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The fastest food in the city

How Deliveroo act local while going global

“Deliveroo are on a mission to change the way the world thinks about takeaway”. That’s quite an ambition, and if you’d heard it back in June 2015 you’d be forgiven for thinking this London-based startup was perhaps a little starry-eyed. In 2015, Deliveroo – known for the black and teal liveried fleet of drivers and cyclists – operated only on home turf, and in the more densely populated areas of London. Fast forward into early 2016 and Deliveroo are in 54 cities and 12 countries.

“Deliveroo are on a mission to change the way the world thinks about takeaway”

Scaling at that rate is tough on any business, but Deliveroo needs to do more than just build awareness and get people to download an app. Changing the way people think about takeaway requires a consistent, trifecta focus on restaurants, drivers and customers. At Deliveroo’s heart lies an ambition for all parties to be better off: Customers get high-quality food delivered to them quickly; restaurants that don’t typically offer takeaway are able to increase revenues by 30% or more; and delivery drivers have flexible, well-paid work.

Scaling so fast, and with three user bases to satisfy simultaneously, the Deliveroo product team need get to the right solutions as quickly as possible. The team of 6 have a “full-stack” skillset and support the company across consumer facing, restaurant, and driver apps. James Storer, a product designer, explained, “Lately everything has been about expansion, so we’ve been looking to make that as smooth as possible. There isn’t one fix-all solution, but Marvel is streamlined – it’s part of a collection of fast, lightweight tools that help us do what we need.”

Moving and growing at pace also means it’s easy to stick to conventions. Storer talked about the temptation to keep to what users expect and play it safe, but it’s just not very Deliveroo-like to do that. If the business is thinking outside the (takeaway) box, the user experience should feel different too. “It’s so hard to bring new ideas to life without tools like Marvel”, says Storer. “Other methods took hours or even days. We’d make fully working prototypes and went to great lengths to show something quite simple. It’s so rapid now. In a company that moves as fast as we do we can’t spend valuable time messing about in code”. Today, James is more likely to use Marvel to build and iterate on tiny elements and create quick flows to test, rather than re-designing everything from scratch.

“All our drivers come to the building for training, and just to hang out. It’s a perfect opportunity for guerilla testing, we’ll have a chat and see what they make of our prototypes.”

Even better, Deliveroo’s set-up means that the product team can have their ideas proven or challenged with users right away. “All our drivers come to the building for training, and just to hang out. It’s a perfect opportunity for guerilla testing, so we’ll have a chat and see what they make of our prototypes. We’re all part of the same community and we want to get it right for them”. Deliveroo have recently taken on their first in-house user researcher so as to test even more, the result of which has seen their rating in the app store go from 3.5 stars to 4.5 and rising.

James is clear about the role design plays in the overall experience of the Deliveroo service, “From discovery, to ordering, to food arriving at your door, our products shape the experience. If our products looked tacky or were bad to use, then why would people expect anything better from our service?”.

“From discovery, to ordering, to food arriving at your door, our products shape the experience.”

They say an army marches on its stomach, but city-based workers do too. Whether it’s an afternoon delivery from Crosstown Doughnuts (as we’re partial to at Marvel) or a fancy, three-course meal, Deliveroo is increasingly a vital part of what keeps people going in the urban jungle. With Marvel in their toolkit, James and the Deliveroo product team can move as fast as the delivery drivers – getting delicious food from your app to your belly in record time.

If you’re growing and moving fast, Marvel can help you stay the course. Get in touch now to see which plan is right for you. 

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