Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect highlights from the show.
Tuesday highlights: Delivering On-Demand
Uber Technologies Inc. is seeking to “out-Amazon” Amazon.com Inc. — taking its delivery business beyond food and into retail, said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. As demand for delivery exploded during the pandemic, the ride-hailing company has expanded its offerings from restaurant meals to grocery and convenience items, including a partnership with BP Plc, which the companies announced Tuesday morning.
Khosrowshahi said the delivery business could grow to be bigger than rides, even when the mobility unit gets back to pre-pandemic levels.
Uber rivals like DoorDash Inc., Instacart Inc. and a crop of startups are also vying to ferry items to customers in record time. For many, it’s still a money-losing venture, said DoorDash Chief Operating Officer Christopher Payne.
“All of us are beginning to test the balance: does 15 minutes matter? Is 30 minutes good enough? Can you make the economics work at both service levels?” he said during a session on local delivery. “I don’t know where the edge is yet. It’s probably not 15-minutes, it’s probably 30-minute delivery that you can make the math work. I think customers will still be delighted by that.”
On-demand retail, or "quick commerce," is one of today's top developments for consumer technology, said Deborah Weinswig, founder and CEO of Coresight Research.
“This idea that something can be at my house in seven minutes? That is truly a game changer,” she said during Tuesday’s closing session.
Monday highlights: Advancing diverse suppliers
Retailers have embraced the need to source a wider array of products from diverse suppliers, but how do they identify new partners? Enter "Greenlight," an open web portal by REI where anyone can apply to sell their products on the retailer's shelves. The program has boosted REI's sourcing from founders of color by about 17%, said Susan Viscon, senior vice president of corporate development and investment, by lowering the barrier of access and creating equal opportunity in a white male-dominated space.
Same-day or same-hour delivery promises make efficient routing tough to achieve for online grocers, so Farmstead flipped the model on its head. The fresh food retailer preemptively plans sustainable delivery routes, then advertises to shoppers in ways that increase the probability that neighbors in a five-mile radius are getting a delivery. “You may not know them, but they generally wind up being the same people every single week,” said co-founder and CEO Pradeep Elankumaran.
LAS VEGAS—Join SupplyChainBrain on Monday and Tuesday at Shoptalk, an annual retail trade show hosted by Hyve Group Plc.
The event boasts more than 80 educational sessions with over 250 industry speakers, including executives from Google, Walmart, Target, IKEA, Uber and more.
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