Using technology to keep up with business trends

The on-demand economy is rapidly growing in cities across the world and companies need to find ways of keeping up with the trend. In cases where developing the technology themselves isn't an option, some start-ups are partnering with others to stay ahead.

With the continued rise of services such as Netflix and Uber, it’s clear that customers are no longer prepared to wait for the things they want. And why should they? People lead extremely busy lives and would rather spend more time doing what’s important to them and less time on things like waiting, queuing and planning in advance. As well as benefitting consumers, the rise of the on-demand economy also offers real opportunities for businesses to tap into this trend, in order to offer new services and reach new customers.  

One such business, the Mae Deli, a recently launched venture from food blogger and author Ella Woodward (otherwise known as Deliciously Ella) and her partner Matthew Mills, was interested in doing exactly this. The recently launched company provides healthy food choices from its central London deli and on opening, the founders were keen to also offer customers an on-demand delivery option. Co-founder Matthew Mills explains: “Our customer experience is so important and offering the opportunity of both visiting the deli and ordering our products on demand is a real added bonus. Convenience is key for many Londoners, so it’s something we wanted to be a part of.”

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As a new business however, the Mae Deli faced the issue that many independent companies do - how to provide an efficient additional service to customers on limited resources and budget. “It made sense to partner with an expert provider to implement a delivery service and when we were approached by Quiqup, a company innovating in this area, we decided that this was a good way forward.” explains Matthew. “Together with Quiqup we launched the service and so far the feedback from our customers has been very positive - they love the fact that they can enjoy one of our fresh meals or juices, even if they’re unable to stop by.” 

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Quiqup, a company founded in 2014, work with a range of local shops and restaurants in London to provide customers with the items they need, when they need them. Via the Quiqup app, users can order a range of products including food and drink, gadgets, clothing and gifts. “It could be anything from coffees for a work meeting, to a phone charger if you find yourself stuck without one,” explains Co-founder and CEO Bassel El Koussa. “Quiqup delivers within the hour, door to door in central London and supports local retailers, helping them provide a service to customers they may otherwise not be able to.”

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And it’s technology that’s making all this possible, from movies and taxis, to food and drink, customers are increasingly using their smart devices to order a whole range of products and services on demand. Bassel explains further: “We’re continually refining our user experience and the technology behind Quiqup. With on-demand delivery, there are so many factors to take into account, from the weather and traffic, to the time it takes to select an item in a store or prepare a dish. We’re therefore always working to continually improve the app, resulting in a seamless and super-efficient experience for customers.” 

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As well as helping them provide a service, partnering with on-demand focused apps and companies can also help small businesses reach new audiences, opening them up to further user discovery via digital platforms. As well as the Mae Deli, Quiqup is partnering with over 150 local retailers across central London and is experiencing 25 per cent growth month on month, showing that businesses are increasingly realising the huge potential of the now economy. “It’s such an important part of our business to work with local retailers,” Bassel says. “In this climate, it’s great for growing companies to work together to stay ahead of the game, meet customer demand and, most importantly, to utilise the amazing opportunities technology presents us with.” 

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. 

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