Ben Borgers

I Don’t Get Getir

May 7, 2022

Seeing Getir (an app for grocery delivery in 10-15 minutes) everywhere has gotten me thinking: I don’t understand this type of delivery app.

There seems to be an abundance of apps that will deliver groceries to you in various promises of 10, 15, or 20 minutes. Why?

The Getir app description gives some ideas:

Craving late-night pizza for your Netflix binge? Want to channel your inner home-chef this weekend and run out of burgers? Need some ready-made cold brew coffee so you can make it through Monday morning?

That’s all good, but I can’t help but think that these I-need-that-item-right-now moments are few and far between. They seem to me like the edge case, not the default.

Usually, I feel like I’d want groceries in a couple hours. I order in the morning and they arrive by the evening.

Sure, a couple times a year you forget something in a recipe and really can’t substitute, or you really really want a certain type of food but don’t want to leave your house. But the more common occurrence is that you want groceries at some point, perhaps today or tomorrow, to stock back up.

Perhaps unnecessary speed isn’t a bad thing. But it seems to me that the obsession with super-fast delivery is making things harder than they need to be.

Anecdotally, based on delivering hundreds of Chick-fil-A gift cards last summer, being able to batch deliveries and find an optimal route is super helpful. It took me an hour to make 10 deliveries, but 90 minutes to make 20 deliveries and around two hours to make 40 deliveries. The more people I was delivering to in the circuit, the more gaps in the route could be filled in.

But when something is guaranteed to be at your doorstep within 15 minutes, there’s less route optimization possible. One human has to get your order and get it directly to you. They can’t really batch or reorder.

So I’m not sure why so many apps are chasing after this ability to get something to you ultra-fast. It is pretty magical, but it also seems like such a giant logistical pain.