Slowly but surely, grocery delivery today is starting to encompass every single department of the grocery store, from the cheese aisle and deli counter all the way to the pharmacy. The pharmacy, in fact, is a massive market that many retail giants are targeting as a way of expanding their delivery services and growing their business. According to CNBC, the $300 billion pharmaceutical market is already pretty crowded, with Costco muddying up the fray (in a good way!) even more with its own prescription drug delivery program.
The test program, which will be conducted in partnership with Instacart, will take place in California and Washington and includes delivery with no fees on orders over $35 (minus tip), to a Costco member’s home or office. The pilot program offers a range of delivery speeds—some in as quick as an hour—that will require additional delivery fees, though usually less than $10. The news source reports that customers will receive updates on their orders via text, just as Instacart does for its other grocery delivery ordering.
There is one key difference between the new service being tested and standard grocery delivery services—only customers over the age of 18 may order, and they will be required to show proof of identity upon delivery. The service also requires the Instacart workers receive extra training and earn a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) certification.
Costco has recently been trailing behind major retailers in the e-commerce space—as we reported on our sister site AndNowUKnow—so the deepening of its relationship with Instacart seems a prudent move as the retailer seeks to strengthen its convenience capabilities and gain a leg up on the competition. Because Instacart is such a major player in the grocery delivery sector, a more concrete partnership would be a boon for Costco.
Deli Market News will continue to follow more grocery retail moves like this, so stick around.