Kelly Caruso’s been busy. Last month, the former Target exec joined Target’s same-day delivery marketplace Shipt as its new Chief Executive Officer. The company has grown to more than 250 markets and was recently featured in Consumer Reports for its excellent speed and service.
So what’s it like to be CEO of a steadily growing company? We caught up with Kelly to hear about her first month in role, that time she became a real-life Shipt Shopper and what’s next for the company.
You just started a new role as CEO of Shipt—congrats! You stayed in the Target universe, but you’re at a totally new company with its own culture—how’s it going?
It’s been a great transition from Target to Shipt. The Shipt team has been so welcoming, and everyone I’ve met—from Shipt employees and Shipt Shoppers, to the retailers that we serve, to our friends in Birmingham—is so excited about how the company has evolved and our plans for 2019. Last year was a tremendous period of growth for Shipt, and we’re keeping that momentum going.
You completed your first order as a Shipt Shopper recently. What did you learn from it?
Shipt Shoppers are the real deal. They have a people-centric mindset that inspires them to create a positive, personalized experience for each member, every time they shop. Whether that’s texting with the member during the shop to make sure their order is accurate or enjoying a quick cup of tea with the member once they arrive at the house, shoppers go above and beyond to deliver more than just the order. They also deliver a friendly smile, a helping hand and relief for whatever headache the day has caused. I also learned that it’s important to wear comfortable shoes during a shop—I was zipping around the entire store!
Yes, comfy shoes are key! Did you get any other advice from veteran Shipt Shoppers?
Yes—they’ve got shopping down to a science. From the order you go through the store (dairy and perishables last), to double checking the customer’s notes on produce like bananas and avocados to make sure you’re picking up the exact ripeness the customer’s looking for—Shipt Shoppers are on top of it.
What’s on the horizon for Shipt? What’s next?
Target’s investment in Shipt allowed us to expand exponentially on a national scale in 2018, and we’re seeing that investment pay off in 2019. Last week, we added Petco to our marketplace, which means pet owners in more than 200 markets nationwide will be able to get same-day delivery of pet supplies. We're continuing to expand in categories such as alcohol—a great value add for our members and retailers alike—as well as prescription delivery. We also want to maintain our momentum in the markets we’re serving, continue to grow in new markets and further differentiate Shipt as the same-day delivery partner of choice for consumers and retailers.