Jun 17, 2021
Walgreens has put a full selection of its products on the menu for same-day delivery through Uber Eats across the U.S.
Health and wellness products, household essentials and over-the-counter medicine are all available via the Uber Eats app as of this week, according to a CNET article. The companies are promoting the new service by offering $20 off purchases of $30 or more. The feature will be available through more than 7,800 Walgreens locations. Uber Eats has also introduced COVID-19 vaccine appointment scheduling to its app to allow customers to take advantage of that aspect of the Walgreens pharmacy.
Walgreens has already been making products available for delivery through rideshare-based delivery services like Postmates (which was acquired by Uber in 2020), DoorDash and Instacart. CVS, Walgreens’ main rival, also offers delivery through Instacart, DoorDash and Shipt.
The major players in the retail pharmacy space have become big adopters of same-day delivery services in recent years. This has come as the sector has tried to up its level of convenience for both medical and non-medical needs to compete with incursions by Amazon.com, which has introduced competitive services like prescription drug delivery.
Walgreens is not the only recent non-restaurant brand to get hooked up with Uber Eats for same-day delivery.
Uber Eats established a relationship with Estée Lauder in May and made products from sub-brands Origins and Jo Malone London available for purchase in 60 markets through its own service and Postmates.
Uber has not been secretive about its intentions to continue moving its restaurant delivery service into adjacent categories. In May, the company announced a partnership with delivery startup Gopuff, which delivers convenience store fare, and set up the Uber Eats app to allow customers to place Gopuff orders alongside those from restaurants. Uber has also been folding general product delivery service Postmates into the Uber Eats app.
Uber has gone as far as saying that it plans to outdo Amazon.com in speed of delivery. Raj Beri, global head of grocery and new verticals, recently told The Wall Street Journal that he foresees Uber powering what it calls “next-hour” commerce, in the same way Amazon powers next-day commerce.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How important will delivery options become within the pharmacy space for both prescription and front of store sales? Do you see “next-hour” deliveries becoming a key factor in where consumers choose to make purchases for both food and non-food environments?
“When every competitor offers same-day delivery, and you want to stay in the game, you need to offer same-day service too.”