Consumers who order food on-line are paying extra for it. Food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy – which management the market – have raised supply charges during the last six months, launched dynamic discounting, tightened order cancellation guidelines and hiked costs of their loyalty programmes.
Along with diminished reductions total, this has hit order numbers, eating places listed on these platforms and analysts advised ET. “The drop in order volume is estimated at about 5-6% every month since October for Zomato and December for Swiggy, in line with when these platforms tightened policies,” an analyst monitoring the sector mentioned requesting anonymity, citing confidentiality. “How the dynamics change post-Uber Eats deal will be clearer next month,” he added.
Last week, Zomato acquired Uber’s food aggregator business in India, Uber Eats, for $350 million in an all-stock deal. Uber will get about 10% stake in Zomato following the deal. Zomato has launched “on time or free delivery” – which means, if a client opts to pay a further Rs 10 on choose eating places, he/she is assured free order if it isn’t delivered throughout the promised time.
It has additionally raised costs of its Gold membership and began cross-selling at checkouts to extend common order worth by suggesting aspect choices. Swiggy, too, has elevated supply expenses in some cities, tightened cancellation guidelines and order escalations, and raised costs of its loyalty program ‘Super’. “Profitable and sustainable business models are starting to take centerstage, with market leaders attracting a vast majority of investments,” mentioned Ankur Pahwa, Partner, Ernst & Young.
For occasion, Zomato has adopted a staggered supply cost for customers, relying on the space, order worth and restaurant. Consumers pay anyplace from Rs 16 – the bottom cost – to greater than Rs 45 for small-value orders in Bengaluru. The firm beforehand made deliveries free past a sure restrict.
In Bengaluru, Zomato has added a surge price of as much as Rs 25 on orders throughout peak hours, and supply price of Rs 11 on its meal-for-one providing, which was earlier free. “For food delivery, fee has been implemented in tandem with the maturity as well as the growth of the sector,” a spokesperson for Zomato mentioned.
Swiggy, too, has elevated its supply expenses in choose small cities and cities, and elevated night-time supply expenses in choose places. Over the course of the yr, the corporate has additionally raised its supply charges, charging Rs 31 for supply of orders beneath Rs 98, and Rs 21 for deliveries past that restrict in Bengaluru. Previously, the corporate had a most supply cost of Rs 20 and didn’t cost for orders past a certain quantity.
“Our overall focus remains to improve customer experience both in terms of speed and selection. While we’ve revised delivery fees in certain cases, we continue to offer Super subscription for consumers seeking convenience and affordability,” a Swiggy spokesperson mentioned.
Over the final six to eight months, the 2 dominant gamers have additionally began passing on restaurant packing expenses and sure taxes to customers and reduce down on losses per order. The common low cost on food tech platforms has dropped by 200 foundation factors because the center of 2019, in keeping with analysis agency RedSeer Consulting.
On the loyalty entrance, Swiggy has hiked costs of its Super programme by 20%. The firm now expenses Rs 349 for a three-month membership, up from Rs 179 beforehand. Zomato, too, has hiked costs of its loyalty program, Zomato Gold. The service, which was launched at Rs 999 for one yr, will now value 1,800, an 80% improve. Zomato had beforehand supplied Gold at simply Rs 299 for 3 months. “We had raised the price of Zomato Gold after discussion with the restaurant industry,” the Zomato spokesperson mentioned.
Slowdown in progress
The mixture of elevated prices handed on to customers and reductions being slashed has slowed the general progress of the sector. RedSeer Consulting estimates that the food ordering market in India will develop by simply 35% in 2020, reaching 1.5 billion orders, anticipated to be its slowest tempo of progress within the final 5 years. This is a pointy discount from the 205% progress in 2019 when it hit 1.1 billion orders, the analyst quoted earlier within the story mentioned.
Earlier this month, ET reported that Swiggy has begun charging higher commissions from eating places in areas the place its service is nearing maturity, because it shifts focus to monetising its core food ordering enterprise. Zomato, which bought Uber Eats to strengthen its presence within the southern markets, can be following in its wake.