Jeremy Fetters spends his days shopping for other people as a contract worker for Shipt, Target’s third-party delivery business.

In the early days of the pandemic, the 41-year-old former bartender kept a giant pack of toilet paper in his car. He would give a free roll to customers whenever he couldn’t find any at the store to fill their orders. Fetters has driven out of his way to hunt down a pack of chicken breast. When he sees cold or cough medicine on customers’ lists, he sometimes buys them a small plant, flower or “get well” balloon.

In a crowded delivery landscape, Shipt is using customer relationships to retain both the families who order from the service and the gig workers who shop for it — and ultimately, to increase sales.

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