While reduced competition in India's food-tech space has led to returning sensibilities in terms of discounting, players such as Swiggy, Zomato and FoodPanda still have some way to go before they can turn profitable.
Zomato is about to introduce a speedy service feature in its next update for the customers who are ill. The feature, which right now is being tested, will cater to ill customers who’d need food without any delay, on an emergency basis. The announcement comes as Zomato says it crossed the three million monthly orders milestone and is looking to add new meaningful features to get customers to order from its app more frequently. "You will soon be able to tell us that the meal you just ordered is for someone who's a bit under the weather...and we will do everything in our power to expedite your delivery, just so that you can get your chicken clear soup as soon as possible," the company wrote in a blogpost on Thursday.
While the feature will be available for all users, the company will advise users to not misuse it by asking them to treat it like an ambulance. The update will also allow customers to instruct restaurants not to include cutlery (almost always made out of plastic) in their order, thereby, promoting conversation of environment.
Despite this strong growth, the company says its cost of customer acquisition is still negligible, with its restaurant discovery arm still continuing to draw in new customers. In terms of retention, Zomato says that 65 per cent of new users on its platform will order at least once again from it within 12 months.
While reduced competition in India's food-tech space has led to returning sensibilities in terms of discounting, players such as Swiggy, Zomato and FoodPanda still have some way to go before they can turn profitable. For now, the fear is that global giants Uber and Google that have entered the space could kick off another price war.