Photo Credit: Clem Onojeghuo/ Unsplash
For companies that deliver your food, every second is precious. Even small delays in delivery can lead to some pretty angry customer and fast deliveries means that the customers keep ordering from the same service. Swiggy has built its entire business around the promise of delivering food quickly and a lot of that is thanks to technology.
For starters, the company has worked on using data to ensure that its delivery estimates are accurate. If Swiggy says that your order will reach you in 45 minutes, that means it has accounted for a whole lot of factors starting with meal preparation time.
Gadgets 360 spoke with Swiggy’s VP Products Anuj Rathi to understand how this process works. “In more than 80 percent cases we’re much ahead of time,” says Rathi on company’s “on time” delivery rate. He says Swiggy has achieved this by optimising many factors. The first is that it looks at data on traffic and festival days to predict when it will need more delivery staff. The second is that Swiggy increases the estimated delivery time (and sometimes even charges a "surge" fee) when the weather or traffic is inclement.
The third thing is the company has tried to reduce the number of interactions between its delivery executives and customers. “A number of initiatives happen at the app level that make sure that DE [delivery executive] doesn’t call customer and vice versa,” Rathi adds.
The app itself also saw some major updates. Rathi says the company made some changes in its code for estimating time of delivery to improve its prediction algorithm. “There are 3-4 things we need to get right. One is the technology angle," he says. "If you’d prefer a Punjabi restaurant, we highlight the one restaurant which is closer and our delivery boy can get to it faster.”
The Swiggy app revamp features a cleaner interface and makes it much easier for people to customise their food orders. Rathi says this has led to a 15 percent increase in conversion rate (number of customers who successfully placed an order) and has reduced the time taken to place an order by 10 percent. The company has also worked hard on optimising its mobile Web experience.
"Considering Swiggy's mobile users only (excluding desktop), 88 percent use the apps, while 12 percent use the mobile-web. Swiggy being a high engagement platform, while Web may be the first touch point for a lot of new users, we have seen users eventually move towards using the app. As a result, the user split trend greatly differs for new users vs repeating ones. 25 percent of the new users come through mobile Web,” a company spokesperson told Gadgets 360.
“Before making complete commitment to the app, they go to mobile Web. A lot of customers are on mobile Web and we want to make that as good as the Android app. We’ve put in a lot of effort to get that Progressive Web App right,” says Anuj Rathi, Swiggy’s VP Products.
The app revamp is just one of the things Swiggy has been working on in order to improve its overall experience. The company had rolled out a program called Swiggy Assured, and it gives restaurants this tag if they consistently offer a great experience to those who order via Swiggy. This is a bit like the “Flipkart Assured” or “Amazon Fulfilled” tags on those websites, Rathi explains.
With Swiggy Assured deliveries, you get a cashback if the delivery isn’t completed on time. Rathi says this has proven to be quite popular among Swiggy’s customers, but declined to share any stats.
“Restaurants under Swiggy Assured are restaurants that have highest quality standards," he adds. "Swiggy Assured restaurants see a lot more orders than non-Assured restaurants.”
Rathi tells us that behind the scenes Swiggy does more work to pick out the restaurants on its listings. Sometimes, if you actually come across the restaurant you've been ordering from, you'll question your life-choices. That's a scenario Swiggy wants to avoid. “When we onboard restaurants on Swiggy we conduct a lot of checks," says Rathi. "We ensure that they’re of the highest quality.“
He says that the company checks for hygiene, and that restaurants are only listed if they meet Swiggy’s standards. But as long as basic standards are met, Swiggy is willing to give restaurants a helping hand to get better listings on the platform. So while some restaurants may have great photos of food, others may not have the resources to get a food photographer over. Rathi says Swiggy helps restaurants get this done.
He adds that Swiggy has been working with restaurants to highlight their best dishes.
“We go to restaurants and ask, ‘How can we make the food itself come and stand out for our users? Which are your most popular items you want to showcase?’," he says. "Our photographers go with managers and understand the recommended dishes and shoot photos.”