At Cross-Border Magazine, we like to have inspiring discussions about cross-border e-commerce. In this article, we are focusing on Deliveroo Singapore in partnership with eTail Asia. Deliveroo offers consumers food choices for every occasion.
We spoke with Minjoo Lee, Head of Marketing at Deliveroo Singapore, to discuss their cross-border and e-commerce journey.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Deliveroo Singapore?
As Head of Marketing at Deliveroo Singapore, I oversee all activities related to Brand, Marketing, and Partnership and spearhead strategies and implementation. Over the past two years in the Deliveroo Singapore team, I have been honored to be part of the core management - giving me opportunities to build a high-performing team.
In fact, our latest consumer survey results found that consumers are now used to the convenience food delivery services bring, so much so that it is part of their daily lives. This has encouraged us to continue engaging and building loyalty among consumers. As a food delivery platform committed to offering consumers the food choices they seek for every occasion, we have been. We will be actively adding an even more comprehensive array of options. These include healthy options like SaladStop! and VIOS by Blu Kouzina. Also, not forgetting their craving for local food, we onboarded the likes of CRAVE in order to better meet their food preferences along with our local hawker stalls island-wide.
At the heart of it all, as a global F&B delivery platform, technology is still the baseline of our operations and offerings to cater to our stakeholders effectively and meaningfully - be it keeping our customers fed, creating accretive revenue streams for our restaurant and grocery partners, or providing riders with access to earning opportunities with flexible work which fits around their schedules.
Can you tell us about Deliveroo’s global expansion throughout the years?
Deliveroo was first started out of London in 2013 by our founder and CEO, Will Shu. He discovered a city full of great restaurants, but he was amazed that so few of them delivered food. As such, he made it his personal mission to bring the best local restaurants directly to people’s doors. Since then, we have grown rapidly and now operate in 10 markets worldwide, working with 179,000 restaurants and grocers, 150,000 riders, serving millions of consumers.
In 2015, we entered Singapore to further build on our goal of making food accessible to all, especially given the strong food culture here. Since then, we have expanded to our current 80 people-strong teams, working with over 10,000 restaurant and grocery partners and 8,000 delivery riders - all of whom played very pivotal roles when we entered the pandemic.
Moving into the post-pandemic phase, restaurants still recognize the importance of food delivery and that it is complementary to their dine-in services, bringing in additional revenue. To best support restaurants in fully embracing the increasing demand for deliveries, we work closely with our restaurant partners to provide insights and help identify opportunities in order to best engage their delivery customer base.
Beyond restaurants, we also launched our grocery delivery offering in Singapore in 2021, after noticing consumers’ growing reliance on delivery, especially how it increased exponentially during the pandemic.
Just last October, we further grew our global footprint by entering the Qatar market to connect consumers with a range of local and international restaurant choices, coupled with quick and reliable deliveries. This is our third market in the Middle East after the UAE and Kuwait, where we have been seeing strong business performance and consumer demands.
As we continue offering a plethora of food delivery choices and convenience for our customers, we also remain committed to giving back to those in need in the communities we serve in.
And what about Deliveroo’s e-commerce journey?
Deliveroo has observed a growing appetite among Singaporeans for food and grocery delivery services. On the e-commerce front, food delivery has definitely become an indispensable part of Singaporeans’ daily lives, and this trend has not dissipated post-pandemic, with us seeing more customers and restaurant and grocery partners on the platform.
Post-pandemic, Singaporeans’ lives, and food delivery services have become even more intertwined. As highlighted in our latest consumer survey results, 60% of Singaporeans say they use food delivery services now more regularly compared to pre-pandemic times. A large majority (70%) anticipate they will use food delivery services at least once a week.
Currently, grocery delivery services are also on the rise as more consumers turn to digital/online means of commerce. Almost 60% prefer getting groceries delivered over going to the supermarket. In a 2020 survey commissioned by Deliveroo, only over a fifth said they were most likely to order from grocery stores when using food delivery services.
With the pandemic shifting consumer preferences and wanting to adopt healthier lifestyles, we’ve also pivoted our offerings to better cater to these demands. As part of our ever-evolving journey, Deliveroo has remained committed to meeting consumer demand for more healthy food options through convenient access to a wide range of restaurants and grocery offerings on our platform. In the last two years, Deliveroo has seen a significant increase in orders for our ‘Healthy’ and ‘Healthy Options’ categories.
Food and grocery delivery services are definitely here to stay in Singapore. For many F&B businesses, food delivery is even an indispensable part of their business. As demand for food and grocery platforms continues to grow, Deliveroo is committed to serving the diverse taste buds of all our customers.
What are some offline and online strategies adopted by Deliveroo Singapore?
As dine-in resumes its pre-pandemic levels, it’s important that we adapt yet still retain the core value proposition of Deliveroo, be it to consumers or restaurant partners. As found in our report, while food delivery remains a key part of our everyday lives, we have empowered consumers to have the option of ordering online and heading to our partners’ restaurants/stores for self-collection via the Pickup option. This encourages footfall from our app into the stores/restaurants of the operators (in line with the return of dine-ins), enabling another direct touchpoint between operators and consumers.
We are constantly ensuring we stay relevant and connected with consumers by being the platform that delivers happiness through food. Whether they are ordering their favorite food or trying something new, Deliveroo strives to be the delivery service they turn to help spark that moment of joy when consumers get their food delivered to their doorsteps. Concurrently, we continuously support our partners and merchants to unlock incremental revenue generation through our understanding of consumer preferences and demands. This not only helps customers discover new and amazing food options but ensures that our restaurant partners get connected to these consumers.
While being largely driven by online engagement due to us being an online delivery platform, we turn to offline activations mainly for key milestones. One such example was our 7th birthday celebration pop-up event in Singapore last November, which saw us bringing treats for fellow November birthday babies in the CBD. Attendees got to partake in lucky draws to win gifts, merchandise, and Deliveroo vouchers up to S$1000. Furthermore, the first 20 November birthday celebrants who showed up got to redeem additional $50 Deliveroo vouchers. We further complemented this milestone with various online deals and promotions for our customers.
What are some of the challenges Deliveroo faced with global expansion and online selling?
While we continue to stay true to our mission to be the definitive online delivery platform of choice and provide consumers with access to the food they love, there is also the challenge of balancing great deals for customers in a highly competitive industry while also ensuring that we don’t end up just forging a transactional/deal-driven relationship with them. As such, our engagement strategies are constantly refreshed to ensure that we remain the platform that brings joy to the daily lives of our customers through them receiving the food they love rather than them turning to us purely for deals.
And what has Deliveroo learned from these challenges?
The amazing thing about Deliveroo is the ability to impact so many people’s lives, whether it’s keeping our customers fed, creating accretive revenue streams for our restaurant and grocery partners, or providing riders with access to earning opportunities and flexible work which fits around their schedules. Despite concerns about inflation and the challenging economic landscape, we see that customers are still turning to us as we bring value not just through deals but the range of food offerings, reliability of delivery, and much more.
Interestingly, through our service standards and our emphasis on giving back to the community, we observed more consumers leveraging their food orders as opportunities to show their kindness - be it for rider tips or rounding up their orders to donate to our beneficiaries from Food From The Heart. These notions further spur our team to do even better, as it showcases the importance of coming together in such challenging and constantly changing times. We strive to continue delivering on these promises across all three sides of our marketplace and stay committed to continuously tackling any challenge that might come our way.
What would be a piece of advice you would give other people in the same industry?
Focus on building close relationships with consumers - only then will you be able to truly find out what they are seeking for (whether it’s value, food options, preferences, etc.) and hence be readily able to embrace changes accordingly to cater to the ever-evolving consumer and market trends.
And why must people not miss the eTail event?
As the marquee retail business conference, eTail Asia brings with it insights from a plethora of industry experts, including Deliveroo. With the retail and commerce industry constantly needing to adapt according to consumers' ever-evolving preferences, businesses need to stay abreast, and there is no better way to do so than to be exposed to fellow industry partners, be it exchanging ideas or key learnings.
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