Marketplaces have always been around for a while! However, in recent years, it has suffered a paradigm shift. At a certain point in time, it was about e-commerce websites like Amazon and the good old eBay. Today, however, marketplaces are synonymous with applications like UberEats clone. There are marketplaces for almost every commodity, and there are apps that cater to specific needs. One such manifestation of this marketplace phenomenon is the online food ordering market place.
Let us first look at what these marketplaces are all about, and then proceed to study its relevance in the online food delivery business.
Table of Contents
What is a marketplace?
A marketplace in the online context which is quite similar to what it was in its traditional sense. It is a platform that brings together the service providers or businesses and customers together. The greatest advantage that marketplaces bring in is centralization, or in its most relevant lingo, “aggregation.”
Statista has stated that about 44% of the consumers in the United States use online food ordering applications at least once every month. It is a great number considering the population of the United States. What Statista has not covered is the growth of food delivery applications and the business as a whole in highly populous economies like India and China.
The relevance of marketplaces and the growth of food delivery as a business make it the right juncture for an aspiring entrepreneur to create a UberEats clone business out of an online food delivery marketplace. To keep up with today’s technology standards, it would be a great idea to have an app avatar to the business.
Food – it’s timeless relevance!
There has never been a time when food was out of the list of important things for human life. The pattern of consumption, however, has been changing from time to time. There was a time when food was cooked at home only. Then came the concept of restaurants. Slowly but steadily, restaurants stopped being a mere utility providing food for people who cannot afford to have home food. It rather became an excuse for dining out, in the name of hanging out with friends or a date with someone special. One of the latest avatars of food consumption is ordering food from restaurants to be delivered to homes.
Food delivery – the benefits
Ordering food from restaurants to homes brings a variety of benefits to every entity involved in executing this process. The customers get to enjoy food from their favorite restaurants at the comfort, convenience, and confines of their homes. It also eliminates the need for them to encounter the heavy traffic during peak hours in metro cities.
For the restaurant, it helps them carry out their business beyond the scope of their seating capacity and the customers who are dining in their premises. This gives them an opportunity to expand their business and profit. The advent of food delivery has also given a fillip to a new class of food business called cloud kitchens – kitchens that offer only food for delivery services without any option to dine in.
In addition, the growth of UberEats clone as a food delivery business has also opened up a new avenue of employment opportunities – delivery executives. These delivery executives perform the tough task of picking up food from the restaurant and delivering it to the customers’ address. All that is required from the delivery executive is a good knowledge of the neighborhood and, of course, riding/driving skills. Given the simplicity, it provides a lot of opportunities for the unskilled workforce and also opens up additional earning avenues for college students.
Some food delivery marketplaces list out all the restaurants and the menu items available. The customer can pick food items from the menu and add them to the cart. Once all the items are added and they checkout, a notification is sent to the restaurant. The restaurant starts to prepare the food in line with the order. Once the food is prepared, the restaurant can send their delivery executives to deliver the food to the customer.
This method seems quite simple, but it comes with one major challenge. The restaurant has to take care of the delivery period. This means that the restaurant always needs to have delivery executives at their disposal. This might not seem to be a profitable option, as the delivery volumes might change from time to time. Also, it might not be possible for the restaurant to handle high volumes of delivery requests during peak hours and even more so during times of rain.
The second method is almost similar to the first kind of market place. The major difference between the two is that the delivery mechanism falls outside the purview of the restaurant. Just like the first method, the customer can order food from the app by choosing from the menu. However, instead of the restaurant handling the delivery, the platform itself handles the delivery by using a fleet of UberEats clone delivery executives. These delivery executives, aptly named as delivery partners, are not full-time employees but more of gig workers who use this opportunity to earn some extra money.
This method, commonly called the aggregator model, presents a lot of advantages. The restaurant can focus on its core competency, which is preparing and packing food. Above everything, since the platform does not mark these delivery executives as employees, the platform-providing company does not have to go through the hassles of paying salaries and handling their taxes.
How it works?
From the above lines, it is quite clear that there are three major entities involved in the food delivery ecosystem – the consumer or the customer, the restaurant, and the delivery executive. The process of food ordering through an app seems quite simple and straightforward on paper.
The customer opens the app, select the restaurant of their choice, and add items to their cart. Once the items are finalized, they can proceed to checkout and make payment. They can also choose to pay by cash during delivery. As soon as the payment is made, notifications are sent both to the restaurant and the delivery executives in the vicinity. The delivery executive starts to move towards the restaurant, and the restaurant starts preparing the food. Once the food is prepared and packed, the restaurant hands open the food to the delivery executive. Assisted by the navigation options on the UberEats clone apps, the delivery executive proceeds to deliver the food to the customer. The customer also gets an option to rate the restaurant and the delivery experience.
It all seems simple and small enough to be accommodated within a few lines of English. However, there are a lot of lines of code that need to go into creating this kind of an ecosystem.
Each entity involved in the food delivery ecosystem has an app of their own. The customers, the restaurants, and the delivery executives, each have an app of their own.
The customer app needs to be packed with features that make it easy and simple for the customer to handle their ordering and payment. The essential features of the UberEats clone app are:
- The customer should be able to quickly register to use the app. It is to be remembered that this is the first touchpoint of the customer, and the process needs to be incredibly simple. In addition to providing the usual registration options like using the email or phone number, they should also be able to register by using legacy credentials like Google and Facebook.
- The search functionality should be robust and simple. The customer should be able to search for the restaurant by using multiple attributes like the name, the food item, the cuisine, and the time taken for delivery.
- The order process should be simple and straightforward. If customizations are possible it should be made separately available.
- The app should be able to accommodate multiple payment mechanisms. Today, there are a lot of digital payment avenues, including but not limited to credit and debit cards, internet banking, UPI, and wallets. The payment gateway should be able to accommodate all these payment methods, so customers do not face any hassle in making the payment.
- The customer should be able to track their orders live as, and when it happens, so they can be well informed about the status of the order.
App for delivery executives:
- Just like the customers, the delivery executive should also be able to register themselves with utmost ease. However, there needs to be additional security features to ensure that the identity of the delivery executives are verified.
- The delivery executive should be able to have complete control of whether they are available for delivery or are not.
- They should also have a feature to track their earnings on a daily and monthly basis. The app should also facilitate quick cashing of their earnings.
App for restaurants:
- Just like the other two entities, a restaurant should also be able to register without hassle.
- The restaurant should be given the features to manage the presence of their business on the platform. They should be able to update information on the dining place, the address, the working hours, the menu, and the availability of dishes according to time. They should also be given an option to go off-line if their demand or workload is high during festivities or promotions.
- The UberEats clone application give an option for the customers to make the payment online. However, it is not to be forgotten that the actual item for which the customers pay is delivered by the restaurant. Therefore, the restaurant should be able to quickly get their payments from the app. If not, it is quite possible that they might move away from the app. What is even worse is that the word of mouth quickly spread in the restaurant owner circles.
Creating a food delivery marketplace:
It is quite evident from the above lines that putting together a food delivery marketplace is quite a cumbersome task. However, the good news is that a lot of companies have already done it, and in spite of it, there is a market quite wide and open to accommodate new players. Combining these two, you can make use of white label clones of apps like UberEats. This UberEats clone apps are quite readily available in the market, and you can customize them according to your requirements. It helps you save a lot of time and money in hitting the market. It is to be remembered that the quicker you hit the market, the greater your probability of making profit.