The marriage of food and delivery-as-a-service (DaaS) has always been hinged on the customer experience. However, as the number of delivery options swell and the market nears saturation, the processes driving the customer experience will rapidly evolve. For a time, restaurants delighted customers with well-designed user-interfaces and solid delivery strategies. This broad approach to the user experience (while very important!) is being replaced with a more nuanced, granular approach. In this article, we discuss the wave of what be believe to be the future for survival of brands: hyper-personalization in delivery-as-a-service.
What is Hyper-Personalization?
Defining hyper-personalization can be tricky. Unquestionably, it can mean different things to different industries. So, for the sake of this post, we’re going to refer to hyper-personalization as personalization techniques entrenched in digitally (or non-digitally) disruptive practices. Standard “personalization” techniques often include things such an email with a person’s name attached to it or a menu that remembers your favorite order. Hyper-personalization takes that a step further.
Let’s take a look at the dog food delivery service Ollie. While many dog food delivery services focus on healthy dog food (natural, non-GMO, and organic ingredients), Ollie takes that a step further by customizing its delivery service for your dog. When you sign up, you’ll fill out an interactive profile that records your dog’s name, breed, weight, eating habits, activity levels, allergies, and nutritional needs. Next, Ollie will select the right type of food for your pet and send you customized portions with your pet’s name printed across each insulated, recyclable tray.
This customer-centric (dogs are people too) shift in delivery and branding represents the hot new trend of hyper-personalization. To be fair, hyper-personalization isn’t only about offering customized portions or canine profiles. Hyper-personalization can be embedded into logistics planning and strategy, as well. While it may not seem immediately apparent, eco-friendly merchandise, locally sourced ingredients, and viral communities can all lead to personalized experiences.
When you look at the delivery-as-a-service industry, personalization is a growth pillar. So, how can you separate yourself from your competitors? Perhaps most topical to the typical 9Fold restaurant partner, how can you provide a customer experience that will give your brand the best shot at converting customers from third party commission platforms? Can you offer a better overall customer experience by leveraging front-end and back-end processes? That’s the beauty of hyper-personalization in DaaS.
Top 7 Apps That Have Perfected The Art Of Hyper-Personalization
It’s important to study cross-industry innovation rather than bogging down within one’s lane when it comes to emerging tech trends. Let’s take a look at some of the DaaS apps that are dominating the hyper-personalization landscape across different sectors. Next, we’ll discuss what restaurants can learn from these apps and apply it to everyday practices.
Customized profiles aren’t the only way to do hyper-personalization right (although they have their place). Dropoff has personalization baked right into its back-end delivery logistics. We all know about same-day delivery, but what about ASAP delivery? Dropoff mainly delivers packages for the grocery, retail, healthcare, and business services industries. However, the real magic is in the way these packages are delivered.
First, Dropoff has three delivery speed options — ASAP, 2-hour, and 4-hour. The ASAP option delivers goods as-soon-as-humanly-possible by connecting the nearest Dropoff agent with the closest package location. Of course, that’s not all that Dropoff does. Dropoff also lets you track drivers before and during delivery, which means that everyone has clear operational visibility at all times.
Takeaways From Dropoff
Think about your back-end processes. What can you do to speed them up and make them more robust for your customers? Dropoff uses a hyper-personalized delivery process to deliver a completely unique experience for each customer. A blend of delivery options coupled with real-time tracking and feature-rich APIs create a feeling of control and reliability.
The attack of the porch package thieves. No, that isn’t the name of a B-grade movie. It’s, however, a major concern for consumers who make online orders. Interestingly, Amazon package thefts are most pervasive at technology hubs like Seattle, Silicon Valley, Boston, and Washington D.C. Doorman solves the theft problem by allowing its customers to schedule deliveries from 6pm to midnight, seven days a week.
Takeaways from Doorman
People get their packages when they’re actually home, a major win for both consumers and retailers. Doorman gives retailers and rental communities flexibility and accountability. If you can find a way to provide both to your customers, you’ll have solved a major consumer pain point.
While JoyRun may seem like another delivery app on the surface, it’s anything but run-of-the-mill. Instead of relying on paid drivers to pick up food, JoyRun lets the community do it. Let’s say you’re craving a burger. JoyRun lets you find people in your community who are headed to the restaurant of your choice. You can tack your order onto theirs, and they’ll meet you with your food. In fact, the app is so community-based that runners can opt out of being paid for deliveries. After all, paying your next door neighbor for a soda may, well…feel a little weird.
Takeaways From JoyRun
Nothing screams personalization more than human connection. JoyRun tells you the name of the person picking up your food, and you can chat with him/her the entire time. It doesn’t get any more personal than that: texting your delivery person on a first-name basis. Of course, analyzing interactions and leveraging data to connect people is the broader process beneath the surface. The bottom line? Find ways to connect your restaurant staff to the people ordering the food.
This is hyper-personalization on the back-end and front-end. Restaurants get repeat customers by using coupons to drive value. Meanwhile, customers get to order takeout from their favorite restaurants consistently. The system will remember their favorite combos, and they can even time orders to suit their schedules.
CookUnity propels takeout to a whole new level with its sustainable business model. To date, it offers a rotating list of over 150+ weekly meal options. Each meal is prepared by one of 50+ top private NYC chefs and delivered in eco-friendly compostable containers. Additionally, each customer has access to a nutritionist, who provides advice about healthy choices and menu options. Last, but not least, all ingredients are either locally sourced or organic. What’s not to like?
CookUnity offers a ton of personalization features. Instead of leveraging restaurants, it works directly with chefs. NYC chefs spend each day creating hundreds of delicious meals. Pick-up and delivery is right in the city, so shipping times are reduced. Additionally, the use of local ingredients means that all of the food being delivered tastes fresh.
Takeaways from CookUnity
How can you find a way to deliver your food better? Can you pair your customers with experts? Can you leverage locality and community? If so, then you’re already on your way to hyper-personalization. Each of these steps creates a unique, one-of-a-kind user experience that breeds individuality and locality. Try finding ways to pair your workers with your customers. Or, become a beacon of your community. You want customers to remember you for more than your product.
When it comes to locally sourced products, Sweetgreen dominates the industry. Not only does Sweetgreen take advantage of locally sourced produce, it also leverages social media and events to engage users with its brand on a deeply personal level. InstaMeets at local farms, run clubs, or supper clubs: Sweetgreen does them all. At its heart, Sweetgreen is all about connecting consumers to fresh, locally sourced produce.
To date, it has operations in the San Francisco Bay Area, NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, the Washington D.C. area, and Los Angeles. Customers choose from a variety of protein-rich salads and bowls, all made from locally sourced ingredients.
Takeaways from Sweetgreen
Hyper-personalization is all about emotions. You want to etch your brand so deeply into the customer’s consciousness that he/she forms an emotional connection with you and your products. Try leveraging events and social media to connect with users. Engaged customers are 5x more likely to purchase your products again. Also, recent surveys show a $1 trillion global opportunity for businesses that market eco-friendly products.
Like JoyRun, Roadie connects users with people already on the way to a destination. Unlike JoyRun, however, Roadie delivers more than food. Want to send a new guitar to your buddy in Georgia? Connect with a driver who’s heading there. Not only does this back-end-process save money, it also creates a community based on real human-to-human connections.
Takeaways from Roadie
How can you inspire people to interact with others meaningfully? Personalization starts with communication and data. Best-of-breed practices that create real-life experiences outweigh a personalized online profile any day.
Let’s take a break from food delivery services for a moment. When it comes to hyper-personalization, Narvar runs rings round its competitors. Basically, it gives eCommerce brands the ability to connect with their users after they’ve already purchased a product. Narvar’s return tracking pages come with product recommendations gleaned from machine learning algorithms. The result? Increased repurchases and decreased return rates.
Takeaways from Narvar
Restaurants often forget about the post-purchase process. Once food leaves the restaurant, many businesses rely solely on good food to seal the deal. To retain loyalty, however, initial interactions must be nurtured. Think about how you can continue to deliver experiences to customers after they’ve left the restaurant. Forming an emotional connection with your customer post-purchase has a significant impact on loyalty.
While it may be easy to think of hyper-personalization as a marketing strategy “outside-the-comfort-zone” of restaurants, it’s not. You don’t have to leverage an insane amount of data, have $60 million in Series A tech funding, or grapple with behavioral analytics to create deep customer connections. At its heart, hyper-personalization is all about context.
Are you ready to build loyalty into your online ordering system? Do you want an in-house system that gives you the freedom to engage customers on a personal level down? If so, contact us. Our best-of-breed practices can help you revolutionize your restaurant’s online ordering system and transform your brand.