A new wave of online shopping options promises ever quicker delivery, with 10 to 15 minutes the benchmark for services like Russia’s Yandex Lavka and Turkish app Getir which offer a range of basic items held in a network of small warehouses.

Maxim Firsov, head of the Yandex division that includes Lavka, told Bloomberg: “We saw that retailers themselves are too slow to deliver, while delivery startups that work with third-party stores don’t have real-time access to their assortment and often have to replace goods in the order.

“Therefore, we focused on developing our own mini-warehouses with super-fast delivery.”

It’s an area that has plenty of potential: according to The Moscow Times, online grocery is one of the fastest-growing segments of Russian e-commerce, up 25% in 2019 to reach $25 billion.

The Russian search giant has built Yandex.Lavka off the back of its existing Yandex.Eats restaurant delivery app. The service operates out of a network of 50 small warehouses – or “dark stores”, typically 150m2 – across Moscow, located in functional spaces such as basements. Staff prepare orders that come in by phone (the average value tends to be between 600 and 1000 roubles) and these are then picked up by bicycle couriers for delivery.

It plans to be able to service all of Moscow with 200 dark stores this year while also expanding to St Petersburg.

Getir, which recently completed a $38m round of funding, takes a similar approach in Istanbul, where founder Nazım Salur presented the app as “the way to save time and comfort in big metropolitan areas with traffic problems”.

“We’re democratising laziness,” he said in remarks reported by the Financial Times. “It’s like having a butler for a dollar or two.”

Getir’s ambition is greater than those of Yandex: it has already moved beyond its initial base – it has started operations in Ankara, Izmir, Bursa and Kocaeli – and London, São Paulo, Paris and Mexico City are earmarked as part of its expansion internationally.

Sourced from Bloomberg, Sabah, Financial Times, Moscow Times; additional content by WARC staff