on May 29, 2019 at 1:55 pm
Last week Google announced a new feature that allows users to order food through Search, Maps, or Assistant without opening a delivery app or website. The new tool is available in thousands of cities across the US and works with DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, and ChowNow. Other delivery platforms, like Zuppler, are expected to join in the near future.
Order by Touch or Voice
The new food-ordering tool will only require a few taps and can be accessed through an “Order Online” button in Search and Maps. For Google Assistant, users can say “Hey Google, order food from [restaurant],” to activate the feature and it can also pull up past orders based on the user’s order history. All orders can be paid through Google Pay or a credit card. If a user doesn’t have an account with the participating delivery partner they can create one by connecting through their Google account.
I tried the new feature through Google Search from my phone and it took over five attempts to find a nearby participating restaurant. It could be that this new feature has not yet been widely adopted by local restaurants and delivery services just yet. For example, Favor is a popular delivery service in my area which would widen my options but the company is not yet a listed partner.
Although it was initially difficult to find a restaurant, the ordering process was simple and only took a few minutes. As soon as I verified my address there was a pop up alerting me that Google Assistant could help place my order in partnership with DoorDash. The potential of the feature is promising provided more restaurants and delivery services adopt it over time.
Image Source: Google
Food and Grocery Delivery to Drive User Engagement
Google isn’t the only company eyeing food delivery as a way to increase user engagement for its assistant. Amazon introduced the Restaurants skill in January 2017 which allows customers to order from local restaurants using their Amazon account through an Alexa-enabled device. Alexa also suggests meals from the order history and Amazon claims it is an easy three to four step process.
Last July Grubhub developed an Amazon Alexa skill that allows users with three or more previous orders to reorder from their history without lifting a finger. Amazon is utilizing third-party skills for food delivery, but the requirement of the GrubHub skill to have previous order history can be hindering to its usability. That being said, Google is also facing challenges in adding food delivery as a first-party skill as it add more restaurant options and delivery partners to make the feature more beneficial to users.
But, consumer data does indicate that consumers are interested in these type of services if Google and Amazon can overcome these user experience challenges. A national consumer survey by Voicebot and Voysis found that 11.9% of voice shoppers had ordered groceries using a voice assistant in the past. This may well translate to food delivery services in the future as well.