The pandemic has brought more delivery options for C-store customers.
7-Eleven is getting more mobile — in a manner of speaking — offering another sign of the changes taking place within the convenience store space.
The retailer said it has added three of the largest U.S. ordering platforms – Uber Eats, Grubhub and Instacart – to its delivery portfolio.
Users of these platforms now have access to the thousands of products found on 7-Eleven shelves, including milk, bread and eggs, pizza with a Slurpee drink, sandwiches and some 7-Select chips, coffee and a pastry, cold medicine, grocery items, and energy shots.
"When 7-Eleven began offering delivery in 2017, we certainly didn't foresee a pandemic accelerating on-demand ordering platforms from convenient to essential," said 7-Eleven Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco. "This year we've doubled our delivery footprint and quadrupled our daily delivery orders because customers know they can count on us for their necessities in about 30 minutes. We look forward to continuing to respond as our customers' shopping behaviors rapidly change."
With virtual school and work-from-home still the norm, customers can get products delivered directly from 7-Eleven with their proprietary 7NOW delivery app, or through other platforms that include Postmates, DoorDash, Google and Favor (Texas-only).
Together with these platforms, 7-Eleven offers on-demand ordering to more than 90% of the convenience retailer's footprint. Instacart, the most recent addition, will offer 7-Eleven products in the majority of its U.S. markets by the end of the year. Customers can request contactless delivery for their orders, and they will be left at the door. Contactless delivery is not available for age-restricted items such as alcohol and tobacco.
"Our customers crave convenience now more than ever," said Raghu Mahadevan, 7-Eleven’s vice president of digital and head of Delivery. "Today, that may mean ordering in more frequently because they're staying home and avoiding crowds. But it could also mean delivering Slurpee drinks to the beach or ice to a socially-distanced backyard barbecue. These extraordinary times have accelerated our efforts to get the products to our customers as safely as possible."
As 7-Eleven adds delivery options, the general convenience store space is undergoing broader changes, many of them accelerated by the pandemic. For instance, a recent report from the National Association of Convenience Store Owners found that many store operators have recently added such services as curbside pickup and drive thru.