Digital delivery service goPuff has been hailed by Wall Street analysts as one of the hottest new retail companies. The convenience store industry is bigger than we think, and goPuff is disrupting it. This is no small feat in this time that convenience stores numbers drop to 152,720 in the US. 

According to the 2020 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count, the number has dropped -0.3% from last year. But still, goPuff is making the high waves and seems bent to remain so. Let’s get to learn more about this company and how they made it big.

What is goPuff?

goPuff is an on-demand delivery service that makes convenience store items accessible online. From snacks, drinks, baby products to household items, they can deliver them to you in as short as 30 minutes. Thus, their motto, “Order in seconds, delivered in minutes.”

The company has warehouses, called goPuff facilities, that they stock with the products they sell. The items you order come from these storehouses and not from the stores or the manufacturers. This allows goPuff to get them to your doorsteps in no time.

And just like any convenience store, they’re open 24/7 in most areas and until late at night for some. They operate in more than 500 cities in the US and plan to widen their reach in the future. goPuff’s mission of making daily life effortless seems to be in tune with today’s times, the reason their success is no longer surprising.

The Founders

Drexel University sophomores Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev saw the need for a special kind of delivery service. They know that Amazon and other food delivery services have been doing it for some time already. But for late-night cravings and other emergency needs, there was none. 

This led the two to the conception of goPuff. From a side hustle of selling and delivering furniture to a family friend, they made $60,000, which they used to invest in their idea. They delivered to other Universities and later on to other cities. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In 2017, Gola and Ilishayev were included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for retail and eCommerce. They were later named Target Magazine’s target marketer of the year. Both have similar backgrounds and ancestries. Gola’s family is from Israel, while Ilishayev is of Russian descent. They are now solid supporters of the Jewish community in Drexel. 

A Brief History

Founded in 2013, goPuff has its headquarters in Philadelphia. Initially, it was an on-demand hookah delivery service. The startup then branched into delivering other goods as well. From Philly, they also branched out to neighboring cities such as Boston, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Seattle.

Back in college, Gola and Ilishayev stocked their townhouse with drinks, snacks, and some essentials. It took too many trips to the store, which proved to be too laborious as they had to balance their time in school. Friends and family also came into the mix; thus, they needed a strategy to make the task easier and less time-consuming. 

Fast-forward to starting goPuff; the endeavor was a hit that urged Goila to drop out of school altogether. They got into talks with local snack distributors to convince them of their concept. After a ton of bargaining with getting only small orders, credit terms, and upfront payments, they won them over.

After raising an $8.25 million in Anthos Capital funding in 2016, goPuff followed it with a $750 million Softbank funding. In an interview with CNBC’s Make It, 24-year old Gola said they banked on being Millenials who understand Millenials. Something that the corner stores may not readily figure out. 

Additionally, having no credit history to speak of and even exaggerating their customer base’s size, they made it seem that they’re the next Amazon. They sold their idea as the future of convenience shopping, and to their surprise, they got away with it.

In 2019, the startup, which began as a campus delivery service, has now opened its new headquarters in Finnigan’s Wake building in Northern Liberties. The fake it til you make it attitude, which Gola has attributed their initial success to, has indeed proved to be useful.

goPuff Services

Think of the items you can get from a convenience store but buying them from the comforts of your home. That’s the goPuff service. They have over 2,500 products stored in their warehouses, including toiletries, electronics, and even over-the-counter medicines.

In December of 2015, when the service started thriving, they started another delivery service. This time, it specifically catered to delivering beer, which they called goBeer. The following year in May, they started goBooze, which delivers, you guessed it right, alcohol.

Focusing on impulse shopping, goPuff guarantees speedy deliveries. You’ll get your orders in under half an hour, but less so if you’re in college towns. Expect a flat delivery charge of $1.95 when you order, which is done through their mobile app. It has no surcharges and will be waived for orders of over $49. 

goPuff Today

With the current world situation, there is no doubt that goPuff will go a long way. It has the significant potential to outrun the competition. Today, goPuff makes over a thousand deliveries each day.

It has seen an almost 90% increase in customers who order at least once a week compared to their March 2019 data. A 55% increase in their order value is also registered in the books. It now has $1.2 billion in total funding and an estimated $246 million in annual revenues.

Being young entrepreneurs, adapting to the normal came naturally. goPuff now includes beauty and cooking products in their roster of available items. It provides work for approximately 4,000 employees. 

The once Millennial-targeting company now enjoys the patronage of the more mature and older customers. All these come as no surprise to a company that has taken the convenience of convenience stores and brought it online along with more welcome improvements.

How do I use Gopuff? 

Gopuff is an online delivery platform that users can access via the website or mobile application. It’s a service that will deliver all your needs from their micro-fulfillment center to your door. Think of having access to a convenience store’s inventory, but it gets delivered to you once you check out. 

It means that Gopuff will directly supply the goods to you. There’s no surge charge as it doesn’t function as a courier service. So instead of curb-side pick up for groceries, isn’t it more convenient to have your groceries travel straight to you? Besides, it’s hectic to go out nowadays, especially to public places. 

The Perks of Gopuff

24/7 Service

Say goodbye to your unfulfilled late-night cravings. In most areas, you can enjoy 24/7 service, while everywhere else, you can buy what you need in the late hours of the night.  

Convenient Shopping

Gopuff brings an entire convenience store inside whatever gadget you’re using. It carries more than 1000 items available for the user. You can choose anything from cleaning supplies to baby essentials. So you don’t have to go out and buy a diaper or milk at night whenever you run out. Here’s a list of popular categories available in Gopuff: 

  • Snacks
  • Grocery
  • Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Ice Cream
  • Quick Meals
  • Bath and Beauty Products
  • Health
  • Home and Office Supplies
  • Pets Baby

Verified users of Gopuff commended the app for its various products. One user even pointed out that thanks to Gopuff, their office never runs out of fresh fruits. Gopuff is also the perfect solution whenever you have unexpected guests over and need a quick snack delivery. 

AFlat Delivery Fee

Unlike other delivery services that charge the delivery fee by a certain distance, Gopuff has a flat delivery fee. Every time, you will be charged a flat rate of $1.95 per delivery. 

Fast Delivery

According to a verified Gopuff user, delivery can be as fast as seven minutes. However, it all depends on your distance from the nearest Gopuff micro-fulfillment center. In general, users love the fast delivery that the platform offers. 

Liquor Delivery

A platform that delivers liquor at your doorstep— do you need more convincing? Gopuff offers delivery for beer, wine, and other alcohol that’s available in their branch in selected regions. Do take note that an ID verification is required for those who want to order alcoholic beverages. 

If you’re in California, Gopuff recently added BevMo!, a distinctive brand, to their selection. So enjoy craft beer, girders, seltzers, wine, and spirits that are at least 30 minutes away from the comforts of your home. 

The Downside of Gopuff

Minimum Order Fee

All orders must at least reach $10.95 for a Gopuff delivery. So if you’re craving for anything less than $10, there are more possibilities to over-splurge yourself whenever shopping online. Although some users deemed Gopuff as a staple mobile application, most users complained of expensive rates. 

Limited Facilities

Although most users love Gopuff for its fast and reliable delivery service, some places only have limited facilities within the area. For those areas, it’s best to expect a longer delivery time. 

Expensive Rates

The upside of Gopuff is its cheap delivery service. However, users complain that the products they have in their catalog are $2 or $3 more expensive than in-store items. 

Limited Variation

Even though Gopuff has more than 1,000 items to choose from, they don’t have much variation in what they offer. Someone pointed out that there are fewer Halal products on the menu. 

Mobile Interface Quality

Gopuff’s overall interface is clean and straightforward. However, some users pointed out that Gopuff’s mobile application still needs some polishing. Someone even pointed out that Gopuff needs updating. 

Gopuff Alternatives

Gopuff is often compared to other platforms with similar business models. So if you’re wondering what other applications are out there, here’s a shortlist:

  • Instacart

Similar to Gopuff, Instacart is an online delivery platform that offers groceries to users.

  • Rappi

Unlike Gopuff, Rappi focuses more on consumer technology. 

  • Burpy

Burpy is a platform that offers same-day delivery. It deploys crowdsourced shoppers who try to get in-between. 

  • OurHarvest

OurHarvest’s mission is to deliver fresh foods that are more delicious and nutritious. It’s a system where you can directly order freshly harvested food from the farm for your convenience. 

  • FreshDirect

FreshDirect is a food tech platform that’s coined as the leading online “fresh grocer.”

Final Note

If you’re looking for an online delivery platform, then it’s time to test Gopuff by yourself. Gopuff is amongst the best options whenever there’s a need for alcohol and snacks. So if ever you’re trying to install a Gopuff app on your phone at the moment, it’s essential to know one thing. Gopuff doesn’t accept cash to ensure COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

In the end, Gopuff is a useful application. The downside? It can get expensive as it adds at least $2 to $3 to the items. However, it’s still a convenient platform, especially for busy users. It’s a platform that users can consider downloading to increase productivity. 

Besides, who else wants to escape the hassle of going out for groceries?

So, say goodbye to extra duties and spend your time on something else instead.