What to Consider When Building a Delivery App to Meet the Increased Demand From the Pandemic

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@scott-rollinsScott Rollins

Business Advisor and Consultant

The outbreak and the onslaught of the COVID-19 has changed the landscape for many businesses. There have been a few staggering revelations that might sound threatening, but for a business optimist, they present lucrative opportunities for new business models.
A few pointers about COVID-19
As most of you may have already known, COVID-19 only spreads through respiratory fluids and through some active or passive form of human contact. The virus has limited resistance, and cannot survive for long without a host. In addition, it has also been observed that the virus does not contaminate food and food supplies.
Most of the important countries across the world have imposed a lockdown, and social distancing has now become a norm. The extent of shopping and hanging out has considerably reduced and has almost come to a complete halt. However, the demand for food and domestic supplies has not reduced and has, in fact, increased because the possibilities of people are going to a restaurant or a supermarket have been completely eliminated.
The relevance of delivery
Given the fact that people stay at home and the need for food has not diminished, it would be the right time for delivery services to offer their services to ensure a smooth supply of food and essentials. The essentials include groceries, medicines, and even legalized marijuana.
The problems a delivery app can solve
People right now are quite likely to consume delivery services because it is no longer a luxury but a necessity. With the right precautions and preventive measures, a delivery service can precisely address all the issues that the society faces now with essentials. Launch a delivery app for all kinds of deliveries including food, grocery, medicine and essentials to achieve success during and post COVID-19.
Balancing of demand and supply
The demand and supply equation of most products have been completely altered because of the COVID-19 and the restrictions it has imposed. Stores cannot be kept open for extended periods of time, and since people can come out only in limited numbers, there is a sudden increase in the demand for certain products. The customers are likely to go back to their homes disappointed if the product is not available.
Delivery applications can ensure that the delivery happens even when the store is not kept open. This fact holds uncompromisingly true in the case of medicines. A lot of businesses have pitched in to rise to the occasion – UberEats in the United States has completely waived off delivery fees for independent restaurants. It has also gone ahead and offered free meals to frontline workers across the United States and Canada.
Providing gig employment opportunities
One of the most direct and drastic effects of the COVID-19 onslaught has been seen in the territory of the economy. A lot of jobs have been lost, and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to the levels that are almost reflective of 1929–1930. Sustainable employment is of vital importance in such times when even charitable institutions might not be able to function at their fullest capacities.
Delivery applications provide gig employment opportunities for such people that are affected in terms of their sustainability. This not only ensures that users get their goods delivered but also a continuous revenue stream for people who might be suffering because of the lack of employment opportunities. This passively ensures economic stability, especially at a time when more than 3.3 million people have claimed unemployment benefits in the United States alone. The number is bound to be bigger in countries like China and India.
Making delivery apps relevant
It is established beyond any iota of doubt that delivery applications are the need of the hour. However, the catch is that a few minor changes need to be made to ensure that the relevance of delivery apps that rises to the occasion and complies with the imposed restrictions.
Making the process contactless
It is essential to reduce the extent of human contact and also to minimize the possibilities of infections. For this purpose, contactless carryout and contactless delivery are important.
When the delivery executive arrives at the store, they should call the store and let them know of their arrival. The order can be left in the vehicle or just outside the business premises with a tag, so the delivery executive can collect their order. The service will have to be sanitized after every order. Just like the pick-up, the delivery can also be made contactless by requesting the delivery executive to leave the package at the doorstep or the porch.
Payment gateways
Although this has been the order of the day for quite some time, payment gateways need to be imposed with greater intensity to ensure that cash transactions and the contacts arising out of cash are kept to a bare minimum. In some places, cash cannot be completely done away with. In such instances, if the payment method has been specified to be cash, it is to be made mandatory, at least for the delivery executive, to wear gloves so that they can minimize human contact.
Virtual assistance
Although this category might not exactly fall into the realm of delivery, it is one of the steps that can be taken to minimize human interaction and make deliveries more effective – to the extent that people might not order for delivery if they are convinced that it is not needed.
This virtual assistance holds true in case of medical requirements. If doctors can be made available on call, and if the patients are given the right advice on whether or not they need medicine, there is a good chance that they might not even expect an in-person consultation or medicine delivery. Passively, it might help in the same delivery executive offer their services for a more vital delivery.
Chatbots
Even for support ecosystems for delivery apps, chat support and phone support is a must. At a time when support executives cannot comprehend or hear out  requirements, chatbots can be used in offices. Chatbots can be programmed in such a way that they precisely address the queries of the user and direct them to the right resources.
In the rare event of a chatbot not being able to solve the problem, in-app call facilities can be made available for users. They can remotely connect with the support executives who are working from home. It is to be understood that this is the perfect time for artificial intelligence to learn from conversations. Effectively using a chatbot in this time of crisis will ensure that you can automate most of your support needs when everything returns to normal.
Emergency care kits
Just like any other human, even delivery executives are vulnerable to a certain extent. All delivery executives need to be provided with emergency care kits. The emergency kit can include a hand sanitizer, hand wash, mask, and gloves. Maybe this might seem like small additions, but they go a long way when it comes to ensuring good health of not just the executives but the entire delivery ecosystem.
Donations
When there is an economic slowdown, the first segment to bear the brunt of the strike is the daily wage workers. By integrating donations, users can contribute to the well-being of delivery executives who have taken a strike because of the economic slowdown. This will help them boost their morale and also help them stay committed to the delivery processes. All these donations will only ensure the delivery executives turn to their gig more inspired and committed.
Conclusion
It is quite probable that we already know the features of a delivery app like registration, the navigation, the fare estimation, the payment, and the review and ratings. Now might be a perfect time for you to create a delivery application that caters to the time of crisis.
The good news is that you will not need to invest a lot of time and money to develop a multi niche super app. White-label GoJek clone apps have the basic functionalities already built and all you need to do is customize it according to your requirements. Since Gojek provide all kinds of on-demand services from ride to delivery, it is an absolute boon for entrepreneurs to start a multi service app in a short time.

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