During the pandemic, everybody flocked to third-party delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Grubhub — in fact, the biggest delivery companies more than doubled their revenue compared to 2019.
At the same time, the pandemic has also presented new challenges, as well as opportunities for growth. Now many of the big names in the business are rethinking whether they are the best fit for them and their customers.
It’s undeniable that the pandemic helped delivery apps and other services that bring goods right to your front door prove their value to consumers. But bigger business doesn’t mean these companies are profitable yet, simply because they’re so costly to run.
On top of that, the companies have faced a number of issues over the past year. Restaurant owners have started to push back against the delivery apps’ commission fees, which cut into restaurant profits. Some drivers are unhappy with their pay. And even certain cities have started creating policies to slow down the use of delivery apps.
Apps like UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates aren’t just thinking about food anymore. As tech giants like Amazon continue to lead the way in terms of delivery, the delivery apps are looking to expand their approach as well.
One key area of growth is grocery delivery, currently dominated by Instacart. Uber has recently started offering grocery delivery, based around pharmacies and convenience stores. Not to be outdone, DoorDash recently launched DashMart, its own grocery-delivery option.
And of course, making sure you know your audience is critical, and that’s something delivery apps have been thinking about. In general, Millennials are usually thought to be the main audience for delivery apps, so gearing advertising and the delivery experience towards them is always a good move.
In our media-saturated moment, careful branding can also help delivery companies stand out. DoorDash, for instance, is now the official on-demand delivery app of the National Basketball Association. And recently, GrubHub became the Official Food Delivery Partner of the League Championship Series, the biggest professional esports league in North America.
It’s still too early to tell what the future of delivery will look like — whether it will mean new branding opportunities or more personalized delivery options, or even food delivery via drone — but it’s clear the biggest companies are already starting to plan ahead.