ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Shipt, an online delivery company owned by Target, is differentiating itself in the delivery industry through customer relations and the gig workers it employs, according to CNBC.
Same-day service sales for Shipt more than quadrupled year over year in the fiscal year ended Jan. 30. The amount of Shipt employees tripled to 300,000 from the start of the pandemic to the end of last year, according to the company.
Karen Short, an equity research analyst for Barclays, told CNBC that Shipt is a “sleeping giant” because it’s an unsung sales driver for Target and a strong contender in the delivery industry. Shipt hires employees, called “shoppers,” who know how to shop a grocery store, have strong communication skills and an eye for detail, translating to a more personal experience than its competitors, such as notifying the customer if a tea they like is on sale.
A recent study from the consulting firm Bain & Company showed that out-of-stock items and a poor checkout experience were the two frustrations that are most likely to discourage shoppers from using an online grocery delivery service. Shipt shoppers are encouraged to call or text the customer if they come across an out-of-stock item and find an alternative to “save the sale.”
CNBC interviewed a Shipt employee who joined the company in 2015, and the former PTA mom says that roughly 70% of her clients are people she’s shopped for before. It helps her know her customer preferences and even if they prefer paper or plastic.
Job flexibility could be the biggest draw to working for Shipt, and according to a survey by professional services firm Grant Thornton, close to 80% of respondents said they want flexibility in when and where they work.
“We have seen gig workers increasing 15% to 20% a year pre-pandemic,” said Tim Glowa, a principal at Grant Thornton, to CNBC. “If we look at employees wanting to be empowered to control their own career, we are going to see more of that.”