Scenario one: A Lehigh student is heading to E.W. Fairchild-Martindale library stressed in the midst of all of his 4 o’clock exams. Finally, he claims his spot on the third floor, only to realize his phone is almost dead and his charger is in his Dravo dorm room. He needs a charger but does not want risk losing his study spot to make the trek back to his dorm.
Scenario two: A student returns to Taylor dorm from a Saturday night party, hungry. She is craving M&Ms and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. Not wanting to walk, she calls it a night and goes to bed.
Lehigh students might not need to worry about such inconveniences anymore.
Mobile apps like GoPuff are changing the way consumers shop for groceries and other products. With GoPuff, students can order a phone charger while at the library or their favorite snacks at any time of the day.
According to The Morning Call, GoPuff started delivering to the Bethlehem area in late January and delivers from, “just south of Macada Road in Bethlehem to about Interstate 78 and from near Bethlehem’s Pennsylvania Avenue east into Bethlehem Township.”
Lehigh’s campus falls within this range.
Deirdre Malacrea, a professor of marketing, said GoPuff has developed a niche marketing strategy by segmenting the market and targeting the needs of college students with its convenience-based value proposition.
“GoPuff, Instacart and Amazon are disrupting the traditional retail landscape by tapping into people’s desire for personalized service,” Malacrea said. “GoPuff has the potential to go far. They offer a focused range of impulse-oriented food and non-food products and operate their own warehouse and distribution system.”
While there are multiple benefits of using GoPuff, Malacrea said the service will need to live up to its promises to truly catch on and flourish. Students will expect fast delivery whenever they need it, day or night, as promised on its website. However, when Malacrea checked to see if she could get something like a pint of ice cream delivered in the morning, the GoPuff website said it did not start operating until noon in the Bethlehem area.
According to its website, GoPuff was started in 2013 by two Drexel University students, Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, after they realized it took too many trips to the grocery store to throw a party.
Both creators felt they needed a solution to this problem, so they began offering late night deliveries around the Drexel campus. These deliveries became so popular that three years later, they created GoPuff as a service that quickly delivers food and supplies to students.
GoPuff delivers to 24 areas, including Philadelphia, State College and Lafayette, and the company plans to add eight new delivery locations, according to the site.
Deliveries have $1.95 fee per order, but are free if the order is more than $49.
“Companies like GoPuff and Instacart help give people options and get what they actually need without a high delivery fee or a high minimum,” Jaspreet Bains, ’20, said.
Bains, who is a business major, said GoPuff further develops its advertising through Snapchat. She noticed advertisements for GoPuff frequently appear in between Snapchat stories.
Arleene Castillo, ’20, said it is convenient that GoPuff has a mobile application on top of its website, because the app makes things easier and stores her information.
“I remember being hungry with friends after a long night of studying, (and) the only thing being open that delivers (was) Dominos,” Castillo said. “Not everyone wants something heavy like pizza.”
Victor Contreras, ’20, said he noticed GoPuff continues to place warehouses in the areas surrounding colleges and universities.
“I see GoPuff being here for as long as college students continue to cram for exams or binge on late-night shows,” he said, “and I don’t see that ending anytime soon.”