Uber Eats workers wait for orders in central Kiev, Ukraine July 31, 2019.
Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters
Uber announced the most comprehensive update to its grocery delivery service on Thursday since its initial launch in 2020, introducing a series of new features that aim to make the experience more convenient for consumers and merchant partners.
As the changes roll out across the U.S. this summer, users will be able to place orders from grocery stores after hours, schedule deliveries, track their orders from store shelves to their homes, select product replacements and shop for items by weight.
Oskar Hjertonsson, global head of Uber’s grocery and new verticals business, said Uber “is betting in a huge way on grocery,” and that he believes the company is in “a great position to build a great grocery business.”
Uber launched grocery delivery two years ago, and the company has since acquired the Latin America-based grocery delivery platform Cornershop and added more than 24,000 grocery stores around the globe.
Uber’s delivery segment carried the company through the pandemic, but as demand for rides began to recover, its mobility revenues surpassed delivery revenues. The delivery segment reported $2.51 billion in revenue in its first quarter, less than the mobility group’s $2.52 billion.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in a May email obtained by CNBC that investors are “happy” with the delivery segment’s growth, but that he believes it “should be growing even faster.”
As the company grapples with inflation and high gas prices, Hjertonsson said the size of the grocery industry and current traction is encouraging.
“We feel pretty good about being able to just unlock this new use case with our existing consumer and earner base,” he said. “We definitely consider this a very large business opportunity.