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6 Aug 2020

Econ Digest

Fierce competition in the food delivery application industry

          Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Thailand, the government has imposed stringent measures to temporarily restrict the commercial sector from providing services, severely affecting the restaurant industry, only retaining takeaway channels with food being delivered to residences. As a result, food delivery applications have become an important channel for restaurant operators and consumers. According to the data of online platform providers, at least 20,000 small and medium-size restaurants apply to join food delivery platforms per week, contributing to an increase of about 150% in the delivery of food to residences in the first half of 2020 when compared to the same period of the previous year.       

          Regarding the direction of the food delivery market and the competition in the second half of 2020 after the entry of new operators, KResearch expects that the food delivery business will remain highly competitive. Most players will still offer discounts and promotions as their main competitive tools to compete for their customer base, coupled with the fact that consumers still tend to value the discounts and the variety of restaurants offered by such platforms. The entry of new players has stimulated the market through the use of different business models, such as offering applications with features differentiating from the existing players and adopting a business model that does not charge a service fee to restaurants; these initiatives have challenged the existing players who will have to adapt their business models by providing comprehensive services for other consumer activities to become Super Applications, thereby generating long-term income and maintaining their competiveness. However, the existing players, whose strengths include solid restaurant networks, riders and customer bases, as well as continuous intensive marketing to stimulate the use of these services, are benchmarks against which new players have to vigorously adjust their marketing strategies, as creating an attraction for restaurants to join new partnerships and encouraging new consumers to use the services will not be easy. Therefore, there may not be any significant change in market share between the existing players and the new players for the remainder of 2020 until early 2021.

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Econ Digest