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Sophia In English: Dislike Running Errands? There’s an app for that.

I don’t know about you, but I hate grocery shopping. Don’t ask me why, but I just don’t like to go. I think there’s a small, lazy part of me that doesn’t like doing any errands period. And you know what, just like most things in life–there’s an app to fix my problems.

Delivery and errand services are a rapidly growing part of the eCommerce economy. Apps are popping up to fulfill your every need. Need your laundry done? Try Washio. Want to hire someone to do any random small task for you? Turn your attention to Taskrabbit . Hate the grocery store like I do? Easy. Get out your cellphone and go to Instacart. Your groceries will be there soon.

Apps are running your errands

Among this rapidly growing field, some leaders already stand out. Instacart, a grocery shopping service, promises to deliver your groceries for you. The app partners with a number of stores, and at those stores, a “shopper” awaits to fill your order. They check of the items from your grocery list as you buy them, and then a  “walker” delivers the items right to your doorstep.

This kind of business model is creating jobs all over the world. In India, many young people are finding service apps to be a way out of poverty and into the middle class. A developing app in Mumbai, “Get Your Peon” outsources a variety of tasks to workers, ranging from grocery shopping to delivering packages and everything in between. Those completing the tasks are called “errand executives” and a wide variety of people are using their services–from the ultra wealthy to small business owners.

The potential growth of the fast service and delivery economy is so lucrative, that Uber, the massive ridesharing app valued at over $50 billion, has announced its plans to start its own delivery service. Uber already offers limited food delivery services, UberEats, and plans to expand.

Cost of Convenience

While these services are incredibly convenient, we have to wonder, are they really worth the added cost? The labor of running your errand obviously makes whatever it is you want done a bit more expensive. Is it worth it to pay to have someone else do what you could do yourself? Between the extra services charges and expected tips, some customers have seen markups of more than 100% from what they would have paid for the item or service.

Some believe their time is more valuable doing other things than running errands, and for this they believe it is worth it to pay to have someone else do it. Sometimes it is worth it to pay  to have our errands done simply so we can have more time to do something else, whether it be something productive or enjoying something leisurely. Others believe they would be saving more if they just did the errands themselves. So what do you think? Will you be having anyone deliver your groceries anytime soon?

To read more Sophia in English, click here.


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