Over the past few years, last-mile delivery services have undergone significant changes. Traditionally, these services were limited to bringing products from shipping centers to rural destinations. However, with the advent of crowdsourced delivery services, the term has been expanded to include the delivery of food and other goods from stores to consumers.
Crowdsourced and on-demand delivery services have made same-day delivery easy and affordable, with many restaurant delivery services now offering food from various eateries. The range of delivery services has expanded to include grocery, local retail shops, e-commerce, and more. While some services are restricted to delivering food, others can deliver a wide range of items. The services also differ in their geographical coverage, rates, pay structures, and range of services.
This article provides an analysis of the most successful crowdsourced delivery services, although there are several clone sites with varying degrees of success.
Deliveroo is a London-based crowdsourced delivery service active in several countries throughout Europe and Asia. The country dispatches riders who go to restaurants to pick up take-out from local restaurants that don’t offer delivery. The rider then brings the food to the customer at their home, place of work, &c.
The service has expanded from its humble beginnings to offer information, exclusive offers, and sales, and other services. Its website is now a place for users to view menus, browse catering options, and even get deliveries from Deliveroo-exclusive kitchens. Deliveroo editors organize options by flavor, ethnic style, cost, and more and also share their favorite picks. These services are great for those who are hungry but aren’t really sure what they’re “feeling.”
Postmates is a San Francisco-based delivery company that operates within the United States. It’s similar to Deliveroo, but they don’t only deliver takeout. Users can get takeout delivered, but they can also get groceries and alcohol delivered.
The fact that they deliver alcohol is a big selling point for the company, as a lot of restaurants that offer takeout don’t serve alcohol or don’t allow alcohol to be included in takeout orders. There are also times when one might have enough food in the fridge but might be running low in the liquor department.
Users can also track their delivery so that they know where it is and when it will arrive. As is the case with Deliveroo, Postmates users can search by location rather than need to see lists of stores or restaurants that they may not have been aware of previously. Users can also pay an annual subscription fee to avoid paying fees with each delivery.
Uber Eats is another San Francisco-based delivery service active around the world. Launched by the popular crowdsourced ride-sharing company Uber, Uber eats works similarly, through a mobile app. As is the case with Postmates, users can track their delivery drivers so that they can plan around their expected delivery times. Uber Eats is more like Deliveroo in that they only deliver food from restaurants with take-out services – no deliveries from grocery stores or liquor shops.
Active throughout the United States, GoShare calls itself “your friend with a truck.” The service dispatches drivers with four different sizes of trucks, from smaller pick-ups to full-sized box trucks. Rather than just delivering food, GoShare drivers will deliver more or less whatever a user wants, whether that’s delivering a couch from the furniture store, dropping off a load of old things to the resale shop, or helping a user to move.
The service has tracking just like the food delivery services above but it also has insurance for its trucks that also covers whatever a user is having shipped. That way, if anything happens to the delivery, all that the user loses is time.
DoorDash is a San Francisco-based food delivery service activities throughout the United States and with a few locations in Canada but most densely on the West Coast. The service works along the lines of Uber Eats or Deliveroo – it delivers from collaborating restaurants but not from grocery stores or liquor shops.
It offers similar service to some of the others in that you can track deliveries and browse available restaurants online but it lacks a lot of the more sophisticated web presence of sights like Deliveroo.
Swiggy is a crowdsourced delivery service similar to Deliveroo or Uber Eats but is based in India. It only delivers from restaurants that offer carryout and offers live tracking so that users can see where their drivers are and when it may arrive. They promote fast delivery and no minimum order.
Something that they don’t largely advertise but is still exciting is their bug bounty. Bug bounty programs payout to hackers to identify potential security issues in the website to protect user data.
Zomato is a leading Indian food delivery service that has rapidly expanded its operations in recent years. Originally founded in 2008 as a restaurant discovery and review platform, the company has since grown to offer food delivery services in over 500 cities across 24 countries.
Zomato’s delivery service operates on a crowdsourced model, where freelance delivery partners are employed to pick up and deliver food from participating restaurants. The company’s app and website allow users to browse menus, place orders, and track their delivery in real-time.
In addition to food delivery, Zomato has also expanded into other areas such as grocery and alcohol delivery. The company’s “Zomato Market” service allows customers to order groceries, fruits, vegetables, and household essentials for delivery in select cities. Meanwhile, “Zomato Wine Shops” offers online ordering and home delivery of wine in certain Indian states.
Roadie is another “on-the-way” delivery service like Hitch. They work similarly but stress longer-distance deliveries. This is potentially pretty big as most crowdsourced delivery services, including Hitch, restrict deliveries to the local area.
Roadie has a program similar to Hitch’s verified traveler program, but it also covers deliveries up to $10,000. It also offers real-time tracking similar to most of the services described above.
Roadie also offers a shipping calculator so that you can check the price of your delivery before you seek out a driver. Roadie also has a lot of good press. They may not be a big company like Uber or a familiar name like Postmates, but they work some big companies including Walmart and Home Depot.
Some companies see these services as expanding their business while saving them the expense of offering such services themselves. However, more and more grocery stores and retail stores are offering local deliveries in order to compete with or capitalize on the last-mile delivery craze.
Conclusion: Top Crowdsourced Delivery Services
Food deliveries used to be a nightly occurrence in most places, in the form of milk and egg men. Deliveries of other groceries and even furniture were also once much more common. Between the erosion of the ubiquity of these services and the current boom in crowdsourced delivery, people missed last-mile delivery.
Now that the technology has arrived for people to source last-mile delivery for themselves, it has become an expectation again, leading more brick-and-mortar businesses to strive to offer it.
Whether you’re a business looking to deliver your goods to better serve your customers or an entrepreneur living in an area not covered by any of the services described above, starting a crowdsourced service to cover last-mile delivery in your area is easier and more affordable than you may think, not to mention potentially profitable.
There’s plenty of inspiration in the wide variety of services, features, and structures exemplified in the above companies. Some of them, like GoShare, involves a pretty high start-up cost given their insurance structure and the fact that they provide their own trucks.
Other services with structures like that of Uber Eats or Postmates have comparatively low start-up costs. Most of these services also open themselves up to competition because of how they limit their deliveries.
Most of them will only deliver food but a similar service that would deliver anything may have a pretty serious market. GoShare, Hitch, and Roadie offer these services but aren’t widely available in all areas.
Services like Roadie is also exciting in that it demonstrate that these services don’t require offices in a big city in order to thrive. Most of these services are unnecessarily based in and around large population centers.
The smaller and more spread out communities that are most in need of these services are often the last to get them, making these areas prime opportunities for industrious spirits who can bring them these services before bigger names have gotten around to them.
Creating a Crowdsourced Delivery Platform
If you are running a startup and working on creating a last-mile delivery service or reverse delivery service, it would be prudent to utilize existing delivery clone services for creating the MVP. Instead of spending month creating your mobile apps and platforms, you can focus on the business infrastructure and partnerships.
If you look into the success of these companies, business model and execution has been the key. Locologic is a proven last-mile delivery solution, that be integrated with any delivery or pickup related business.