The ability to reach customers where it is most convenient for them can be a differentiator between your organization and the competition. One segment in which convenience is especially important is the food delivery industry, because reduced effort is inherent in the value proposition of the service. Online ordering has greatly disrupted the delivery industry by reducing the amount of work to order even more than the delivery methods of the past. If your brand utilizes delivery as part of its brand strategy, you need to be sure that the delivery process remains consistent with the rest of your Customer Experience.
McKinsey & Company describes the two main styles of food delivery in the modern age as ‘Aggregators’ and ‘New-Delivery’ brands. Aggregators are the more traditional strategy, and they take shape as online portals that make it easy for customers to connect with a variety of different restaurants. In this model, brands are simply a bridge between customers and restaurants, meaning they do not handle any of the delivery infrastructure themselves. These brands earn their profits solely from the restaurants, with no added charge to the customers. The new-delivery model connects customers with restaurants in a similar fashion, but on top of that they also take care of the delivery process, opening the amount and genres of restaurants available to consumers. This model earns its revenue from both restaurants and customers.
While it has not yet completely supplanted more traditional forms of delivery ordering, online ordering accounts for 26% of current delivery requests, with the expectation that this number will grow rapidly. While there is an added cost, the two models described above make it easier for restaurants to make their menu available to online customers. However, just posting your menu on one of these websites is not enough to create a leading Customer Experience. Customers expect speed and convenience, with 60% of customers specifically naming speed of delivery as their number one priority. In the aggregator model, this responsibility lies on the restaurant brand to ensure their delivery methods are consistent with these expectations. While those restaurants that work with new-delivery do not have direct control over the delivery process, they need to ensure the organization they work with is retaining their stated brand identity and goals.
One of the best reasons to focus on Customer Experience is the high level of customer loyalty within the industry. McKinsey reports that 80% of customers that sign up and use an online food delivery brand will never or rarely leave for another platform. However, if your brand consistently exceeds expected wait times, has bugs within the online platform, or any number of harmful Customer Experience miscues, there is a risk of sending these loyal customers to the competition. Measurement programs like mystery shopping and VoC surveys are a surefire way to mitigate this risk, because it allows brands to acquire an accurate depiction of their existing Customer Experience, and how it compares to their expectations.
The online food delivery industry is already well established within the food sector, there are already five online delivery platforms valued at greater than $1,000,000,000,000. If you are a brand in this space, it is vital that you are providing the right kind of value to customers, to encourage the kind of loyalty typical to the industry. To become an industry leader, customers need to be exceptionally satisfied with a brand, and reducing effort is a key step in accomplishing this. Utilize delivery as a way to do this, but make sure that it is implemented in the correct fashion.
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