Shipt members can handpick their favorite shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Shipt users can now request a specific shopper.

An on-demand delivery platform is letting users select more than the products they want to buy.

Shipt, an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Target Corp., is launching what it calls a first-of-its-kind program in grocery delivery, called Preferred Shoppers. Customers who rate their shopper with five stars after an order is delivered will have the option to add them to their Preferred Shopper list.

If the shopper accepts the request, that shopper will be prioritized to shop for the customer’s future orders. The feature is available starting Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021as a Shipt membership perk.

According to Shipt, both shoppers and customers consistently tell the company they want to be paired more often with the Shipt regulars they know and trust. The company is rolling out the feature nationwide after a successful test that it says proved the offering greatly enhances customer and shopper satisfaction, quality of service, and order frequency.

Shipt started out primarily serving as a platform for delivering grocery and CPG products, but has recently been branching out in an attempt to evolve as a multi-vertical delivery service that can serve as a one-stop-shop, regardless of a customer's specific product need.

For example, in early August 2021, drug store chain Rite Aid partnered with Shipt to bring same-day delivery across Rite Aid’s retail footprint, which extends across 17 states. Customers can order from more than 2,000 Rite Aid locations through the Shipt marketplace, with delivery to their door in as soon as one hour. This followed the February 2021 rollout of same-day delivery from health-and-wellness retailer GNC in the Shipt app and website, to order products including vitamins and supplements, beauty and skincare products, and fitness equipment.

Other examples in the past year of retailers outside Shipt’s core grocery/CPG vertical offering same-day online delivery via the platform include Build-A-BearBed Bath & Beyond, and Best Buy.

By providing this new service enabling customers to select their favorite shoppers, Shipt may be able to create a competitive differentiator in an increasingly crowded marketplace for third-party on-demand delivery providers. This market just obtained a major new entrant. The same day Shipt announced the Preferred Shoppers program, Walmart launched a new line of business called Walmart GoLocal, which delivers goods to customers of other businesses.

Walmart’s white-label delivery-as-a-service offering includes nationwide delivery capabilities on a range of assortment, including those with size and complex requirements, as well as the flexibility to meet varying timelines. Walmart says it will rapidly expand GoLocal to offer additional services.

“The more often a shopper shops for a customer, the more they learn about that customer’s wants and needs and are able to deliver a tailored shopping experience,” said Karl Varsanyi, chief experience & product officer at Shipt. “Preferred Shoppers helps customers get the exceptional service they enjoy again and again. Shipt shoppers are a real differentiator, and as we grow and evolve, we’ll focus on features that help shoppers regularly connect with customers and empower an unmatched, personalized same-day delivery experience in the industry.”