Zomato had recently declared lead over its rival Swiggy as it achieved 21 million monthly order run rate. While this lead could be ephemeral and likely to be driven by massive discounting, the Alibaba-backed company has been launching several initiatives to build a loyal customer base as well as gain new users.
After launching back to back loyalty programmes including Treat, Gold, and Piggybank, Zomato has introduced Zomato Pickup. It lets you pick up ordered food from restaurants across 13 cities. The company claims to be the first foodtech aggregator to begin pickup service.
However, foodpanda also used to show pickup service in the past, we have used this feature across a handful of restaurants in Gurugram and Delhi.
Since the average delivery time for Zomato is about 33 minutes, the product feature aims to eliminates wait time in queues and cut delivery time by over 20 minutes for those who want to grab food on their own.
Importantly, Zomato also claimed to cross a million orders a day for the first time on last Sunday. It ran a campaign called #nocookingsunday that dished out 50 per cent discount on every order.
The 1 million order run rate is quite surprising as it experienced an outage for hours on Sunday.
The company claims to have 18,000 restaurants who are committed to offering pickup service exclusively with Zomato. This essentially means that these restaurants can’t partner rival Swiggy, foodpanda, and UberEats.
While this feature may trigger users who are in hurry, live or work nearby restaurants to opt to pick up service, the percentage of such users are very thin. According to a foodtech entrepreneur, such user base isn’t more than 3-4 per cent.
Nevertheless, the feature is beneficial for those who are in hurry and don’t mind walking or driving for picking up orders. Going forward, it would be interesting to see how users respond to Zomato Pickup.