DoorDash, known for its restaurant delivery service, is the latest in a string of startups aiming to bring anything to your door right within hours of ordering it.
The company said it is partnering with 7-Eleven to deliver products to DoorDash users beyond its typical restaurant deliveries. DoorDash has experimented with other types of stores — like delivering groceries — in a few markets, but they were all very brief tests, according to the company. DoorDash is first enabling those deliveries in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Washington D.C. and Boston are the next cities in line for the launch, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said.
“The vision for DoorDash has been to build a delivery network in every city,” he said. “That is beyond restaurants, and this marks the first steps beyond that. From our end, from the very beginning, it was always about bringing customers what it is that they want. That [involves] running a lot of these tests. Once we saw what was being delivered, it was obvious the one with the largest stores and inventory, we saw it could be a great partner.”
The products at a convenience stores like 7-Eleven are cheap — so it’s hard to see how this would work unless it hits a large scale. But so far, it appears that DoorDash users ordering goods from convenience stores are on average ordering more than they would buy in a store, according to tests the company ran, 7-11 Raja Doddala, Vice President of Innovation and Omnichannel Strategy said.
To be sure, DoorDash is not the only company to work with 7-Eleven. Postmates had actually worked with the company prior to DoorDash beginning deliveries from 7-Eleven, but the two companies serve different cities — with Postmates in San Francisco and Austin. (After all, if you were a massive retailer, wouldn’t you want to explore all options?)
DoorDash’s ambitions to go beyond food have been known for some time, but this marks the first time they’ve actually made a significant move in that direction. But the bet for DoorDash — and all the companies working with 7-Eleven — is that people will want convenience goods on demand in the same way they want food. Doddala said the company was considering doing some form of delivery before opting for Doordash (and the other companies it’s worked with so far).
“We’re gonna obviously validate this through learning and testing,” Doddala said. “You can thank Amazon or Uber, some people some of the time expect things to come to them when they push a button. Our hypothesis is that will include any use case, and any retail experience some of the time will include on-demand. We think that should be part of the convenience store value proposition.”
DoorDash has raised about $60 million in financing.