September 19, 2019 | 47° F

GoPuff delivers convenience products to U. students


Due to a change in ownership, the campus convenience stores in the Livingston Student Center, Busch Student Center and Student Activities Center closed this past summer, making it harder for students living on campus to get their essentials. Luckily, digital drug store retailer goPuff made its way to Rutgers this semester to save the day, offering students a quick and easy delivery service app that is open 24/7. 

Co-founded in 2013, the goPuff app was created by two former Drexel students, Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola. The idea to develop the app came into fruition after the two grew tired of always having to drive to a local convenience store when they ran out of things such as snacks and drinks. 

“They would be getting ready to go out or they’d be having people over and they’d run out of snacks and food, so they’d make Yakir get in his car and go on a voyager and go to the convenience store and pick up stuff,” said Liz Romaine, goPuff director of Communications. 

Eventually, co-founder Gola had an epiphany to create a delivery service that would completely reduce the amount of trips made to a local convenience store. What started out as “drafting mock-ups of the app on the back of their Intro to Business notes” progressed into a late-night delivery service that would redefine and disrupt the convenience store industry. 

In fact, Forbes mentions goPuff as a non-traditional convenience store that has emphasized the need for not just brick-and-mortar stores, but for stores to have an online digital presence, as well. 

“What goPuff has done is this: created an online version of the convenience store that is focused on impulse shopping,” according to the Forbes article. “GoPuff is the convenience store on wheels. The company has tapped into the realization that customers have a busy life and any company (think Amazon) that can reduce a customer's costs and complexity creates loyalty.”

Currently delivering in more than 40 locations, including Newark and now New Brunswick, goPuff offers more than 2,000 affordably-priced products, such as body wash, soaps, cosmetics and a plethora of food and drink options for late night study sessions. 

“We have really great products. All of the snack foods that they want, if there is a niche for something, we have it and we carry such a variety of items. There is really something on the app for anyone,” Romaine said.

GoPuff is even redefining the way that consumers use delivery service apps such as Postmates and Uber Eats. What makes this company stand out from the rest is that all of the products that it offers are readily available at its warehouse. The great thing about this is that it reduces the need for a third party, such as restaurants, thus allowing a faster delivery time for your snacks.

According to Forbes, goPuff has gained a reputation for fast deliveries. From noon until 4 a.m., the average delivery wait time in a college town such as Rutgers is only 15 to 20 minutes, compared to the average 45 to 50 minutes you wait with other delivery services. Although the app is free to download, once a student places an order on the app, they will be charged a flat $1.95 delivery charge (unless you spend over $49).

“We’re able to make these deliveries super fast because we control the customer experience because you make the order on our app,” Romaine said. "We own the inventory and we collect those items from our warehouse and give them to our drivers, we’re able deliver those items very very quickly versus an Uber Eats or Postmates where a driver goes to that restaurant and picks it up. We know that it’s in stock and we can get it to the driver and into your hands super quick.”

Fast delivery times, readily available products and a one-of-a-kind company that values its consumer, are all qualities that make goPuff important to the Rutgers community.  

Almier McCoy

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