Globally, the world has never seen such a large scale restricted movement or lockdown before. It is estimated that at least 3 billion people around the world are on lockdown or partial lockdown, where they are not allowed to leave their homes except to hospitals or grocery stores.
During difficult times, it also means that a lot of businesses are unable to operate, and most restaurants and cafes can only operate for take-outs only, where dine-ins are prohibited.
Other businesses, such as factories, and offices are required to close during the lockdown period. This means that there are many businesses are affected, and some people would be unemployed as a result.
On the other hand, some businesses are thriving during this period. That would be the grocery stores, the delivery services (whether as take-out food delivery or just normal courier and packages delivery services). Local e-commerce for grocery-based and health-based products are in demand during this period simply because it is less convenient and less safe for people to go out.
Local On-Demand Delivery Services
If you’re familiar with GrabFood, FoodPanda, UberEats, DoorDash, PostMates and so on, where the customer is simply able to order food from local eateries by using an app, and is delivered soon thereafter, then great! This New Business Idea is exactly that.
But wait, in case you say you already have such companies operating in your area for this. Then another one is not worth the effort. Then you are right.
However, if you’re familiar with the Red Ocean, Blue Ocean Strategy, then you’ll know that the product may not be new, but the market is new. Simply put, find an underserved market. During a lockdown? Sure. These are:
- delivery of fresh produce (meat, poultry, fish, fruit & vegetables, including direct from farms)
- delivery of dry groceries (by mom and pop independent retailers. Even large scale supermarkets with in-house trucks are fully booked during this period, and people still need food).
- delivery of eateries not covered by competitors (such as food stall and food-truck owners).
- delivery of products by pharmacies (non-prescripted items)
Is This Business Idea Viable?
You won’t be reinventing the wheel, as this business model is proven to work by larger tech companies. People are familiar with this and they need these types of services during these periods.
Even when the lockdown period is over, people would still want to have the convenience of product delivery on-demand as they would appreciate the convenience and time-saving benefits.
Do You Need Coding Skills To Start?
If you have the technical mobile app coding skills, then you have a head start. But if you don’t, don’t worry. There’s a way to do this without knowing any coding.
For a good food delivery app entails creating three different versions of the app according to the three different user groups on your app — the consumers who would be ordering on your app, the delivery personnel you would be hiring, and the sellers (whether food eatery owners, grocers, farmers, or pharmacy retailers).
The three parts are required for:
- the seller app – for the seller to upload photos, pricing of their products.
- the delivery rider app – for the delivery rider to accept bookings, and track his movement via GPS.
- the customer app – for the customer to select the products, make a purchase and payment, as well as product rating.
As each user will have different requirements and user interface (UI).
Using An App Builder To Build An App Without Coding
This app builder just requires you to drag and drop to create your app on its platform, in just a few minutes. The app builder is AppyPie where its clients have made over 10 million apps by using its platform. AppyPie has over 500 reviews on each of third party review platforms such as Capterra, Trust Pilot and G2 with ratings of an average of 4.5 stars.
We’ve scoured the internet to check for alternatives to Appy Pie’s platform for the on-demand food delivery service app, and have not found anything that is similar in terms of pricing, user-friendliness and comprehensive aspect of its platform.
According to them, you just need to register on their platform, and the platform will guide you step by step on what to do and customize.
In terms of pricing, AppyPie offers an introductory price of only USD18 per app per month, with maximum downloads of 5K apps per month on Android. If you’re looking for both Android and Apple iOS, the price is higher at USD60 per app per month, with a maximum download limit of 50K per month. This means you can have as little as 5K new users per month as a starting point. To start on the platform is free, as they have a free trial available.
Marketing Your App
For your app to be successful, first only operate in your local neighborhood. If your town is in a lockdown period, the food delivery service becomes an even more crucial service.
You first need to get the sellers on board. Depending on your idea (whether cafes, restaurants, or grocers, farmers or pharmacies), contact them first and offer them a free service. Convince them of the benefits of using your delivery service.
Help them with onboarding. Get the sellers to register with your app, help them to upload their products.
Next, hire delivery riders. This should be easier as more people are looking for jobs during this difficult period.
Most importantly, you need to get customers! As you would first focus on your locality, your neighborhood, join in the WhatsApp groups in your local community and use Facebook groups and ads to find customers in your area.
Helping Your Local Community
Small businesses are hardest hit during hard times where even some businesses have to close down. By helping small businesses in your locality to operate and help them get new sales, you will help your local community to financially sustain themselves.
By starting a new business during these hard times, you will also be able to create employment and help those who need to have jobs.
You will also help your customers by having them stay indoors during a pandemic.
Starting a business is risky, even in normal times. It’s even riskier during difficult and trying times like today. However, this business model, by using a third-party app builder platform, requires little capital to start. If your motivated to help others and make a little bit of money in the process, then perhaps this business model idea would be ideal for you.
Farah Ishak is a Content Writer at Halalop. She grew up in the United Kingdom where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Management. Later, she completed her MBA and held senior-level positions in Malaysian based MNC. She left the corporate world to be with her young kids. She is passionate about issues concerning Muslim women, Startups and Muslim businesses in general.