Careem launches grocery delivery service in Dubai

Careem has launched a grocery delivery service on its food delivery app Careem Now, it announced in a statement to MENAbytes today, saying that the move is aimed to help the customers during this time.

The on-demand service will enable customers to order groceries and other essentials that will be delivered to their doorstep by a Careem captain within an hour, which Careem says is the shortest wait time compared to market timelines.

The service called Careem Shops features different grocery stores, hypermarkets, organic shops, and pharmacies that the users can order from. Ordering groceries works exactly like ordering food on the Careem Now app. The users choose the preferred merchant from different options, add items from the catalog to their basket and checkout.

We quickly scanned through the options using an address in Business Bay, Dubai and the delivery was free for all the shops with minimum order amount for most of them set as AED 30. For some of these shops, the delivery time was 15-25 minutes.

Careem said that it is the only app to offer groceries from Lulu Hypermarket in Dubai. In addition to them, Careem Shops includes 7-Eleven, 800-Pharmacy, Al Manara Pharmacy, Nescafe, The Pet Corner, Rootz Organics, Four Seasons Pharmacy, and many other merchants on Careem Shops.

Grocery delivery was always on the cards for Careem as part of its super app strategy but it seems that they’ve gone ahead with the launch earlier than what they had planned for, as the copy(writing) of the app suggests that it is not optimized for groceries or other essentials yet. Careem Now’s landing page also doesn’t have any details about the grocery delivery yet.

But that’s understandable as there has been a massive surge in online orders of groceries and the ride-hailing business has taken a big hit. With the introduction of these new services, Careem is trying to continue making money for themselves and their captains during the downtime.

Gheed El Makkaoui, General Manager of Careem UAE, commenting on the occasion, said, “Careem’s pledge to assist the community, its partners, customers and Captains during these confusing times is our top priority. This new product launch enables us to further meet the needs of the community, and we are delighted to be able to offer delivery of essentials through our platform in a safe, efficient way to simplify the lives of our users. Our partners such as Lulu Hypermarket, 800-Pharmacy and 7-Eleven have been a critical part of our success in launching and will continue to be the key to the offerings’ success.”

Interesting move, following Talabat’s decision to also start delivering groceries a month ago.

For both of them it’s a clear example of “shoot first iterate later” as they UI is not meant for the grocery shopping experience, compared to Instashop for example.

It will be interesting to see if any of them will launch a separate app down the line, or integrate a new interface dedicated to this segment.