As it marks its 10-year anniversary, DoorDash is doubling down on its ambition to evolve beyond restaurant delivery to become “the local commerce company.” The delivery platform unveiled a series of major updates and service additions at its first-ever product showcase on June 27, 2023, including search and shopping features to help consumers find and buy whatever they are looking for (well beyond just meals), and a new integrated rewards program for merchants.
“We started with the highest frequency category with the greatest coverage in serving restaurants, but we now support grocers like Albertsons, Loblaws, Coles and Sprouts; convenience stores like CVS and Walgreens; and retail shops like Sephora, Office Depot, PetSmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods,” said Tony Xu, Co-Founder and CEO of DoorDash at the event. “We have built software to power deliveries through the DoorDash and Wolt apps, and we have built software with products like Drive and Storefront to power deliveries through the merchants’ own websites and ordering systems. We are proud of the progress we’ve made in the first decade, digitizing all of local commerce and making it feel as native to consumers as ecommerce has become.”
Xu shared some impressive stats from the company’s first decade: DoorDash has fulfilled more than 5 billion orders, driving over $100 billion in sales across 25 countries. The company now supports more than half a million merchants, 100,000 of which are non-restaurant businesses. But, Xu said, “it is still a work in progress.”
Xu’s vision for the next decade of DoorDash was very clear — he wants the platform to become the go-to for all of consumers’ local shopping needs, not just the ones driven by their stomachs. “One day consumers will be able to buy any item from their city and make shopping local as convenient as it is good for the neighborhood,” said Xu. “Merchants will be empowered to choose how much of their business ought to be digitized without needing to be an expert in any of the activities themselves. By achieving these outcomes, more opportunities for work will be created locally. And all of this will grow the GDP of cities, while increasing our own connections to the communities that sustain us.
“This is a world worth fighting for — we believe that a world with many digital storefronts is a better place than a place controlled by a few,” Xu added. “We also believe very much in the power of physical stores. It’s this combination of showrooms and warehouses, of in-store dining, and takeout and delivery kitchens, that will coexist to deliver both the experience and convenience that consumers demand.”
Making it Easier to ‘Shop for Anything’
To that end, the company unveiled the biggest series of app updates in its history, all aimed at “making it easy for consumers to shop for anything they need,” said Rajat Shroff, Head of Product and Design at the event. “Whether you need ice cream for a birthday party or to send fresh flowers to mom or prefer to prioritize family time over meal prep, we’ve redesigned our app to provide a seamless shopping experience that’s as convenient and reliable as our delivery platform.”
Updates and additions to the DoorDash experience include:
- A new universal search bar at the top of the app that allows users to search for anything they need from anywhere in the app;
- A Browse tab: This new inspiration-focused section of the app helps consumers discover all the products they can now shop for on DoorDash, spanning restaurants, grocery, convenience, flowers, gifts, party supplies and more;
- Dedicated tabs for Grocery and Retail: These dedicated sections make it easier for users to shop from local stores; and
- The ability to create multiple carts: Users now have the ability to start multiple shopping carts from different merchants at the same time. Users can check out of each cart whenever they’re ready and never lose progress on an order. This means a user could simultaneously add to their weekly grocery cart, start an order for lunch and begin a separate cart for school supplies for the kids.
These consumer-facing app updates will gradually roll out over the next few months across the U.S., Canada and Australia. U.S. customers will also see another new feature — the acceptance of SNAP/EBT online payments for grocery delivery with a number of partners, including Aldi, Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer and participating 7-Eleven stores.
Helping Merchants Reward Loyalty
DoorDash also announced a number of improvements and new features for its merchants and Dashers (as its delivery gig workers are called).
Most notable for merchants was the ability for restaurateurs in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand to create a rewards program for their most loyal customers within the DoorDash app. The new feature comes with no fees or commissions for DoorDash — the only cost to the merchants will be whatever reward they decide to offer. Operators establish their own criteria for the spend-based program, including the reward amount, how much customers have to spend to earn the reward and which stores their program will be activated across. “We’re committed to helping restaurant partners strengthen and develop relationships with loyal customers who order time and time again through DoorDash,” said Shroff.
At the outset the program is only available to restaurant merchants and cannot be integrated with existing loyalty programs, but Shroff said this is just the starting point. “[Right now] the rewards feature is [designed] to help the marketplace consumer become more loyal with their shopping on the DoorDash marketplace, [but] you will see more innovation come through this,” he said.
DoorDash also made a series of updates to its standalone ecommerce SaaS product, Storefront, which enables merchants to build their own DTC websites. Updates include enhanced customization options, “smart buttons” that direct customers to online ordering; the ability to carry over item-level ratings from the DoorDash marketplace to a merchants’ Storefront website, and the option for customers to leverage their existing DoorDash credentials to reduce login friction and increase conversions.
New Kinds of Compensation for Dashers
And the company certainly didn’t forget the third side of its “three-sided marketplace” — the Dashers who fulfill all those orders. The biggest news on this side of the business was the new ability for Dashers to “earn by time” instead of the current system of “earn by offer.” The change essentially means that Dashers have the choice to earn a minimum hourly wage while they are working or continue to earn based on each delivery job they complete. The company also unveiled new tipping features that will enable consumers to add tips up to 30 days after an order has been delivered, and new scheduling tools that will allow Dashers to maximize their time on the road by picking up jobs on the way to other destinations.
The number of jobs available to Dashers will almost certainly increase if DoorDash is successful in continuing to expand into all sectors of commerce. “As we’ve evolved, we’ve found consumers coming in looking for restaurants and [then realizing that] with a couple of clicks they can also get their diapers or a soda, so consumers are already creating interesting mixes of what they’re trying to do with DoorDash,” said Shroff. “That’s what we are building toward — bringing the entire city to the consumer’s fingertips.”