Food delivery apps and online food delivery services are the new emerging trend of the 21st century. With the increased utilization of technology, reshaping the industry becomes significant to serve the final purchasers. Businesses need to update their strategies to satisfy the evolving expectations of consumers.
The dining out culture is transformed into the eating in culture. And this trend is prominent among youth (15 – 45), especially within the metropolitan cities where there are constant traffic jams and heavy population density, which ends up in even short distance traveling being a highly time-consuming process. The Indian households are turning to online food delivery services as a neater and more convenient alternative.
Food Delivery Apps have broken into conventional practices. It offers a helpful solution to busy work schedules, not letting people leave for a delicious meal. While the transition from the traditional practices represents strategic changes in the business models. However, several other factors depict the reason behind the demand shift in their favor.
The article attempts to assess the factors that affect the adoption of food delivery apps. The analysis is supported and backed by the primary data collected by employing a questionnaire survey. All the results are expressed using different statistical tools using pie charts, bar diagrams.
ONLINE FOOD DELIVERY: PRESENT SCENARIO
Consumers are becoming familiar and comfortable with the online ordering process. The food delivery apps provide convenience, cuisine variety, price comparisons, and delivery tracking GPS options. Some of the food delivery apps functioning in India would be Zomato, Swiggy, Uber eats, Food panda, and so on. They dealt with the complication of ordering, booking food orders, and handle the difficulty of the delivery. It sums up the evolution of the Indian food technology market so far.
Keeping this in mind, new and budding Indian startups are finding that the main ingredient to success is the online option. There are now several service providers who are fighting to win the hearts of consumers. Although, technological developments matter in food technology, it’s the customer’s food experience that decides their success. The Indian food delivery market values 15 billion dollars and has growth potential. The expansion of online food ordering delivery platforms like Swiggy, Food Panda, Uber Eats, and Zomato is feeding the planet online.
The Customer Perceptions of Online Food Ordering
Accordingly, in the survey, about 83.1% of the consumers choose online food apps over going out and buying them from shops. The share of such a population is highly minimal, about 16.9%.
The top reasons why people prefer to order food online than eating out are as follows,
Availability of vast meal choices – People can surf a vast range of meals and beverages in a single interface. It helps people to get the best meals and get opt-in to the current offers.
Simplicity and convenience – This makes people order from home and gets the food directly at their doorsteps. It makes us get the food without any effort and feel comfortable.
Rating and reviews – The rating and reviews are the most reliable feature. The easy review technique helps all customers to share their experiences with all. Thus, customer satisfaction can be achieved easily.
Various payment options- People can pay for their online food orders by their wide variety of payment options such as bank account, UPI, net banking, and COD. It gives consumers the convenience to pay when liquid cash is not available.
Opportunity to try a wide variety of restaurant meals- People can try a greater variety of restaurant options. Sitting at home and can have a good meal at the end of a hard working day.
Most preferred apps for online food delivery in India
Today the world has become a technological hub. With the advancement of technology, people are demanding more and more services. At an equivalent time, the businesses are creating innovative ways to draw in customer’s attention towards their services. People do not get time to relax and go out to enjoy their favorite cuisine. Thus, the online food delivery apps have made the authentic taste available at the doorstep of every customer.
Some of the major players in online food ordering and delivering apps are as follows:
- Zomato- The app provides a quality platform for foodies. This app helps hygiene and quality standards high. The user can choose between a spread of restaurants and dishes to quench their hunger anytime.
- Swiggy- The features of fast delivery and the fact that there is no minimum order have made Swiggy a favorite among the working-class millennials. COD and online payment using debit and credit cards are integrated for the user’s convenience.
- Uber Eats-This app allows you to search for food by category, location, and restaurant-wise. Uber being an AI transportation service, matches the resturants and the customers easily using the GPS.
- The food panda- Foodpanda is a user-friendly and quick-to-order app. One can order in a convenient and super fast way. It acts as a hunger savior.
Booking food requires three steps:
According to the survey, the age groups 15-45 are highly dependent on food delivery apps. The survey has revealed that they find it easy to order food at home since it saves a lot of time in their busy schedule. The diverse discount rates and offer also attracts customers too much compared to the food shops.
Why do people prefer Zomato over Swiggy?
Based on the literature, Swiggy is popular among its customers in the food delivery market. But according to the sample collected and studied, Zomato stands out or ranks better in comparison to Swiggy. Research has revealed that though Swiggy rules in terms of the order number, Zomato is a winner in the variety of restaurants covered by it. Again Zomato offers different types of offers that are not available in Swiggy. The “cash back ” offer of Zomato further attracts customers a lot. Needless to say, the millennial world consists mostly of the young population who can ace technology and belong to the student category. Hence, cheap yet quality and authenticity are preferred more.
Zomato tries to be a one-stop-destination across the country. Whether you want to order in, go out for a meal, or lie in bed thinking about what people eat on a cheat day, Zomato has got you covered. It is currently the only app in India that acts as an extensive encyclopedia of restaurants, complete with ratings, average cost, menus, and reviews. So even if there is a restaurant on the side that is not doing home delivery, Zomato has the restaurant cataloged on its app. They even have their streaming service replete with about 18 original shows to keep you consumed. And this tells you something important. Zomato focuses on food and food alone. And it wants to capture the whole value chain — from restaurant discovery to delivery.
Swiggy does not do any of this. Instead, they are focusing on their delivery ecosystem to explore new categories. Think groceries, medicines, etc. Ergonomically, they are using their delivery system to run errands for people who do not have the time. And considering they already have manpower at their disposal, they can expand into the B2B space as well. It is like running errands for other businesses instead of consumers. This area is still relatively unexplored by Swiggy. Thus, Swiggy is looking beyond the food space, while Zomato is focusing on becoming the encyclopedia.
Covid-19 effects on online food ordering
The pandemic of coronavirus has severely affected the world. The food industry got heavily impacted. This outbreak led the Indian government to make the food delivery and restaurants business-critical services. Since more than 20% of the population in India relies on online food and restaurants services daily, the food delivery services needed re-start. The pandemic has created challenges for food delivery commitments that can have lasting effects. The increased customer demand to have food from hygiene restaurants and get their meals delivered by healthy delivery people has forced the industry to maintain strict hygienic norms and has pushed the working force to get their vaccines at the earliest.
Customers, on the other hand, are wary of placing orders during the pandemic. Many online food delivery services have allowed the delivery personnel to equip themselves with protective gear and encouraged customers to pay digitally to ensure contactless delivery. The cleanliness conditions of the restaurants and the sanitary conditions of the food delivery personnel are some of the reasons behind people not trusting the online delivery of food and services of online food delivery platforms.
The survey reveals that about 54.5% of the population has decreased their expenditure on online foods because of some primary reasons
- to avoid human interactions
- for maintaining hygiene and
- to avoid unnecessary expenditure
A certain proportion of the population has considered increasing their expenses during this period. Possible reasons are
- The home delivery service
- To get easy access to food. (since many covid affected patients require house services of food when they are bedridden).
- Unavailability of the restaurant facility.
- The consumer’s perception of online food ordering varies from individual to individual. The perception depends on the availability of the proper connectivity and exposure to online food service.
- Centennials are mostly poised to use the online food delivery service.
- The study also shows that price of the products, discounts and special offer is the most influencing factor.