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7-Eleven pushes mobile convenience with on-demand delivery via DoorDash

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is furthering its commitment to using mobile as a means of convenience by partnering with on-demand delivery platform DoorDash to allow consumers in five major markets to order goods directly from their smartphones.

The alliance will bring on-demand delivery options to mobile users in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C. in the next few months. This marks DoorDash’s first partnership outside of the restaurant industry, highlighting consumers’ growing demand for receiving convenience store products and snacks at any time, with the tap of a button.

“We have a variety of mobile offerings,” said Raja Doddala, vice president of omnichannel and ventures at 7-Eleven, Dallas, TX. “One is our mobile app, which is a primary interface for our loyalty program called 7 Rewards.

“This partnership with DoorDash allows us to participate in on-demand delivery networks,” he said. “It allows people to access our inventory not only in our store, but also on their mobile phones.

“We have a similar partnership with Postmates as well.”

Making purchasing easier
Seven-Eleven and DoorDash aim to make purchasing even easier for customers, and hope to increase consumer outreach with the strategic partnership, which will include local promotions and in-store marketing.

Users will have the option of buying “Convenience Packs,” which are groups of items that make purchasing common 7-Eleven products more streamlined. The convenience store chain hopes to become a one-stop retailer for consumers’ basic needs, and is likely to drive sales made via mobile even higher with this integration.

On-the-go customers who do not have time to stop at a nearby 7-Eleven bricks-and-mortar store can instead visit DoorDash’s mobile app or site to place their order and have it delivered within an average timeframe of 45 minutes.

The delivery service fee is $2.99 for a limited time.

DoorDash has previously teamed up with several popular food marketers. Taco Bell recently partnered with DoorDash to deliver the Mexican fast food chain’s products to customers in California and Dallas who place orders via the DoorDash mobile application or site (see story).

The Postmates courier service is another top on-demand delivery platform that counts 7-Eleven, McDonald’s and Auntie Anne’s among its brand partners.

“We believe that requesting our items on-demand from mobile phones is part of the convenience experience,” Mr. Doddala said. “This provides customers with a choice of whether they want to come to our stores and consume, or have our great products come to them.”

Mobile-first mindset
Seven-Eleven has been increasing its mobile-focused mindset in recent times. Last month, 7-Eleven added Passbook support to its application to drive mobile purchases by streamlining transactions and making it easier for users to participate in the retailer’s loyalty program (see story).

The brand’s expansion into the mobile-enabled delivery sector suggests that other convenience store chains may be quick to follow. Customers who have limited time but need basic household items will likely be easily swayed to use the 7-Eleven and DoorDash integration, which may snatch business away from other retailers.

Furthermore, 7-Eleven may be able to glean valuable data from DoorDash’s platform, such as the types of items consumers typically choose to have delivered, and when peak shopping times are.

Additionally, if users are hosting a gathering or watching a sports game on television and are in need of quick snacks, they may use the DoorDash app to request products such as chips and crackers from 7-Eleven.

“We’re ahead of the pack in terms of redefining convenience and using mobile in general, with our loyalty program that’s compelling and easy to use,” Mr. Doddala said. “This offers another service where our great products are now available to come to you with a push of a button on your phone.

“We’re first to offer this variety of digital services.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York