The Four Defining Moments of Delivery Services During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is far from over. In the United States, there are still days when cases of new infection will reach the 100,000-mark on a single day. It doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Although there are promises of a vaccine, who knows when it will finally be available to the public? There are too many questions, too. Is it safe? Can we go back to normal? The

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that things will not go back to normal after the world flattens the curve. Instead, we have to wake up to a new norm of mask-wearing and socially distant public.

Could it be that delivery services will save businesses and people’s sanity? The past 10 months proved that the pandemic was a defining moment for courier services. People are still able to order food, clothes, shoes, accessories, and other things online as long as the companies from which they are buying are partnered with a reliable third-party delivery service. Or, they could offer in-house delivery, too. The important thing for consumers is the assurance that they are safe from contracting the virus.

Shops and Restaurants Adding Delivery Services

Even in the 21st century, it was surprising to know that not a lot of restaurants are offering delivery services. It was only when governments around the world asked dining rooms to close down did restaurant management decide to innovate. That’s when they turned to either their in-house delivery or partnered with third-party delivery services such as Grubhub and UberEats.

In August this year, Grubhub reported receiving 25,000 new restaurant partners, bringing their net total to 225,000 dining options. A survey showed that 42% of restaurants around the country added delivery services to continue generating revenue during the pandemic. About 31% said they plan to continue or expand the service even after the pandemic is over.

Third-party Delivery Services Are Booming

Competition is tough among third-party delivery companies. DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Postmates were some of the names that you recognize. All of these reported a surge of new users and partners when the pandemic was declared. But for some reason, DoorDash pulled away. The company reported that sales were up 110% since January 2020. It covers 47% of the total market.

The increase in the market is because DoorDash has been growing in the suburbs even before the pandemic. When the government enforced quarantine measures, these suburban families already know DoorDash as their choice of courier. The company made itself inevitably successful during the pandemic.

Customers Actually Prefer to Order Directly from the Restaurant

A recent study on the pricing of third-party delivery services found that consumers prefer ordering directly from the restaurant or store. If your store has an in-house delivery service, consumers would much rather take advantage of this. There are various reasons for this. Some feel that shipping fees and delivery fees are too expensive. Others who prefer third-party delivery services live alone and cannot meet the restaurant’s minimum delivery amounts.

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Delivery Orders Are Bigger

According to Grubhub, the average amount of its order size during the second quarter was $39. That was a 20% increase from the same period last year. The order size from other delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates also rose in May but dropped slightly in June. Experts believe the rise in the average size of orders is because families are staying more at home. Parents, their kids, and sometimes, their extended families are all at home and would like to enjoy a meal together.

Should Consumers Feel Guilty?

A lot of people feel guilty when they are letting other people pick up and deliver their orders. For them, this is the sign of the unfair hierarchy between the service sector and those who have money enough to get food and things delivered to their homes. But should you feel guilty when you are, in fact, helping keep the economy afloat? Economists and businessmen want people to buy. This is the kind of economic activity the world badly needs today.

People behind these companies need to make a living, too. Every purchase from you goes to that goal of surviving the pandemic. In fact, you will find many entrepreneurs working in the kitchen or in front of the store to augment their workforce. Some of them have even taken the time to personally deliver the items to their customers living nearby. This is the kind of fragile economy the world is experiencing right now.

It would help if companies will let their customers know about the strict health protocol measures that they follow. This will help make consumers feel less guilty about “sending” delivery personnel out where they can contract the virus. These services will be what bridge this society fearful of a pandemic to the new normal.

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