Even as India’s food tech space has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, companies seem to be using the lull to further improve their products for when demand improves.
Zomato has introduced a new feature on its app which allows users to leave voice commands for delivery personnel. As first discovered by Twitter user @adityamohanty_, the option to add voice instructions comes under the delivery instructions tab, and allows users to record a short audio message and give directions.
Zomato now allows you to add voice instructions for directions. Very interesting way to solve for the back & forth over directions async! pic.twitter.com/bpzRAu6qRe
— Aditya Mohanty (@adityamohanty_) September 25, 2020
It’s a feature that could come in particularly handy in India. Addresses in India aren’t always particularly precise, with many cities having hard-to-decipher numbering schemes, and adding a voice instruction could be a simpler way to convey a message than typing out detailed instructions. Voice instructions could also come in handy during Covid, around how customers would want to receive their food from their delivery partners.
Zomato has previously tried to innovate during the coronavirus pandemic as well. When the coronavirus pandemic had first hit, Zomato had introduced a contactless delivery option, in which a delivery person could leave the food outside the door, click a picture, and leave. The customer would be able to see their food outside the door through the picture and then collect it later once the delivery person had left, thus minimizing contact.
The voice feature, though, could become a staple for food delivery apps going forward. Countries like China heavily use voice messages in chats — it’s not uncommon to see people in China talk into their phones and leave voice messages as opposed to typing, and with WhatsApp having introduced the voice messages feature too, voice messages are taking on in India as well. And the use-case for food delivery seems to be ideal — delivery personnel can often have trouble understanding text, but will perhaps be much more at ease listening audio messages. And it’s likely that customers too will want to quickly record a voice message instead of writing out instructions when they’re hungry and waiting for their food.