Below is a couple of things that can be done:
1. Partnership with merchants.
It can for sure go beyond just bringing merchants onto the platform and calling them partners. The very structure of the platform-merchant agreement can imply co-ownership and true collaboration. One of the possible structures is a cooperative, but there are more ways to organize a fair business. As a result, merchants would feel confident enough to direct their audience to this Alternative Platform. This can be a mere sticker with the QR code on their doors, flyers in the delivery orders, logo on the menu. These simple steps immediately cut the marketing costs. And while the big guys heavily spend on Google and Facebook ads to reach out to the right audience, the ADP gets to it for free. This saves money and can help to make merchant commissions much more attractive. 2. Partnership with riders.
Any marketplace creates a connection between sellers and buyers. A delivery marketplace is unique because it creates this connection via riders. While riders may not be able to help attract the new audience to the Alternative Delivery Platform, they can help increase the number of repeat orders. The riders can engage with customers they meet and explain to them the nature of it and how it is different from all the other apps. Needless to say, the drive to engage does not emerge from getting perks, but from owning what they do. So again, the true partnership should be at the foundation of the agreement. 3. Partnership with the municipality.
Cities are aware of the difficult situation in the delivery market. So should listen and they can for sure help to spread the word. For example, such a thing as a city-sanctioned food market for launching the Alternative Delivery Platform would work great. 4. Partnership with citizens.
Consumers are not really aware of the challenging agreements the merchants and riders have with the big platforms. So they need to be educated about the difference between the giants and Alternative Platforms. This is better done via local press, community organizers, and neighborhood Facebook group moderators. When reaching out to citizens, it is important not to forget to give them an easy way to signup for the future Alternative service
So in our view partnership and community organizing are key. And to all the entrepreneurs at the beginning of their way, we recommend focusing on that and not on traditional marketing.
Have you gone through a similar process? Do you have your story to tell? We will be happy to share your story – just write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject "My platform story"!