Home » A+E » On-demand convenience store, GoPuff, officially launches in Columbus

On-demand convenience store, GoPuff, officially launches in Columbus

GoPuff, an on-demand delivery service for convenience store items, has officially expanded to Ohio State after a soft launch back in January.

Now with more drivers and more services, the online convenience store lets students order from more than 3,000 products, all delivered in 30 minutes or less, via its mobile app or website.

The service has a variety of options ranging from snacks and beverages to household goods and school supplies.

“If you want a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, you don’t feel like waiting an hour,” Jake Levin, marketing director at goPuff, said. “You want it immediately. That’s what our service is, it’s about convenience.”

On-demand delivery service, goPuff, offers more than 3,000 products — all delivered in 30 minutes or less. | Credit: Courtesy of goPuff

The startup was co-founded by Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola in 2013 during their time as undergraduates at Drexel University. Recently, the two were named to Forbes’ 2017 30 Under 30 list in the “Retail and Ecommerce’ category.”

GoPuff works differently from other delivery services in that all its inventory is kept in local warehouses within each city, allowing for a flat delivery rate of $1.95 per order and an average 23-minute delivery time in Columbus.

With delivery times between noon and 4:30 a.m., the service is geared toward the student population. Jazmyn Browning, a second-year in international relations and diplomacy and French, said she looked into the service for its low prices and convenient, easy-to-use website.

“I heard about goPuff from my roommate who gave me a coupon that she got from them on the Oval,” she said. “I thought about ordering from them because I’m lazy and they are a lot cheaper than other delivery systems.”

Levin said the company also has found success in 20 major U.S. markets like Atlanta, Chicago and Seattle, but is now looking to college towns for new opportunities.

“Things around campus, they spread like wildfire,” he said. “If people like something and find use in it, they tell their friends. Our hope is that the app becomes even more popular around the campus.”

GoPuff also offers special deals, like free delivery on game days and a waived delivery fee on orders above $49.

“We’re a company that was created by millennials for millennials,” Levin said. “We try to be loyal to our customers and offer them discounts based on different events, if it’s finals week or midterms we might offer a specific deal on certain items.”

Levin also said since its the soft launch, the top orders in Columbus have been distinct in that the same products aren’t top sellers in other cities. For example, from January to early August, the top-ordered item in Columbus has been Austin Zoo Animal Crackers, followed by barbecue-flavored Fritos and Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream.

Levin said he sees Columbus as a distinctive market because one of the largest universities in the country resides within the city.

“[Columbus] is actually one of the markets where the most college students stay in the city,” he said. “At a lot of other large universities, students will move to different cities for jobs. Columbus has actually one of the largest stay rates of any city in the country. We look at that as a great opportunity to grow just within the city itself.”

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