On-demand food delivery solutions became a beacon of hope for restaurants amidst the COVID-19 crisis. When people were scared to dine at crowded places, these food delivery apps allowed restaurants to offer their services and still generate consistent revenue.
For end-users, these apps were nothing short of a blessing. Even today, when restaurants have reopened, people still prefer ordering food from their smartphones and dining within the safety of their four walls.
The high reliability and ease of use are the two reasons why the online food delivery market is growing exponentially. A Statista report suggests that the market is expected to generate revenue of US$449,292m by 2025. Due to such promising figures, it’s no surprise that restaurants (across the globe) are keen on hiring Indian app developers to launch their distinct food delivery platforms.
If you also own a restaurant or food business, investing in an on-demand food delivery solution will help you accelerate your business growth and target a wider audience. But, to establish your brand as a leader in this highly competitive industry, you’ll have to choose the right features for your food delivery solution first.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the key features you must integrate into your on-demand food delivery solution to make it user-centric. These features will also help you compete with existing brands in the market and establish a strong brand identity.
Understanding the Different Types of Food Delivery Solutions
Now, before we dive into the list of features, let’s first understand the two different types of food delivery solutions that are currently available in the market. If you want to step into the online food delivery industry, you’ll first have to choose the type of delivery solution you want to launch.
1. Food Aggregators (Like UberEats)
As of now, the majority of food delivery solutions available in the market fall under this category. Food aggregators are simply mediators that connect users to different restaurants. UberEats is a great example of a food aggregator.
Basically, users can see different restaurants, explore their menus, compare prices, and then place the order from a specific place using UberEats. The company doesn’t have its own restaurant chains and only acts as a bridge between restaurants and the customers.
The reason why food aggregators are becoming more popular is their reliability. Through a food aggregator, even small-scale restaurants and food outlets can relish the benefits of digital presence and get more sales.
2. Standalone Delivery Solutions (Like Dominos’ food Delivery App)
Standalone delivery solutions, on the other hand, are mobile apps that are launched by the restaurants themselves. The restaurant hires app developers in India and they build a unique platform that caters to the specific objectives of the business itself. However, standalone apps are comparatively more challenging to manage. Why? Because in this case, the restaurant has to manage all the logistics, starting from hiring delivery agents to managing the online orders.
Standalone delivery solutions are an ideal solution for large-scale food chains such as Dominos. Since it’s a billion-dollar company, Dominos can hire resources to process the orders and deliver them on time.
So, after you’ve chosen what type of food delivery solution you want to develop, the next step would be to pick the right features. Here we have listed all the features you must include in your food delivery solution to make it functional.
10 Key Features of an On-Demand Food Delivery Solution
1. Push Notifications
As we mentioned earlier, the online food delivery market is a highly competitive industry. Users have installed multiple food delivery apps on their smartphones. In such a scenario, you must notify your existence so that the customers don’t abandon your delivery platform. The best way to do this is to use Push Notifications.
If you are not familiar with the concept, push notifications are alerts that you can send to the users. Ideally, businesses use push notifications to remind users about new deals, discounts, restaurant openings, etc. In addition to this, you can also utilize push notifications to share exclusive gift cards with the customers to keep them engaged.
In any case, however, make sure to configure push notifications in such a way that they don’t backfire. If you send too many notifications (and all of them sound like commercials), you’ll eventually lose your valuable customers. To avoid this scenario, build effective strategies and send push notifications to scale your business gradually.
2. Real-Time Location Tracking (Geolocation Integration)
One of the prerequisites of a food delivery solution is location tracking. Customers want to know how far is their order and when it’ll reach their doorstep. Real-time location tracking will allow them to get the exact location of their order and ensure that the delivery agent is not taking unnecessary pit stops.
To provide location tracking, your team of Indian app developers will have to integrate dedicated geolocation APIs into your mobile solution. Several tech giants like Google and Apple have released their own APIs for geo-integration. You can analyze your business objectives and choose the best API accordingly.
3. Third-party Payment Gateway Integration
Digital payments have become the new ‘norm’ in today’s tech-savvy world. People no longer want to carry cash; instead, they use online banking to make payments and keep the transactions transparent.
While developing a food delivery solution, you must integrate payment gateways that allow users to pay securely. Your delivery app should not have any security loopholes and must protect customers’ banking details at all costs.
As of now, there are dozens of payment gateways that you can integrate into your delivery solution. However, to deliver quality services, choose a payment gateway that supports multiple payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and digital wallets.
4. Social Media Integration
Social media integration is another essential feature that’ll help you enhance the overall usability of your food delivery app. With social media support, users will be able to set up their accounts within a single click. Moreover, social media integration can also provide an additional marketing tool for your brand.
Your customers will have the ability to share pictures of a specific dish and post their experiences on their social media profiles. This will help you garner more attention and expand your customer base. In a nutshell, if you implement social media integration properly, it’ll help you attract new customers while retaining your existing clientele at the same time.
5. Order Placement and Order History
If you have ever ordered food online, you already know how important it is to keep the order placement process as simple as possible. A hungry customer doesn’t have time to answer your survey questions. So, don’t bother users with unnecessary surveys and let them order food within a few taps. Apart from optimizing the order placement process, you must also add a dedicated “History” tab where users could access all their previous orders. You can further integrate a “Repeat Order” button that would allow users to repeat a particular order and directly prompt them to the checkout page.
6. Rewards and Discount Programs
Customers love exclusive discounts and unexpected discounts on their favorite cuisines. In fact, 40% of customers are more likely to use the same food delivery platform when they earn discounts. Offering discounts is one of the most effective ways to retain your customers and encourage them to choose your brand over other available options. You can also run exclusive loyalty programs to build long-term clients. Loyalty programs are basically marketing tactics that allow brands to keep their potential customers engaged by providing them loyalty points that they could spend later on.
7. Multi-Platform Support
The smartphone market is disproportionately divided between Android and iOS devices. Even though Android owns 75% of the smartphone market, you can’t ignore the fact that 25% of all smartphones are iPhones. This means there are nearly 1.25 billion iPhones across the globe. In such a scenario, targeting a single platform may put your app in the backseat while cross-platform food delivery solutions rule the industry.
It doesn’t matter if you want to launch a food aggregator or an exclusive delivery solution for your restaurant, it would be important to launch a cross-platform solution. To do this, you can look for top mobile app development companies in India that offer cross-platform development services.
8. Food Cart
Food Cart is a feature that app developers in India can integrate into food aggregators as well as standalone delivery solutions. By integrating the food cart, you would allow customers to add multiple food items into their checkout list and pay for them at once. This would speed up the entire process and the user won’t have to pay for each item separately.
9. Reviews and Feedback
One of the most effective ways to retain your customers is to act on their feedback and deliver customer-centric services. Even if the QA team has given a thumbs-up to your app during the testing phase, the reviews and feedback you receive from customers will help you identify unexplored loopholes.
Based on the feedback, the developers will be able to tackle these loopholes and keep the app’s performance intact. In short, using customer feedback to optimize your services will help you retain the existing clients and get ahead of the competition.
10. Built-in Chat Support
Finally, chat support is a feature that’ll make your food delivery solution more interactive. How? Customers are always in search of mobile solutions that deliver quality customer services.
Whenever users get stuck, your customer service team must resolve their queries so that they can complete the order without any hassle. The most suitable way to do this is to integrate a built-in chat platform where users could talk to the customer care executive in real-time.
To further enhance your app’s engagement, you can also integrate chatbots. This way even if the customer executive is away from the system, the chatbot would automatically send predefined messages.
It’s no secret that food delivery platforms have made dining a hassle-free task for customers. They can order food within the comfort of their homes and avoid flocking to crowded restaurants. Not to mention, these food delivery solutions also help restaurants escalate their sales and grow the annual revenue by a huge margin. So, whether you run your own restaurant chain or want to invest in a lucrative startup, hire a skilled team of Indian app developers to build a food delivery solution and integrate the right features that best suit your business model.
Looking for a professional app development agency to build your food delivery solution? Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll help you craft a powerful food delivery platform from the ground up to boost your restaurant’s sales and lead the industry in the tech-dominated world.