In March this year, Costco brought the home delivery service to shoppers in Tampa, Florida and the retailer plans to expand delivery service to 50 markets across the States by year’s end.
To bring the service to Florida members, Costco partnered with grocery delivery company Shipt which offers app-based services in over 30 major metros throughout America.
More about Shipt and how it services customers
Shipt offers on-demand delivery services in select areas. It currently delivers across 35 cities in the states of Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Working with Shipt are also grocery retailers Meijer and Whole Foods.
Shipt functions as a third-party company that hires freelance employees to do the shopping for other people who order from retailers the likes of Meijer, Whole Foods and now bulk retail giant Costco.
The service is sought to assist customers who cannot shop themselves for whichever reason and requires a membership fee of $99 per year or $14 paid monthly.
Customers who sign up with Shipt can use the membership wherever the service is available. When using the service, a shopper is assigned to purchase the groceries, and instant in-app communication between the shopper and the customer is available.
Shipt members get unlimited free deliveries on orders $35 value or more. Membership advantages include the possibility to ask shoppers to shop at particular retailers, visit certain store locations, change order mid-shop, and similar. The service is improving constantly and looking to accommodate as many individual needs as possible.
Costco and Shipt to provide customers with alternative shopping possibilities
Costco’s delivery service is available for customers who sign up with Shipt and currently only available to residents in Florida. Unlike in-store purchases, shopping via Shift doesn’t require a Costco membership, which is one of the greatest advantages.
Before Shipt the retailer had already begun experimenting with home delivery in the San Francisco area via Instacart, also a third-party company.
Costco is now looking for opportunities to offer home delivery services to households throughout the country, and because Shipt continues to expand on a national level, this will facilitate bulk shopping for a lot of people and especially for those wanting to save time.
To keep up with competitors in the online grocery market Costco will be offering exclusive discounts for customers using the home delivery service.
Members will be able to choose a one-hour delivery time window and receive their purchase in as little as one hour.
Shipt mostly delivers three to four miles from stores, which means refrigerated and frozen items arrive intact at the destination.
The service aims to provide a different experience to people who prefer to skip the lines and shop online, and Costco’s experiment with home delivery so far has proved successful enough to convince both companies to expand reach.
Costco and Shipt approximate bringing the service to more than 30 million households by the end of 2017, and new customers can try Shipt for free a limited amount of time and receive $15 off their first Costco order.
The trial period along with the discount was offered when the service first launched in Tampa, Florida and it is likely to be included for new members accessing the service in the future.