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The Wall Street Journal has a story about how food delivery companies - ranging from Instacart to Shipt, GrubHub to Postmates - all are engaged inn a kind of high-stakes race, all seeking “to convert customers first lured by discounts into habitual, high-value users.”

Because that’s where profitability lies.

To develop sustainable businesses, the story says, food-delivery companies “need high-frequency, repeat customers - driven by force of habit at least as much as by bargains - as rivals race to amass the widest possible user base before focusing on making each individual order profitable.

“Many have a way to go. Six percent of the 1,750 consumers surveyed recently by Cowen & Co. said they ordered restaurant delivery daily. Frequency is up since 2017, but current daily users are dwarfed by the 36% of customers who reported ordering delivery once a month or less. Supermarket deliveries are even less frequent, as only 4% of people order groceries online at least weekly, according to a recent Gallup poll of 1,033 adults.”
KC's View:
Let’s face it … isn’t creating consumer habits the goal of pretty much every retail format?

That said, I completely get this, but also think it underlines the dangers of outsourcing the delivery business to companies with their own agendas.

If Instacart becomes the habit, won’t Instacart remain the habit … even if it supposed to be representing other retailers? And aren’t those retailers running a significant risk of being disintermediated from their own customers when these habits kick in?