Uber Eats users will be able to order groceries and shop from multiple restaurants in the same order in a new update.
The food delivery service grew in popularity during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Uber Eats is rolling its update out around the world over the next six weeks, which will enable shoppers to deliver groceries, medicines, flowers and pet food through the app.
Its senior director of product, Daniel Danker, said over the past seven months Uber Eats had transitioned from being “fairly niche” to becoming a mainstream option for its customers.
We didn’t expect Uber Eats to pick up the way it has and become such a major part of the Uber business,” Danker said.
“We’re trying to rise up to the occasion because the responsibility and role we play has become quite significant.”
Danker said the pandemic had increased people’s delivery expectations and the immediacy of access to goods.
He said the advantage of delivering other items through the Uber Eats app was being able to share the customer data to give a more tailored shopping experience.
“This app starts knowing your preferences, it knows your delivery times and also the kinds of things you like. If you tend to order certain products and price points you prefer. Why have to enter that multiple times across multiple apps?” Danker said.
Businesses selling through the app also had access to these customer insights, giving them a better picture of their first-time customers and regulars, Danker said.
“It’s about going back to bringing that sense of community in an online world.”
The new features on the app also enabled customers to pick their favourites, see what other people in their neighbourhood were ordering and order from multiple restaurants at the same time.
Ordering from multiple eateries in the same order would increase the delivery price.
But Danker said the delivery fee would not change a lot if the merchants were close by.
Earlier this year, the company also dropped its commission fees by 5 per cent, capping it at 30 per cent per order after Uber Eats copped backlash from businesses that had been hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdowns.
It also introduced the ability to pick up orders bought through Uber Eats, which dropped commission fees for businesses.
Danker said Uber Eats’ pick-up service had also become a popular method for users and the update would indicate which restaurants offered the service on its map.