Marco Amasanti
Marco Amasanti is a Retail Analyst focusing on spending on the home, including DIY, electricals and furniture

As the world shifts to a hybrid way of working, customers are demanding more convenient and faster ways of delivering goods to their doorstep. Following the development of rapid grocery delivery services, could tech retailing be the next in line to join the world of express delivery? In this blog, we explore Currys’ latest initiative to partner with Uber and offer 30-minute deliveries.

The demand for convenience: a legacy of the pandemic

Currys has joined forces with Uber to launch a rapid delivery trial, branded by some as ‘techaway’ deliveries, in 12 London Boroughs. The trial, which starts on 15 November and will run for three months, will offer customers 1,800 products (which are under 7 kg and small enough to fit into a courier’s bag) to order in under 30 minutes. Deliveries will cost £5.

Source: The Drum

This partnership is indicative of the landscape shift in electricals, and broader retail, in the past eighteen months. Restrictions and extended periods inside intensified the already high demand for convenience. This can be seen in the extension of express delivery propositions across retail sectors; and, especially, in the rapid options increasingly available in the online grocery market.

Alongside convenience, however, Currys’ new initiative also taps into a number of additional developments in the electricals market. Within the unprecedented growth in ecommerce, there has been particularly high growth in mobile purchasing. As noted in Mintel’s UK Electrical Goods Retailing Industry report, nearly a quarter of UK electrical buyers purchased via smartphones and 14% through a tablet in the past year. The strength of these platforms feeds directly into the partnership with Uber, where they represent two primary sources of engagement.

Seizing the opportunity of shifting working habits

Noting the available product range, this partnership also caters to the shift in working habits. Indeed, almost four in ten electrical buyers made a purchase to use for working at home in the past year. Although a growing number of companies and employees have started returning to workspaces in recent months, this balance is sure to have shifted more permanently. 

As of 3rd November, nearly three in 10 employed consumers are still working mainly or entirely at home, while a notable portion of others are working a mix of at-home and out-of-home locations. This is helping to maintain an important source of, both consumer and trade, demand.

What we think

This trial service from Currys and Uber could be well-positioned to prosper. Any expansion will naturally be limited to central locations; however, this still covers a significant audience of consumers. Moving into the end of the year, it is sure to be tested as we approach Black Friday and Christmas, the two most important events in the electricals market calendar.    

Find out more about the outlook for online deliveries in our upcoming Online retailing: Delivery, Collection & Returns Report.