For the past couple of weeks, I am sure most of you have heard of companies or friends that are searching for delivery or e-commerce solutions in a desperate move to stay relevant in a changing economy due to COVID19. Stablished delivery companies and e-commerce sites with millions of captive users are undoubtedly a must have for many companies who, for whatever reason, are not strong in delivery or e-commerce strategies.
Before making the move, more than ever brands need to do some soul searching and understand what they are and stand for. What are the real reasons that their users buy them? Yesterday, I read an interview of one of my favorite restaurant’s Chef, he said that deliveries were giving them some revenue, but only 15% of all the revenue they were making before the pandemic. He also mentioned that it was unsustainable to work with delivery companies because they wanted a 20% commission, a margin that they weren’t even making pre-pandemic. For that reason, they were delivering food with their own employees to guarantee quality and preserve jobs.
If staying home is the new normal, people will be looking for what a brand represents, the product’s experience and its value prop. It is a completely basic experience to just go into an app like Postmates or UberEats and browse through several restaurants, order your food and get it from a delivery guy that delivers almost hundreds of meals a day. Rather than ordering straight from your favorite local restaurant’s app, really experiencing their uniqueness and value prop straight from their selection process, up until you receive the order.
Preserving experience and value prop is crucial, but what is most important, is that makers lose control of their data when they use third party services, which is a key aspect in how they can truly understand their customers, make decisions and also know how they can serve their customers in a more personal way.
I imagine a not so distant future where I could just put my VR goggles on and just travel to that “world” my favorite restaurant built around it, a place where I am welcomed by my favorite host, choose daily produce and the entree I want to eat. And then, after a few minutes it arrives home with their custom packaging, and the safety precautions I expect from them.
We will start evolving from mass commoditization of deliveries to brand new relationships with our favorite vendors, even if it is not one on one.
For that, companies will need to shift their mindset and re-build the physical worlds, ones that took so much effort to build, into virtual worlds, where data and experience are blended together to offer what brands really stand for.