Getir, Gopuff and Zapp have all signed deals. So what’s the point?

In the past two weeks, the UK’s three leading rapid grocery companies have all signed partnerships with major food courier platforms: Getir with Just Eat across Europe, and Gopuff and Zapp with Uber Eats in the UK.

Once considered potential disruptors to those same food platforms, these quick commerce businesses now appear to now be going cap in hand in an effort to boost volumes. Is it an admission of defeat? Or a rich seam of future customers ripe for mining?

Zapp chief commercial officer Ajay Lakhwani, who joined the q-commerce player in January from Deliveroo, told The Grocer the partnership was simply “one way to reach as many Londoners as we can”.

“We’re not going to use it to expand our own platform,” Lakhwani says. Indeed, the terms of the agreement restrict any additional marketing with orders. “It’s just reaching those customers who don’t come to Zapp to shop, but go to Uber.”

Getir and Gopuff made similar statements last week. Getir will benefit “from accessing the large consumer base” of Just Eat, while Gopuff will “reach more customers where they are” with Uber Eats.

Getir and Gopuff will also gain from using their own couriers – in contrast to Zapp, which uses Uber’s – “which is another marketing tool for them to use”, says Stephan Soroka, COO of courier firm outfitter Wear Your Brand. “It’s a way to get the customers and increase orders very, very quickly,” he says.

They need to. A new survey by NTT Data found more than half of rapid grocery users are decreasing their use of these services as cost takes priority over convenience. Traffic to rapid grocery apps has dropped by 19% in the past three months, its analysis found.


Gopuff will ‘reach more customers where they are’ with Uber Eats

Gopuff will ‘reach more customers where they are’ with Uber Eats

“I have long said there is no need for grocery q-commerce to be an app in its own right,” says Quaid Combstock, Jiffy’s former head of delivery operations and now a q-commerce consultant. “Do consumers want to have to go to a different app to solve all of their convenience needs?”

So the rationale for the likes of Getir and Gopuff is clear. But Uber Eats and Just Eat have much to gain too. Despite having delivered from supermarkets and c-stores for some time, service levels have been poor.

“All the apps faced the same issue: they couldn’t control stock levels in the shops,” says Combstock. “Most shops were only delivering around 50% of items ordered, as they rarely knew what was on their shelves, leaving customers with a negative interaction. As such, I think it makes absolute sense for the delivery apps to want to take control by centralising grocery volume into specific providers.”

Having their own q-commerce arm – like Deliveroo’s Hop service, which launched in September last year – “makes the unit economics work better” Combstock says. But Uber Eats and Just Eat are “probably too late to the party to launch their own propositions now”.

Some have suggested the partnerships are a prelude to acquisitions.

“It makes a lot of sense when considering their shared business interests, customers, and technology,” says Combstock. But only if the price is right.

“I struggle to see any immediate acquisitions due to the over-inflated valuations of current players. Getir is currently valued at $12bn,” he adds.

Soroka suggests the platforms bide their time. “Maintaining the network of dark stores and DCs is no joke. It is very investment-heavy,” he says. “For now they can chill, see how the service works for their customers with the current lean set-up, and gather a lot of data.”