Food Delivery Apps: Customer Acquisition Strategies

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Food Delivery Apps: Marketing Strategy Case Studies Part 1

Meet Randy Watkins, Man of Delivery commercial by Uber Eats and Delicious At Your Door by DoorDash are two examples of marketing campaigns by food delivery apps aimed at customer acquisition. Both commercials consumed millions of dollars with Uber Eats spending $9 million during March and DoorDash $6.5 million on measured media during quarter one of 2019. Full details on each commercial are provided in the following sections.

Uber Eats — Meet Randy Watkins, Man of Delivery

DoorDash — Delicious At Your Door

Research Methodology

In finding the two case studies of food delivery apps' marketing strategies, your research team started by examining the campaigns run by the fastest-growing food delivery platforms. In this regard, we checked for the most recent national campaigns ran by Uber Eats and DoorDash. Luckily, we found two examples of commercials from those companies by leveraging data published by iSpot.TV, Table Skift, Winmo, Edison Tech, AP News, Restaurant Dive, Facebook, YouGov, and Media Post. These sources contained relevant findings addressing the different parts of the campaigns, such as how it was run, how the public perceived it, campaign spending, and so on. While DoorDash did not release data specific to the performance of its campaign, its rapid growth in sales during the same period propelling it to hold the largest market share in this sector is a clear indicator that the campaign's performance was positive. Overall, both campaigns attracted positive reviews on both delivery platforms, with the general sentiment remaining mostly positive.
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Food Delivery Apps: Marketing Strategy Case Studies Part 2

Postmates has run several campaigns to increase customer acquisitions, including 'We Get It,' which led to a 10% increase in app use. On the other hand, Waitr has been using Apple Search Ads campaigns that have led to a 440% increase in application downloads. Full details on both cases are presented below, including information about the creative agencies responsible, marketing spend, and where the campaigns were launched.

Postmates — We Get It Campaign

  • On January 24, 2018, Postmates launched the 'We Get It' campaign to continue supporting millions of consumers get what they want in minutes.
  • Renowned creative agency — 180LA and media firm partner MBMG created the "We Get It' commercial, which was featured on digital platforms, OOH billboards, wild postings, bus shelters, and interactive extensions across Los Angeles, New York, and nationally through digital and podcast options.
  • The 'We Get It' commercial, New York version, has elicited over 1.1 million impressions on Twitter. During the same week of launching, the commercial spread to an estimated 241,000 customers. The sentiment on social media remains positive, with customers engaging positively with the brand.
  • After the campaign, Postmates saw a 10% increase in app use after the campaign and a 9% increase in brand awareness after the campaign. As of December 2018, Postmates was the most popular app in Los Angeles, with 42.6% market share in the area.
  • Unfortunately, Postmates did not disclose how much it spent on this commercial; however, data available in public shows that in 2017, Postmates spent $1.3 million on measured media in the U.S., while in 2018, the figure climbed to $1.5 million.

Waitr — Apple Search Ads Campaigns

  • Waitr, which has most of its customers on iOS, uses Apple Search Ads campaigns to increase its acquisition rate. Waitr's marketing strategy, specifically for customer acquisition, is primarily driven by Apple Search Ads campaigns.
  • According to the company, Apple Search Ads deliver a high return on investment (ROI), and new consumers are likely to spend more using the application. The marketing strategy is done in-app to enhance discoverability, connect with engaged users, and drive application downloads.
  • The strategy turned out to be Waitr's top-performing advertising platform delivering up to a 729% ROI. Moreover, app downloads increased by 440% over five months, and new users' spending is 13% higher compared to new users' spending on other platforms.
  • Apple Search Ads is continually helping Waitr to expand and grow its customer base by delivering conversion rates of over 80% consistently. Likewise, the cost per acquisition for Waitr using Apple Search Ads campaigns was 47% lower versus other paid channels.
  • While Waitr did not disclose how much it spent on the campaign, its marketing and sales expenses for quarter one of 2019 jumped by 337% to $10.3 million versus $2.4 million in quarter one of 2018. The increase is partly by the inclusion of Bite Squad (recently acquired) and growing investments in diner and restaurant acquisition.
  • On social media, Facebook and Instagram, the consumer sentiment remained mostly positive, with customers sharing positive comments and engaging with the company services by sharing posts and commenting on some.

Research Methodology

Extensive searches across several reputable business and marketing websites uncovered information on the two case studies examined above about food delivery apps marketing strategies. We found many marketing campaigns by both Waitr and Postmates; however, we focused on the recent ones that are primarily about customer acquisition. On that note, we found in-depth pre-compiled reports on 'We Get It' by Postmates and a detailed review of Waitr 'Apple Search Ads' campaigns. A link to Postmates' 'We Get It' creative on iSpot TV is provided.

To compile the full reports presented above, your research team scoured several marketing materials published by advertising and marketing websites like Mediapost, Jason Rappa Portfolio, and Apple Search Ads, along with business reports and news websites like Table Skift, Fool.com, and PR Newswire. These sources featured comprehensive data on both companies' campaigns, specifically information on advertising spend, the impact of these campaigns, and the agencies involved. We also checked the social media pages of these companies to uncover the general sentiments of their customers.

Notably, none of the companies reviewed provided how much they spent on a specific campaign. Instead, these companies provide their marketing spend for a given period. For instance, Waitr provided its marketing spend for quarter one of 2019, while Postmates provided its total marketing spend in 2017 and 2018. In this regard, it was hard to estimate how much each company spent on its specific campaign because the responsible brands and marketing agencies do not report the data. Besides, these campaigns were run for limited periods with marketing spend already allocated for those periods. Overall, we have provided thorough analyses of campaigns by Waitr and Postmates, including their results on customer acquisition.
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Food Delivery Apps: Marketing Strategy Case Studies Part 3

Pizza Hut's 'Now That's Delivering' campaign and Papa John's 'A Better World' campaign are two additional examples of marketing campaigns used by these food delivery apps for customer acquisition. Papa John's sales have been declining, prompting the food chain to embark on a rather aggressive marketing campaign dubbed, 'A Better Day' featuring Shaquille O'Neal. Full details on both case studies are presented in the following sections.

Pizza Hut Delivery — Now That’s Delivering Campaign

Papa John's — A Better Day Campaign

Research Methodology

In finding the examples of case studies of food delivery apps' marketing strategies, your research team started by exploring the different campaigns run by the leading food delivery apps. In this regard, we found two campaigns, one by Pizza Hut Delivery and the other by Papa John's Pizza Delivery & Carryout. We then proceeded to examine the details of each campaign based on its reach, impact on customer acquisition, advertising spend, the creative agency involved, how the public received it, and where it was run. It turned out that the details regarding Papa John's 'A Better Day' campaign customer acquisition are not available in public since the commercial aired recently and is likely to continue into 2020. On that note, we have provided excerpts of how the public received the campaign based on posts by its leading influencer — Shaquille O'Neal on Instagram and Facebook, along with its viewership on YouTube.

The only source with in-depth data on Papa John's 'A Better Day' campaign is iSpot.TV; however, the Ads analytics tool requires a subscription to access the details because its demo option shows limited features. Therefore, we have presented all the other details of each campaign. For more information about the marketing spend for Pizza Hut, we only managed to uncover its budget on marketing for 2018 but not the exact amount spent on its commercial. Therefore, the marketing spend provided for Pizza Hut covers what was spent on the campaign along with other marketing and advertising functions. Overall, we uncovered the findings presented above by examining food and restaurant resources like QSR Magazine, Marketing Dive, The Drum, among other websites and social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Fastest-Growing Food Delivery Apps

Data released in October 2019 by Second Measure, an analytics company that provides insights into consumer behavior and company performance, shows Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash are the fastest-growing food delivery apps. A chart with sales data from 2016 shows an upward jump in sales for Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash, while those for Grubhub, Waitr, and Caviar remain flat. Explored in the next sections are in-depth analyses of the two fastest-growing food delivery apps, including information about their marketing strategies.

Uber Eats

  • From around mid-2017, Uber Eats sales have risen from slightly above $100 million to approximately $350 million in September 2019.
  • In late 2017, the company acquired exclusive rights to make deliveries for McDonald's, one of its core marketing strategy; however, the exclusivity ended in the summer of 2019 when McDonald’s said it would partner with DoorDash as well.
  • Recently, Uber Eats added Starbucks to its partners. It is also allowing some restaurants to make their deliveries in exchange for a larger share of the bill. Uber Eats is also partnering with local restaurants to deliver on their behalf exclusively.
  • Uber Eats also runs a restaurant sign-up process dubbed 'self-serve' to allow restaurants within Uber Eats operating zones in North America to join Uber Eats on their own and without a sales team.
  • The online food delivery giant is currently experimenting with a combined subscription plan for bikes, scooters, rides, and food delivery.

Postmates

DoorDash

Research Methodology

In finding information on the fastest-growing food delivery apps, your research team started by examining industry and market research reports on food-delivery platforms to examine their growth statistics over the years. Luckily, we found a report by Second Measure, which featured a chart showing the growth trends for the top fastest-growing food delivery apps from 2016 to the present. According to the chart, which is based on sales, Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash are the fastest-growing food delivery apps since 2016. The sales for the three companies have been rising upwards, while those of the other competitors have remained relatively flat.

Regarding information about each company's marketing strategy, we did a thorough search to uncover marketing reports, press releases, and interview reports involving executives from these companies to unearth details of their marketing strategies. Importantly, we examined reports published by reputable marketing companies like Adexchanger, along with other business newspapers like Restaurant Business Online, Retail Leader, Table Skift, and Forbes. Overall, information retrieved from these sources provided the necessary insights into the marketing strategies that the fastest-growing food delivery apps are using to drive sales and boost growth and development.
Sources
Sources