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Uber Eats is making delivery more social

The app added group grocery ordering and video gift messaging.

Grocery items spread out on a table
Uber Eats items. (Courtesy image)

Uber Eats is making enhancements that add social elements to the delivery app experience.

At Uber’s GO–GET 2023 event on May 17, the company rolled out a pair of new features that allow users to order with a group, and leave a video message with a gift.

Let’s take a quick look at what got released, and the impact:

Group grocery orders

A new feature allows users to create a group grocery order.

“Building the perfect grocery cart for delivery with your roommates, family members or vacation buddies just got even easier,” wrote Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Users can invite participants to add items to a shared cart, set deadlines for when to add priority items and automatically split the bill (the latter can happen at “most” stores, Uber says).

This feature also allows for repeat ordering. Users can place a recurring grocery order, and remind people to add their items each week.

What’s the impact? The feature appears designed to create stickiness on Uber Eats. Group ordering encourages users to form their own mutually-reinforcing circle that will encourage each other to make sales. It also enables them to schedule orders ahead so they don’t miss them.

Video gift messaging

Users can already gift a delivery on Uber Eats. Now, they can include a one-of-a-kind video message to accompany it.

This capability will initially be available for gift cards. Soon, it will be available for any item “from a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates to your favorite tikka masala,” Khosrowshahi said.

What’s the impact? This encourages users not only to buy for themselves, but also others. It adds a personal touch to the experience on Uber Eats. When buying a gift, people want to send an item that feels like it is from them, not just sent through a computer. A personal video will go a long way toward meeting that impulse.

The takeaway

In the end, Uber is aiming to create a more communal experience on its delivery app. This could help to create a network effect where users are encouraging others to join through the actions they take to include others in their shopping experience. The new features could give users more reason to join Uber Eats, and keep ordering.

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