CHICAGO -- Budding online delivery concept Vroom Delivery is offering small- to medium-sized retailers a way to compete with e-commerce.
The online delivery concept partners with retailers and advises them on how their business can best fit into a delivery or pickup model. The company does not provide delivery services the way DoorDash or Instacart might, but it works with stores to launch their own similar service. For instance, if the company is working with a chain of 10 stores in a town with a population of between 100,000 and 200,000, Vroom Delivery might recommend the retailer only offer delivery out of the most centralized unit among them. However, the retailer would still have the ability to advertise delivery in all 10 locations.
“This allows us to offer e-commerce services to a broad spectrum of more underserved cities and locations,” said John Nelson, founder and owner of Vroom Delivery.
The Vroom Delivery website says deliveries take less than an hour to reach their destination, which usually translates to about a 30- to 40-minute wait time, depending on the location and time of day, according to Nelson. Customers can either order online or through a mobile app.
Most of the stores Vroom Delivery works with are independently owned in Texas or the Midwest, but the online delivery company recently started working with Muskegon, Mich.-based retailer Wesco, which has more than 50 locations across Michigan. “We’re now talking to chains in the 30- to 150-store range,” said Nelson.
Nelson compares the way he sets up an online menu for each store to the way grocery stores stock their shelves, keeping the often-bought staples in the back so customers pass through the rest of the items first. “With a lot of c-stores, obviously, people are still coming in for beer and cigarettes, but a lot of stores are trying to expand their prepared-food offerings. Someone who may have just come into the store to grab a six-pack is now online, and the first thing they see is your hot-prepared pizza. You just created another food customer.”
The most popular items ordered through the website generally depend on what each location offers, according to Nelson. Stores with higher alcohol sales tend to see large orders of wine or other alcohol beverages bought buy customers hosting parties. Stores with a focus on food see the majority of sales on Vroom Delivery from foodservice.
Payment is facilitated with tools from Stripe, an online payment company, and stores set their own delivery fees depending on the market.
“With the Amazons and Instacarts out there, it’s hard for c-stores to compete in e-commerce, so we make it easy for them,” said Nelson.