Food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy have brought in considerable changes in their pricing leading consumers to pay more for their order. The food delivery apps have increased the delivery fees in the past few months, tightened order cancellation rules, introduced dynamic pricing as well as increased the rates of their loyalty programmes.
Restaurants listed with these platforms have told The Economic Times that the aforementioned changes along with reduced discounts have hit order numbers. An analyst told the daily that the fall in order numbers is estimated to be 5-6 per cent every month since October for Zomato and December for Swiggy.
Zomato has raised prices of its Gold membership, while Swiggy has increased the rate of its loyalty programme, Super. Zomato has also started cross-selling during checkouts, while Swiggy has increased delivery charges in some cities, tightened cancellation rules and order escalations.
Zomato, too, has adopted a staggered delivery charge, as mentioned in the daily. Depending on the distance, order value and restaurant, consumers are required to pay anything between Rs 16 to more than Rs 45 for small-value orders in Bengaluru. Zomato has also added a surge fee of up to Rs 25 on orders during peak hours and Rs 11 delivery fee on its meal-for-one offering. The meal-for-one offering was free earlier. A Zomato spokesperson told the daily that the fee has been increased as per the growth and maturity of the sector.
Swiggy has increased its delivery charges in certain cities. It increased the delivery fees in Bengaluru that was earlier capped at Rs 20 for small-value orders. The platform did not charge for orders beyond a certain amount. Now, Swiggy has slapped charges of Rs 31 for orders under Rs 98 and Rs 21 for orders beyond that. A Swiggy spokesperson said that their overall focus remains on improving customer experience in terms of speed and selection.
The food delivery platforms have also started passing on restaurant packing charges to the customers. Certain taxes have been passed on too.
Swiggy increased the prices of its Super programme by 20 per cent from Rs 179 for a three-month membership to Rs 349. Zomato also increased the price of its Gold membership from Rs 999 per year to Rs 1,800 per year.
According to RedSeer Consulting, the increase in prices has slowed down the overall growth of the sector. It expects the food ordering market to grow by just 35 per cent in 2020, as mentioned in the daily. It is a sharp decrease from the 205 per cent growth in 2019.