Every time I cycle around the streets of south London I seem to overtaken by a Deliveroo cyclist with a huge box strapped to his pannier. They never used to be there, but now you can’t escape them. So I thought I’d investigate.
Deliveroo is a restaurant home delivery service. However the key difference between this and other on-line hubs such as Hungry House and Just Eat is that
- the focus is on more premium outlets rather than standard take-aways
- Deliveroo is also responsible for delivering the food as well as ordering
For every delivery, a customer is charged £2.50. Deliveroo is (at least partially) one of those ‘sharing economy’ business ideas that I referred to in my previous post – people using their assets to earn money. The people who deliver the food are self employed. As long as you have a bike / scooter and a smartphone you can apply to become a Deliveroo driver and can work as often or as little as you like. A bit like Uber but for people with 2 wheels rather than 4.
Our appetite for home delivery seems insatiable and invades all walks of life and almost every branded offer – thanks Amazon, thanks Ocado. I read that you can even get American Apparel items delivered to your home within an hour if you suddenly find you’ve run out of underwear.
As with all great business ideas, Deliveroo seems quite simple in retrospect. I’ve no doubt it will continue to grow and I can imagine lots of other similar services beginning to emerge. And if you’re ever short of cash, you can always dig out your bike from the shed, apply to become a rider and become part of the sharing economy yourself.
I’ve just been reading a fascinating book – The Business of Sharing, by Alex Stephany.
The book explains and describes in detail a relatively new phenomenon – people building businesses that revolve around renting or selling what they own. It’s creating a whole new world of entrepreneurs as well as disrupting traditional businesses – and often causing controversy along the way.
The book focuses on some of the most famous and well established ‘sharing’ businesses, such as Uber, Airbnb and Zipcar. However, I particularly enjoyed the smaller examples which cover all kinds of sectors from ride sharing to crowd funding
A couple of my favourites are Borrowmydoggy, where people can the experience the pleasure of looking after a dog, without the commitment of full ownership. (Am thinking of joining!). I also liked the idea of TaskRabbit, where you can out-source tasks you don’t want to do – or indeed offer up your skills for the benefit of others.
For me, these are the businesses of the future: nimble, community based, problem solving and enabled by technology. All you need is a great idea!
I do a lot of on-line shopping – groceries, trainers, stuff for my bike. This morning I got yet another free pack of Haribo Starmix with my delivery of contact lenses (which I usually give to my kids)
There’s a lot of new media opportunities out there and clever ways to connect with you audience. However, sometimes the old ways are the best. Sometimes there’s nothing nicer than getting a free sample. It’s a chance to try out your product and a chance to demonstrate your generosity.