“Every cloud has a silver lining” – This is a slogan that officials of delivery companies have been placing at the forefront of their responses when asked about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their businesses, as the strict government measures imposed during the height of the pandemic’s spread especially the partial and total lockdowns had resulted in an increase in the rate of delivery orders to about 150 percent, ranging between 120,000 to about 300,000 orders per day, reports Al-Rai daily.
Despite the return to normal life, the change brought about by the COVID-19 crisis continues to this day. There is a noticeable change in the culture of customers, who are keen to get what the products they are looking for quickly.
This has led to a relative stability in the number of deliveries made upon prior request via smart applications and various websites. This includes the delivery of orders for food, clothing, medicine, cosmetics, and others, amid a great demand from various groups in society to benefit from the services of companies of various goods and products.
The significant increase in the numbers of deliveries reflects the great importance that such applications and websites have acquired for various companies, especially those operating in the restaurants and food sector. They have been keen about finding alternatives to help them maintain their revenues at the highest possible value, and to ensure the stability of their businesses during the periods of partial and total lockdowns that Kuwait witnessed for more than six months.
According to officials from delivery companies, online operations during the lockdown period were sometimes equivalent to the volume of sales in all branches. In this regard, the Managing Director of Talabat Kuwait, Bader Al-Ghanim, said the delivery sector continues to maintain levels of demand for service from consumers. He highlighted an increase in interest among business owners and companies for delivery services through service providers and digital platforms such as Talabat and others. Al-Ghanim explained that the rate of demand for consumer delivery services continues at the same levels as they were before the return of activities to normal. The sector is not limited to restaurants alone, but also includes supermarkets, groceries, medicines, cosmetics, children’s toys and many other retail sectors. The change in consumer behavior during the COVID-19 period and the accompanying closures, as well as the reliance of many on delivery services to access basic and luxury goods and services, cannot change overnight.
The pandemic has brought about a cultural change at the consumer and market level among companies, individuals, and government institutions, and increased awareness at all levels about the importance of the delivery sector and the necessity to take care of it, as it has become the backbone for all other economic sectors. During the closure period, consumers were forced to order online to enjoy a meal from a restaurant. However, the volume of dine-in orders has decreased after the full opening of activities, despite consumers’ desire to go out and enjoy the atmosphere of restaurants, meeting with friends and family and sitting down at the dining table with them. Since the beginning of the spread of COVID-19 locally, several companies, including Talabat, have tried to absorb the changes that have occurred and worked on how to deal with them, especially from the operational side, as well as tried to ensure the continuity of providing services to customers and partners from restaurants and other activities.
They dealt with the changes that occurred at an accelerating pace. It also was imperative to work in a different way such as by forming a control room that works round the clock to analyze and review the effectiveness of plans to improve and develop performance. The infrastructure of global markets was not ready to absorb the sudden jumps in the volume of demand for delivery applications. The infrastructure includes laws and regulations, procedures and e-government services, and the number of drivers available in the market that are able to deliver. This has become of very high demand, especially after the increased preference of many economic sectors around the world and in the country to deliver their goods to the consumer.
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