allow customers to follow and interact with the person shopping the orders.
“Uber has been slow to ramp up its grocery delivery services since launching US grocery delivery on Eats in July 2020,” Ladd added.
“But the latest updates indicate the company doesn’t intend to sit back and watch Instacart and DoorDash dominate third-party service, according to an article in Grocery Dive.”
Ladd was quick to warn Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi that the new features would do little to impact its rivals.
“I have bad news for Dara Khosrowshahi. The new features that were announced by Uber Eats will not in any way, shape or form, materially impact sales at Instacart or DoorDash,” he said.
“In fact, let me be crystal clear – if this is the best that Uber can do when it comes to grocery delivery, I strongly advise Khosrowshahi to shut down the programme, and divest the business.”
“I bring a unique perspective to this topic having spent the last several years working as a consultant for the leading companies globally in this industry.”
“I know the technology, the operations, the pricing models, the sales, and the data related to customer behaviour from the leaders in the industry. Uber’s strategy isn’t enough. Not even close.”
Ladd believes that in order to become a major player in the third-party grocery delivery sector, Uber must either acquire Instacart or partner with TikTok.
“Recent events in the economy have given Uber a gift. Instacart’s valuation has dropped from $39 billion in 2021 to $14.7 billion today. Uber has a market cap of $45.77 billion. Uber can acquire Instacart.”
“In essence, create a user experience that allows customers to bypass Instacart and DoorDash. This has incredible potential for Uber in many ways. Uber must do better. End of story.”