Making Our Grocery Dreams Come True with Shipt CEO Bill Smith - Jen Hatmaker

Making Our Grocery Dreams Come True with Shipt CEO Bill Smith

Episode 04

Bill Smith had us at, “hello, may I deliver your groceries right to your home??” He’s the CEO and founder of Shipt, a membership-based grocery marketplace that delivers fresh foods and household essentials straight to people’s houses. He basically invented a service for those of who us who haaate setting foot in a grocery store (herding 3 children under 5 in a store while buying groceries for the week? Byeeeeee!). We’ll learn how Bill came up with this idea.  We’ll talk to him about how this spark of an idea has grown to over 70 cities and over 20,000 personal Shipt shoppers. We’ll also learn that while Bill is committed to the success of his company, what gets up him up in the morning is the fact that his people are making a difference in not only the lives of busy families and stressed out moms, but in the life of an aging grandparent, the house-bound cancer patient, and others for whom grocery shopping isn’t possible.  And, when you hear what’s saving Bill’s life right now, you’re gonna love him even more.

Episode Transcript

Narrator:  Welcome to the “For the Love Podcast” with bestselling author Jen Hatmaker.  Come on in, and join us for a chat with Jen and friends about all the things we love. Now, here’s Jen.

Jen:   Hey guys, it’s Jen. Welcome to the show. For the Love Podcast. We are still in a series that I’m loving and I hope you are too. It’s For the Love of Food. We really wanted to address all kinds of ideas about food, so this isn’t just for the foodie or just for the person who loves to cook. So don’t let that keep you away from this podcast, because you’re actually going to love today’s episode. We really just wanted to talk about the culture of food and what it means to be an eater, what it means to be a shopper. What it means to be a gatherer, and the community aspect of food as well.

Today’s episode just for all of us who do not have enough time for hardly any of this. So you’re going to love my guest today on the podcast. Today I have Bill Smith, and he is the founder and the CEO of Shipt. So if you know what Shipt is, it’s a membership based grocery marketplace.

Essentially you go online with their desktop app or their mobile app, you pick out all of your groceries, and Shipt uses this whole community of shoppers to do your shopping and then deliver your full order to your house. I mean, they bring it into your kitchen. I mean it is an absolute game changer, you guys.

This is the one thing for me that has is always the hardest aspect of being a person who loves food, and who does most of the cooking–is the shopping. It takes so long, especially in a big family like mine. Time is my hottest commodity and it’s probably yours too. So I can’t wait for you to hear from Bill–how he built this company and why he’s got this really great model that you’re going to be able to so get behind. Both the way that they treat their staff, they treat their shoppers, and they treat their customers, and the communities that they’re in. It’s quality leadership from top to bottom.

So here’s something really cool–so Shipt is a membership based service, I think I mentioned that. It’s normally ninety-nine dollars for a whole year of unlimited deliveries. But if you’ll hang in to the podcast until the very end of this episode, our podcast listeners are going to get a really, really cool option to sort of buy into the Shipt company for way less. So it’s only for you. You’ve got to use a special code. I’m going to have it all, all at the end. You’re going to love every everything you hear here. Bill is fun–he’s really lively. It’s just so great when you love a company, and then you get to meet the CEO or the leader of it, and they’re just as great as you had hoped.

So for the busy gal, for the person who does not have time to spend an hour and a half in the grocery store, buying it, packing it, bringing it home, unpacking it—it’s just so long. It’s such a long process. This is going to be an interview you’re going to want to hear, so I’m super excited. So you guys, join my chat with Bill Smith.

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Jen:  Bill, welcome to the podcast.

Bill:  Glad to be here so thank you for inviting me.

Jen:  Listen, you have the distinction, you have the honor of being the very first man to air on our show. Our podcasts are typically geared towards women. So, most of our guests have been women, but congratulations on this honor. How do you feel about your new prize?

Bill:  Well, I think it’s actually probably a pretty big deal. You know, I’ve had a lot of great women in my life that have helped me get where I am today, including my mom who raised me as a single mom and my wonderful wife. So, glad to be here and glad to be the first man on your show.

Jen:  Yes, it’s a joy because as my first man on this show, you have revolutionized the lives of so many of me and my friends. So, you’re the perfect guest.

So, listen we’re doing this series on food. This series is called For the Love of Food because it’s just one of my favorite subjects and activities. So, we thought it’d be really great over the course of this series to jump into basically all kinds of aspects of food, not just the preparing of it. We’re not just gonna sit around and talk about recipes, but all of it. Like food culture, and hospitality, and gatherings.

So, you hit a really, really interesting point in this series. I’m really excited for everyone to hear about what you do and how you came up with it. Obviously a ton of us are familiar with Shipt because it’s made our lives so much more manageable, especially for families like mine where there’s five kids in this family. Both of us have work that causes us to travel. It’s just bananas. Having this service; to have somebody grocery shop and bring us our food, it’s like a game changer, Bill. Like absolutely game changer.

Can you just tell us … I think you had a moment, right, where the idea of Shipt was sort of birthed in your head? Can you talk about the beginning of this amazing enterprise?

Bill:  I will. I’ll kinda walk you through the story. By the way, talking to you, you just put a smile on my face. You’re just such a happy person.

Jen: That’s nice. That’s nice. Listen, you make me happy. You deliver groceries to my doorstep it’s like the best thing that ever happened to me.

Bill:  Well, this is gonna be a great conversation. So, I started Shipt about three years ago, and at the time I was really interested in the sharing economy. That’s when companies like Lyft, and others were just starting to become popular. I thought, “Man, this is really cool how all this works.” I’ve always hated to go shopping for anything really. Not just groceries. I want everything to show up at my door.

Jen:  Same. Same.

Bill:   When I started Shipt initially–by the way Shipt started here in Birmingham, Alabama, that’s where I’m talking to you from today—it started in Birmingham and I thought that we would be a same day delivery company for big box retailers like Target and Best Buy. That’s what I started out thinking.

We launched a test of this in Birmingham, and we launched it around the holiday season. We signed up a lot of people. People thought it was cool, but you couldn’t buy any groceries. Think the typical use case was “hey, I wanna buy an iPad or diapers or anything like that, non-perishable.” You could buy them and get them delivered the same day.

We launched it and people thought it was cool, but I kept getting emails from our initial users. We didn’t have members at the time, by the way.

Jen:  Were you just sending this out to your cousins and your neighbors? How were you getting your customers?

Bill:   Kinda. It was like a Facebook post basically. People would sign up and they tried it out. Everybody that signed up got an email from my email address.

Jen:  Like your personal email address?

Bill:  My personal Shipt email, and if you sign up today you will get an email from my email. So, feel free to send me a message back. People kept sending me replies saying, “Hey, this is really cool, but what I really want is my groceries.” I have to tell you, I didn’t really get it at first. I thought, “Man, this is gonna be really complicated. How would we do this?” About six weeks later, my wife and I had our second child. We left church on a Sunday afternoon with our newborn and our one-year-old, they we’re 19 months apart. They were close.

We went to a Publix. We were in there, and you could probably picture this, I had the newborn in grocery cart with me. My wife had the one-year-old in a separate cart. Were trying to get into the store. It’s Sunday afternoon, it’s crazy. Both kids were crying and it was just a disaster. Up until that moment, I never realized how big of a pain grocery shopping could really be.

In the parking lot, I looked at my wife and said, “You know people have been asking me for grocery delivery and I’m gonna figure out a way to solve this.”

Jen:  You’re right. It does have some complexity to it. I mean, grocery shopping it’s just sort of all over the map, and everybody is so specific, and there’s a thousand brands. I’m sure you must’ve felt overwhelmed. Did it feel very, very daunting at first?

Bill:  It was. You know, the typical grocery store was 40,000 items. You know how easy it is to buy the wrong item.

Jen:  Oh, totally.

Bill:  You know, it might be the sour cream packaging looks exactly the same, but some is reduced fat. Some is fat free, all this. There is a lot of nuance in grocery. So, it was really complicated. Groceries, it’s really the only industry that is not online yet. So, you can buy almost everything else online, but particularly three years ago groceries were not available online. So, there was just a bunch of technical challenges for us to get passed. We very quickly built the first version of our service and launched it about twelve weeks later.

Jen:  Did you really? Twelve weeks later?

Bill:  It was fast.

Jen:  At that point was just still local?

Bill:  It was only in Birmingham. The way we did it, we kinda told everybody, “Hey we’re going to launch grocery delivery in Birmingham.” We allowed a thousand people to buy a membership before we launched. So, we had our pre-launch group and we launched with those people. Literally, the week we launched, it just blew up with customers. We had waiting lists and I knew almost immediately that we tapped into a real need that was really going to help a lot of people.

Jen:  Absolutely. So, you hit your thousand mark right out of the gate?

Bill:  Yeah, almost immediately. It took us three weeks to get our thousand.

Jen:  Wow. So, you needed to scale pretty quickly. What did you do?

Bill:  Oh, gosh. It feels like ten years ago now. It was a lot to it. So, I had a really, and still do, have such a fantastic team at Shipt. The people that built Shipt, it really was a lot of fresh out of college, people in their 20s. That is the group of people-

Jen:  Oh, really? Oh, I love that.

Bill:  We had about 10 people and we all came together and kinda built the software. Built the experience. Figured out how to hire and all the logistics. Once, we solved it we really had to focus on scaling the shoppers. That’s I think, and you may touch on this later, but one of the things that’s really special about Shipt is our shoppers.

Jen:  Let’s talk about that. I do love that aspect of your company. Of course, you mentioned Airbnb and Uber and Lyft and some of those other sharing economy companies, but your model is unique in a lot of ways. I mean very few of us are gonna get the same Uber driver twice. You know very few of us are really gonna get to meet our Airbnb host. So, yours is a little bit more consistent and little bit more attached. Can you sort of walk us through what your hope was there and then kind of how it has flushed out in terms of customer experience and your shoppers?

Bill:  Yeah. So, my hope has always been to really create special experiences and help people. That’s one of the things–I didn’t know how it was gonna work when we first started, but it turns out we are really helping people in major way every day. It’s the new mom. It’s the disabled person or the home bound person. You know, there’s all types of people that we help every day, and at the center of that it’s creating this really special experience that’s very one-on-one.

?If you think about it, when you order from Shipt, you’re talking directly to the person that’s picking out your avocados and that’s the same person that shows up at your door. Even from a technology perspective, we’re always trying to increase the number of times you see the same shopper.

People love their shopper and they get to know their group of shoppers. When you use us, you might have maybe two or three people that you typically see every time you place an order.

You’ve probably read some stories about other companies in the sharing economy and how their people don’t like the company, or feel like the company doesn’t care about them. We’ve taken the complete opposite approach. We really recruit the best shoppers. We’re very selective.

Jen:  How do you do that? What’s your mechanism there?

Bill:  When people want to be a shopper they can basically go to our site and apply. We have this video interview process that you go through and some testings. Once you get through that, there’s background checks and other things like that, but we have literally a team of people that everyday they are interviewing shoppers. They are looking for people that are … they need to understand groceries, first of all. That’s really important, but they need to be able to create great experiences.

A lot of our shoppers are actually, the demographics, closely match our members. So, it’s a lot of moms. We have a lot of moms, particularly stay at home moms, that shop with us.

Jen:  Wow, that surprising. I don’t know why it’s surprising, but it is.

Bill:  Well, if you think about it … first, I would say nobody can shop for a mom better than another mom, you know? If you think about the way the sharing economy and the way Shipt works, we’re really empowering people to have control over the way they earn income. So, you make your own schedule. You can shop for a couple of hours on Sunday and three hours Monday. You can shop while your kids are at school. So it’s very flexible and people, I think, are looking for that these days. The typical 8 to 5 job just doesn’t work for everybody anymore.

Jen:  Absolutely you’re right, and there’s a whole category of people who are the opposite of you and I and they love grocery shopping. They just love to be in the store. They love the aisles. They love the products. So, for a lot of people that even hits on an affinity. That’s an activity they enjoy.

Bill:  You know, we see shoppers say it all the time in our Facebook groups. They’re like, “I can’t believe I get paid to do something I love to do.” You know?

Jen:  That’s amazing. So, back to the sort of customer relationship with your shopper. So obviously you’ve got sort of high criteria for the shoppers that you hire and a really strong vetting process. So, part of then what’s expected of them, is to really develop obviously great customer service, right? That’s a big cornerstone of what you do?

Bill:  It is and we have to bring people on. The shoppers that we select they already have to know that. It’s hard to teach. So, we’re looking for people that they actually want to serve. So, that’s what you see with Shipt. The other side of it is, as a company, we have to do our job, we treat our shoppers like we would a customer, which is different than … a lot of companies think about their employees, they make them do things the right way. The way we think about is, we want our shoppers to want to do a great job, and they do.

The way we do that is, we treat them extremely well. We take great care of our shoppers and we’ve built communities. So, our shoppers, they communicate with each other and there’s really a true community here and there’s motivation. You know, everybody needs to earn income and that’s part of what we all have to do, but I think the cool thing about Shipt and the people that work with us is, they’re connected to this mission of improving people’s lives in their own local community.

There’s story after story, I mean it just blows my mind every day of the stories that we hear of people that are delivering to someone that is elderly with cancer. Our shopper gets to know that person and they’re unloading the groceries in their house and the shopper will say, “Hey, this person is,”–maybe their wife passed away a few years ago–and “I just sat there for an hour and talked to this man.”

Jen:  That’s so nice. I love that.

Bill:  There’s just story after story. It’s just really, that’s what gets me excited when I go to work every day is to know that we actually … We’re not just building a game, or something that doesn’t really matter for eternity. What we’re doing really makes an eternal difference in people’s lives.

Jen:  Oh, I don’t doubt it for a second. So, you started, obviously you were just local in Birmingham and now of course it’s scaled so much. What’s the scope of Shipt at this point? Like how many states are you in and how many stores do you work with and how many shoppers do you have? How many customers do you have?

Bill:  So, today we are operating in 70 cities. That’s in I believe 15 or 16 states, sometimes I lose count. We have 20,000 shoppers that shop with us regularly.
It’s insane growth. I think we’re really just getting starting. The people that we’re serving today, I would call a lot of our members –they’re early adopters. They are people that switched quickly, but when you look at the whole grocery market, the great majority, 95% of groceries are purchased in store today. That trend will change over time.

Jen:  Sure. Oh, absolutely. You’re a pioneer. Honestly, you’re right. This is one of the last great frontiers of sort of home delivery service. This is our culture, and this is what we’re accustomed to in essentially every other category. I think once people are on the user end of your service, and they’ve realized how much time it injects back into our lives, into our weeks, and even into your family time at home, it’s more invaluable than it even sounds like.

Can you talk about how you choose your grocery stores? I mean I know, here I’m in Austin, Texas and we’ve got H.E.B. That’s our flagship grocery store in the state. How do you pick these? There are so many to choose from. Do they approach you? Do you approach them?

Bill:  Well, you know the first thing is, we love H.E.B. They are among some of the best grocers in the country. So, you’re lucky to have H.E.B. in your backyard and we have a really special relationship with those guys. For those that don’t know H.E.B., if you’re ever in Texas, you gotta stop by.

Our goal is really to partner with the leading grocers in each market where we operate. Grocery is a pretty local business. There’s a lot of players in the space, but there tends to be regional winners like H.E.B. in Texas and Meijer in the Midwest. We really want to partner with the best grocers and I would say when we started three years ago, we would call grocers. They weren’t really thinking a lot about delivery and buying groceries online. Now, that has completely shifted. Every grocer is working on what their eCommerce strategy is and how they are going to service customers in the way that customers now want to be serviced in. We’re the answer for those grocers.

Jen:  It’s gonna be exciting to watch your company just continue to explode because you’re right. You caught the front edge of absolutely what is the next huge wave in grocery shopping. You get to come into with this awesome bank of experience and happy customers. I’m sure you’ve learned a lot. I mean how have you worked out a lot of kinks, I’m sure, since that first year to now?

Bill:  Yeah. We were just having a meeting actually before you and I were able to talk today. One of our team members who has just hit their one-year anniversary today. We were joking about how it feels like seven years because every day things just change so fast.

We’re constantly working on improving the experience down to how to make sure that we always pick the right product for our customers or how do we deliver faster or get delivery windows faster. We’re now working with brands that people love to provide special offers. You can go into our app, and say you buy $15 worth of General Mills cereal and save $5. Things like that we’re doing too, just to make the membership experience more and more valuable over time.

Jen:  As you’ve developed your company and your staff, and even like your systems and procedures, what’s been the hardest things? What’s been the biggest challenge that you had to just kinda keep circling around or keep your foot on the gas on?

Bill:  You know, I spend most of my time focused on my team. So, we have over 250 employees that work at Shipt in our headquarters and that’s doubled in the last nine months. So, we’re constantly adding people and we need to make sure we find the right people and that we’re taking care of our team. If we do that well, then everything else will work out, because it’s all about people. Same with our shoppers, it’s all about having great shoppers. If, we’re successful there the rest works itself out.

Jen:  A 100% true. There’s so many great business concepts that exist in the world, and conceptually they’re amazing. You know, they are meeting a felt need, they’re interesting and creative, even innovative, but if it breaks down at the people level it’s doomed. I mean it’s just really doomed because somebody will come behind you with the same idea tomorrow, and if they got the better people, if they’ve got the better team, the better customer service experience … I mean you’re absolutely right.I like where you’re putting all your chips. I think that bodes so well for your future.

One thing that I really like about Shipt, is kinda some of the work that you do with non-profits and with local work and this altruism you’re building into your company. Can you talk a little bit about like … even last Christmas you had a really, really cool campaign I’d like for you to tell everybody about. Why is this important to you? Why is this a part of your business model?

Bill:  Yeah. community involvement has been a part of Shipt since the beginning. Really since we initially started. I think that can somewhat be counter-intuitive because, “Oh, we’re making contributions and donations before we have a business that’s even working or, you know, much less profitable.” I think it’s really important to be involved in your community. We’re from Birmingham. That’s where the company started and Birmingham is among some of the most generous cities in the country. I don’t know if you’ve heard that?

Jen: Here, here. Oh, listen every time I travel to Birmingham for my work, I’m typically there as a speaker. So, I’ve kinda got to host, you know, a team and whatever. It’s embarrassing. I feel over loved. It’s so like “everybody, relax.” They’re so nice. So kind. So generous. So over the top. I mean it’s Southern hospitality at its finest.

Bill:  So, that is the heart of Shipt. That’s the way we operate. We choose in the very beginning to be very involved in our communities. and today, you mentioned what we did last Christmas–we’ll do the same thing around the holiday season this year. We like to support organizations that fight hunger. Particularly with families and children. A lot of people don’t know this, but there are a huge number of kids that their main meals are free breakfast and free lunch at school. They maybe taking an apple home. By the way, my wife is a school teacher by trade, so she would tell me these stories where she would see kids in the lunch room, and they would take an apple and put it in their backpack, and that’s their dinner.

So, we like to work with organizations that fight hunger. We’re working with Feeding America and other organizations like that to really fight hunger because it’s still a huge problem in our country, you know?

Jen:  Oh, absolutely it is. It’s one of the sneaky problems ‘cause it’s really invisible. I used to work in schools too, I was a teacher. I know that a lot of the kids, there is a lot of shame around being hungry, being poor. Around not knowing where your dinner, or certainly your weekend food is gonna come from, and so they’re silent. You know, that’s not something that they’re readily talking to their peers about or to their teachers about. They’ve perfected the art of just blending right in and mitigating the shame of that hunger. So, I couldn’t be more thrilled that you care about that. You’re using your influence and your company to address, I think that’s fabulous.

Jen:  Do you use your own service? Of course, you do, right?

Bill:  Absolutely. All the time. I think the Shipt shoppers are at least at our house two to three times a week.

Jen:  I was gonna ask you that if you’re like, I’m the kind of person that I get us down almost to the bare bones where everybody is like, “Mom if we don’t have groceries by the end of this day we’re all gonna starve.” So, you’re more like a, “Hey we need $45 worth of groceries today,” and you order it.

Bill:  Exactly. You know I will say, my wife does most of the ordering around the house although we have some cool things that we’re doing at Shipt, so now that I get to have a little more input. We order on a regular basis and even when we travel, we found ourselves ordering and having groceries delivered wherever we are. It’s kinda cool.

Jen:   Oh, that’s true. Like you mean, “come to our rental house, or whatever, wherever we’re at?”

Bill:  Yeah. Let’s say we’re on vacation going to the beach. We have groceries that we need. Who wants to go grocery shopping when they are on vacation, you know?  We’ve “Shipted” while we’re on vacation.

Jen:  That’s amazing. So we talked earlier about the relationships between your shoppers and your customers and just kind of being the tent pole really in your company. You have to have some funny stories at this point archived. Like there’s just got to be something wild or unexpected or funny that has happened when your shoppers basically go into people’s homes. Do you have any at the ready?

Bill:   It is hard to choose one story. The stories that I remember are more … They’re not funny. They’re crazy for sure. Well, like one…

Jen:  Like what? We’ve gotta hear a couple.

Bill:  Oh, the first one that comes to mind. We actually, so we had a shopper delivering to one of our members and this was a couple of months ago. The member didn’t come to the door and I think the shopper knew that person. She had been there a few times … An older lady. Nobody came to the door so she went next door and she said, “Hey I’m trying to deliver to this person and they’re not answering the door. I’m concerned.” It turned out our member had a stroke.

Jen:  No, way.

Bill:  Yeah, we were able to get into the house. Of course, we called 911, and we were able to get her help, but this was the thing that was so special is this person’s child called us and said, “You probably saved my mom’s life,” you know?

Jen:    Oh, my goodness.

Bill:  That’s been a very memorable story, but when you have 20,000 people delivering literally millions of orders there’s always something happening. Every day there is a story.

Jen:  I’m hearing that Shipt is gonna potentially include deliveries from Costco soon? Is that true?

Bill:  We deliver from Costco in actually a number of our cities already and we’ve been expanding. People love that. Who doesn’t love Costco, you know?

Jen:  Oh, my gosh. Game changer.

Bill:  So yeah, we are.

Jen:  Frankly, who wants to go to Costco? Of course, I’m your person. You and I are exactly the same. If there was anyway I could never enter any store again, for the rest of my life it would be too soon. So, I wonder, do your shoppers have to have enough cargo space especially for like Costco stuff? I mean I could fill a trailer.

Bill:  We have to know how much space an order will occupy in a vehicle. So, if they’re ordering … You know, if you could imagine some of our big sellers are the things that mom doesn’t want to carry in the house. The cases of water. The paper towels. The huge thing of Tide. Dog food. All of that stuff.

Jen:  Dog food, yes.

Bill:  Sometimes the Toyota Prius is not the best fit for that. Our system will recognize those things and route those things to people with larger vehicles, but we have delivered some monster orders. I have pictures of us delivering I think 200 cases of soda. It’s like 200 cases of Coke, you know.

Jen:  You’re kidding?

Bill:  I mean just crazy stories out of Costco, definitely.

Jen:  Are you also working some corporate partners? Do you have some customers who are like, “Bring us our office groceries for the week?” Is it all residential, or do you sort of diversify?

Bill:  No, we have a lot of offices that order from us. It’s typically that office manager that is saying, “Hey, I would rather spend my time doing other things than going to grocery store.” So, we deliver to a lot of offices. You know, that Shipt gets a delivery. We have two or three orders a day showing up at Shipt HQ. So, we get to experience it from that way too.

Jen:  Like let’s say I wanted to send groceries to somebody who just had a baby or somebody’s having some big deal going on in their life. Is it possible to send groceries to somebody else’s house?

Bill: Yes. It happens all the time. It’s actually very common thing now, where people send a Shipt order to their friend or somebody that’s sick. It happens a lot when people are sick I’ve noticed. So, you know, “Oh I’ll just send you some chicken soup and a few things like that.” Very common–and the other thing we see is people that have elderly parents, they will order on behalf of their parents and have it delivered to their home.

Jen:  It’s so great. I mean really, it’s so great that I can hardly deal with it. I will never go to the grocery store again.

Bill:  You’re done. You’re done.

Jen:  I’m telling you like, that’s it. I don’t even know what it’ll be like. So, tell us what’s next for Shipt and for you? Just your team and your staff?

Bill:  A lot of things. We’re always trying to make it easier. You know the first step for us was just to allow people to buy groceries and get them delivered. We’re doing that, but now it’s, ” Hey how can we make it easier for you to plan meals?” Sometimes just figuring what’s for dinner three or four nights a week is a pain. So, we want to make that easier. So we’re doing some things around meal planning and how we can help there.

There’s also something pretty cool that’s coming where we are doing a device that sits in your kitchen. I don’t know if you go through this, you probably do. Well, somebody pours the last bit of the milk out, or you run out of cereal, or all these little things that happen you have to remember that stuff. So, what we’re doing is we’re going to be releasing a device where you can just pick it up and just scan the bar code of whatever you just ran out of and it’s on your list. Isn’t that cool?

Jen: Oh, come on. That’s amazing.

Bill:  Yeah. You just pick it up and you just go “boop.” It just takes a second just to scan those Cheerios.

Jen: That’s so great, and I really like the addition of meal planning. I mean if I could just to have one platform where you can kinda go in, plan, drag some ingredients right over, or just better yet hit click, and they’re all added to your shopping cart. It’s amazing. That’s really, really useful. Talk about a time saver.

You know what’s so funny is, earlier today I was recording a podcast with another set of guests who do this group cooking sort of day together. These three different moms, they come together, they triple these recipes, and make several at once, and it feeds their families for two weeks. They just lay it all down, in one afternoon, but they were telling me that … I was asking them about the logistics, like how do you logistically work this out? They combine their grocery list for what they need and they use Shipt. They just send it right to Shipt and it’s delivered to the home for the afternoon, they are gonna cook it all. I told them, I said, “Girls, I’m about to talk to Bill, the CEO, the founder of Shipt in a couple of hours,” and they screamed. Like you’re a rockstar. Like you’re Bono.

Bill:  Oh, that’s pretty cool.

Jen:  I mean that is what your company has meant to people. They have nine kids between them, most of them toddlers. So, it’s so hard to go to the grocery store. It’s a real service that you’re providing to us. No joke. So, I just want you to know that you’ve got squealing fans behind you. Just, so if you ever need an ego boost.

Bill:  Well, I love to hear that.

Jen: Alright, listen I want to ask you a couple of questions as we wrap it up here. This is the We Love Food Edition of the wrap up. I’m asking my all my guests on the food series, these questions. So here’s one: let’s say you got one hour to get ready. You’ve got six friends coming over for dinner. You don’t have time to get an amazing Shipt delivery. What would you say is in your pantry and fridge right now that you could cook a meal for six friends, if they were coming over here in an hour?

Bill:  That’s an interesting one. I would say that I am not the main chef in my home. I would say chili and grilled cheese.

Jen:  Yeah. Oh, yes. Comfort football food. That’s what I say.

Bill:  I know we have everything for chili and any house with kids is going to have bread and cheese.  You’re good. You always have it, so.

Jen: Cheese and bread.

Bill:  And who doesn’t love that on a chili day? So, that would be my choice. Then I would throw in there a nice bottle of Cabernet.

Jen: That’s the perfect meal for me. If you serve me that and I was your dinner guest, I’d come back. That’s amazing.

Bill:  You’re happy. Everybody is happy. You don’t always need a fancy meal.

Jen:  You rarely need a fancy meal. Rarely. I have 15 people coming to my house tonight and we’re having chili. So, that tells you how much I identify with your answer.

One last question, and this is … I have an author that I love. Her name is Barbara Brown Taylor and she’s the first person I ever heard ask this questions and it can be big or small or important or not important or funny or serious. How ever you want to answer it, and this is her question: what is saving your life right now?

Bill:  Oh, man. Is this normally a thing or is it … What’s the range on this?

Jen:  Like people can say as much … They can say “Vicks Kleenex are saving my life right now.” They can say my community. I mean, it can literally can be whatever right now is bringing you a great deal of joy or peace or contentment or happiness or comfort.

Bill:  You know, I would say my wife.

Jen:  Yeah? What’s her name? I’m not sure you’ve mentioned it.

Bill:  Yeah, Pam. You know I would say it’s Pam because she has been such a superstar. You can imagine how hard I’ve been working for the last couple of years, and she’s been such a superstar throughout the whole process. She is such an awesome support and fantastic. So I would say it’s my wife, Pam.

Jen:  That’s good. Listen for every Bill coming up with the idea of Shipt, there’s a Pam behind him keeping everything running. Keeping the family together. Raising the babies and the preschoolers. So, I think that’s a good job, you. You’re gonna get excellent points for that answer. I mean you reached for the right one, no doubt about it.

Hey, thanks for being on the podcast today. I am excited for all of my listeners who don’t know about Shipt. I promise you, you’re gonna get a flood to your website today. Tell everybody how they can find you. How can they find out more?

Bill:  So, I think the best thing to do is to download the Shipt App and it’s S-h-i- p-t, or you can go to Check us out. I think we have a special offer for your listeners.

Jen:  I was just gonna say that. I think you’ve offered something really, really generous to the listeners of the For the Love podcast.

Bill: Okay. So, our membership, the way to use Shipt is, join as a member. You get unlimited deliveries, and the membership is typically $99 a year, but for your listeners we’re gonna do it for $45, which is huge.

Jen:  It’s amazing.

Bill:  They can go to to get that deal.

Jen:  Wow, half price. That is really generous. Thank you. Thank you. I’m telling you, my listeners are gonna be thrilled about that and you’re gonna sign a whole mess of them up today. I promise you.

Just thank you for being creative and being innovative. I like that you took a risk and built a company that didn’t really exists before. Somebody has to go first. What a great legacy you’re gonna have, and thank you for being generous with your time today and also with my listeners and that great deal. By the way everybody, we’ll have all that information, all the links, all the everything on my website under the transcript. It’s gonna be at You’ll see it all there, so you can activate your amazing membership with Shipt.

Bill:  Hey, thanks it was great talking to you.

Jen: Three cheers to you Bill. Good job.

Super great, right?  I mean, so great–grocery delivery is just such a big deal to busy families.

I cannot overestimate how much it has assisted me in being a mom who’s home more, and present more, and also able to cook more because there’s really like no excuse to be like, “oh I don’t have what I need.” Super glad and grateful to offer you that really cool deal with Shipt. So $49 for a whole year membership, and it is obviously unlimited delivery. I mean, you heard Bill say he uses it three or four times a week, plus whenever you’re traveling you can send it to other people. I mean you’ll get your money’s worth out of that, so I hope they’re in your city.

I really hope they’re in your city. They’re in over 70, so a bunch of you are going to be able to access this really great offer. All of this is going to be on my website you guys, so Under this podcast, we’ll have all the links and everything you need–the activation code in case you didn’t have a chance to write it down. I hope it’s an awesome service to you that injects some hours and minutes back into your week and takes one thing off your plate. I mean if we can take one thing off our plate, that counts for something, doesn’t it?

Anyway, thank you to Bill Smith for joining me on the podcast today, you guys and I hope you’re liking the series. I really do. I think food is a part of every one of our lives.
And so I’m hoping that all of these interviews are not just interesting, but they’re giving you great tools and great ideas to make this a really vibrant part of your life instead of a drag. So join me next week–we’ve got another great guest and I think you’re going to really, really enjoy the conversation. As always, thank you for listening. Thanks for coming back week after week as you do. We’re just we’re crazy about you. So glad to be up be in this space with you. So tell your friends—subscribe, rate review–all those things that are great for podcasts and they just they keep the wheels turning.

OK you guys have a super week I’ll see you next week.

Narrator: Thanks for joining us today on the For the Love Podcast. Tune in next week, when we sit down again with Jen and friends to chat about all the things we love.

We love you, our listeners, so we want to be sure you subscribe to “For the Love,” with Jen Hatmaker, via iTunes or your favorite podcast provider, so you don’t miss a thing. And if you have a minute, please leave us a review. To become a part of Jen’s online community, visit and sign up for her newsletter. It’s full of all the things you love, including free stuff. We love free stuff!  Thanks for listening, and see you next time on For the Love, With Jen Hatmaker.

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