Uber is branching out from app based taxi hire to same-day grocery delivery services. The pilot programme launched in Washington DC will last just a few weeks but could be extended if proves to be popular.
“The more you love it, the more likely it will last,” the company said.
The Corner Store service is within Uber's main app and will allow users to order over 100 items priced to compete with DC convenience stores.
Corner Store asks the customer to pick where they would like their groceries delivered and texts what's available for delivery. An Uber driver then calls to confirm the order before delivery. Customers pay for their shopping via their existing Uber account.
Beyond sheer convenience, Uber is hoping to attract business through the enticing offer of no delivery fees for the service. Goods will be available between 9am and 9pm, with Uber asking customers to suggest which products they would to see added to the list. Another advantage of the service is giving Uber drivers work to do when taxi demand is running low.
However, some analysts are sceptical whether the "no fee" delivery model will actually manage to turn a profit for the taxi app company.
Speaking to the BBC, Stephen Mader, director of digital retail at the Kantar consultancy, said: "On average, Uber's price points are on a par with what you would find in a physical store such as [US retailer] Walgreens, so what it is trying to do is take the pricing equation out of it from the shopper's perspective.
"But long-term this is most likely not going to be economically feasible unless Uber starts to figure out other ways to monetise this, through adding delivery fees or charging advertising fees to brands that take part in the programme."
Uber's experiment follows in the footsteps of Amazon Fresh, the same day delivery service of fresh produce available in California and Seattle. Google also offers fast delivery from stores such as Costco and Whole Foods with Shopping Express. Unfortunatley, Goolge's delivery services are only available in San Francisco but are set be expanded to New York and Los Angeles.