Uber Connect Launches Package Returns
DoorDash + Spirit Halloween, Instacart + Medicare & Medicaid, Ridehail market share
It’s a big news day, with interesting launches from Uber, DoorDash and Instacart. If you play your cards right, you can maybe buy a new halloween outfit, pay for it with Medicaid, and then return it, all without leaving your couch. (Ok, we’re muddling the facts here, read on for the full story.)
Uber Launches Package Returns
Boo! DoorDash Partners with Spirit Halloween
Chart Time | l Ridehail Market Share
lnstacart to Accept Medicare, Medicaid Dollars
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LOGISTICS | Uber Launches Package Returns
Uber is rolling out a new feature — package returns — now available in both the Uber and Uber Eats apps. With the tap of a button, a courier will pick up prepaid and sealed packages, up to five at a time, and drop them off at a local post office, UPS, or FedEx. The service is priced at a flat $5, or $3 for Uber One subscribers. Uber is rolling the feature out widely, to nearly 5,000 markets from large ones like LA and Chicago to smaller towns in Upstate New York.
The Big Picture: This feature builds off of Uber Connect, which launched three years ago, and allowed users of any sort — small businesses, average Janes and Joes — to summon a courier to take a parcel or package across town. With 79% of shoppers under 30 thinking mail returns are “somewhat” or “very annoying” — this is a use case apt to garner far more traction with your average ecommerce addicted shopper.
3PD | DoorDash Onboards Spirit in Time for Halloween
DoorDash is partnering with Spirit Halloween stores in a spook-tastic collaboration for October’s most important Holiday (Sorry Christopher Columbus, it ain’t you.) Spirit is the country’s largest Halloween retailer and its impressive 1,500 store footprint (owned by mall junk shop impresario Spencers Gifts) is now available for on-demand shopping. The two brands are kicking off the partnership with a 30% off discount, which means you can dress like an inflatable penis or sexy plum fairy for just 35 bucks. But, you could also not dress like that…
The Big Picture: Given that many of Spirit’s locations are temporary pop ups just for the holiday, the logistical heft of checking and onboarding all these locations is a bit more impressive than adding other, less ephemeral retailers like Party City or Victoria’s Secret. And given that most Spirit items are sealed up in plastic packaging, shoppers aren’t exactly sacrificing the ability to try an item on in store.
CHART TIME | August Ridehail Market Share
Who’s winning the ridehail wars? While Lyft may have given up on its delivery ambitions, it still goes head to head with Uber in a number of categories. Second Measure shows that competition has heated back up a bit, with Lyft now claiming 26% of the domestic market, compared to Ubers 74%.
3PD | Instacart Adds Medicaid, Medicare Payments
Instacart is adding a new way for shoppers to pay, with seniors able to unlock Medicaid and Medicare Advantage dollars; the program is run in partnership with InComm Payments, and starts January first, initially in California and Nevada. Enrolled seniors will be able to buy “eligible groceries, wellness essentials, and over-the-counter medications for delivery.” Separately, Instacart Health launched a new grocery benefit to support patients post-hospital visit, with an implementation at New York’s Mount Sinai health system.
The Big Picture: Tapping in to federal benefit dollars is a big market, with 31 million people enrolled in Medicare Advantage and 92 million on Medicaid. The move matches Uber, which rolled out similar payment options two weeks prior. Instacart has led the way in accepting SNAP payments, representing another 41 million eligible shoppers.
A Few Good Links
Should DoorDash buy Instacart? Bloomin’ Brands (Outback, Carrabba’s, Fleming’s…) eliminates COO role. Krispy Kreme mulls sale of Insomnia Cookies. Tier looks to hire underrepresented and marginalized workers in U.K. Britian’s Laundry Heap turns to Delivery Mates for cargo ebikes, EAVs. Green Power and Forth bring EV vans to low income communities. Packaging co Cater for You turns twenty.
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