South Korean food delivery apps are rushing to offer speedier delivery services by making riders deliver just one order at a time, rather than multiple orders, to ensure the freshness of the food – a move borne out of growing competition in the industry.
WeMakePrice O, food delivery app operated by e-commerce platform WeMakePrice, became the latest to adopt the “one order per trip” system this week, as it announced a memorandum of understanding with LK ICT, a company that specializes in location-based services.
“We are speeding up the process to introduce the ‘one-order-per-delivery’ service for the convenience and satisfaction of customers and restaurant owners,” an official at WeMakePrice O said in a statement.
The previous system, which allowed delivery personnel to combine multiple orders for one trip, was a constant source of user complaints as to delivery delays.
Under the memorandum, the two companies will work with delivery companies to introduce new services including a rider matching service as well as one-on-one delivery sometime this year. Following the update, restaurants that are available on the app will be able to choose whether to deliver food themselves, work with other delivery companies that will deliver multiple orders to different addresses in one trip or use the new fast delivery option, the company explained.
The move comes as Coupang Eats, a food delivery service launched by e-commerce giant Coupang in 2019, has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent months.
Coupang Eats accounted for 17.1 percent of the food delivery market in January, according to mobile application analysis platform Mobile Index, a nearly threefold jump from 5.66 percent in August last year.
The average number of daily users also rose from some 29,000 in January to some 460,000 in December during last year, jumping 15-fold over the period of one year.
As the marketing tagline in its TV commercial goes, “We go straight to you … when (the food is) still warm and delicious,” its decision to deliver one order at a time has been largely credited for its success, prompting rivals to follow suit.
As Coupang announced Coupang Eats Service earlier this month, a new subsidiary with 100 percent of its shares owned by Coupang, to meet the growing demand for food delivery service across the country, Woowa Brothers, operator of the country’s top food delivery app Baedal Minjok, announced it would follow suit.
In an announcement of Baemin One earlier this month, a new service ensuring delivery of one order at a time, the company said the prolonged coronavirus pandemic has brought a “great deal of change” to the industry and demand for speedy food delivery has grown.
In a separate announcement on the same day, the company also said it would no longer accept new applications for its previous service known as Baemin Riders, to prioritize the new service which will start in June, beginning in Seoul.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org