Glovo, a pioneer Spanish tech company, is one of the world’s leading multi-category players. With technology at the core, the company creates innovative solutions by connecting customers, businesses, and couriers with the vision of ‘giving everyone easy access to anything in their city.’
The company, operating in Georgia for more than three years, is about to start an innovative program to help small businesses struggling with delivery operations to implement new technologies to become more agile online. To learn more about it, GEORGIA TODAY spoke with the co-founder of the company, Sacha Michaud.
“If we go back, for example, 20 years, before the internet was popular, restaurants accepted orders remotely. One would call to order pizza and they’d say “in 20 minutes, you can go and pick it up.” Or sometimes they would have a delivery person or even a waiter who’d get on a motorbike and bring it to the customer. So this kind of exchange has been happening for many years. But the delivery side of the restaurant business was a tiny percentage, maybe one, two, three, or 4%. Then the internet came along and companies started building websites, uploading content and customers started ordering online,” Michaud tells us.
Consequently, customer experience improved with better UX, and nice photos. Accordingly, the demand for delivery services increased, and customer behavior changed. At that time, when Glovo launched, customers could find not only a list of restaurants and stores, but actually a list of the products they could order. “If there is visibility when the courier is in the city, it is more or less guaranteed that 99% of orders are going to work quite well, so user experience is much better. And of course, that makes that side of the business grow even quicker,” Michaud explains.
He noted that Coronavirus prompted changes in the demand for delivery services. Due to the virus, many restaurants were closed. All of a sudden, a big percentage of their business became digital, but they did not have the tools to manage it and were struggling with delivery operations. “It made us realize the tendency for digital business was to grow much quicker than retail. Let’s give our partners the tools so they can run their businesses, and let them pick what tools they want, with our help, maybe sell products on their own website,” Michaud tells us.
Does Glovo plan to support these businesses to create their own websites?
It is a great opportunity for businesses to obtain marketing tools that can help grow their business digitally, not only through Glovo, but outside of it. We can also give them couriers to help them deliver their products. It’s a whole array of different products, where our partners can now be more flexible and more transparent on commissions, giving clear commission levels. We charge a commission, that’s our business. We’ll give them packages where they can get different tools and pay different levels of commission. But they will be transparent and open on the website.
Is Glovo planning to expand to cover more areas?
Generally, the way we expand in a country is we go to the largest city first. We’ll get that working, we’ll understand the local dynamics. Every region and every country is very different. Different cultures, different languages, different ecosystems, hilly, flat. So basically we get the business working in the biggest city, and then we expand to the next largest cities gradually. Today we’re in ten cities in Georgia, and where the largest population is. Some parts of Tbilisi that are on the outskirts might not have a density of restaurants or stores, and therefore it makes the logistics part of our business very complicated for us. It’s very important to give our couriers as many orders as possible per hour so their earnings per hour are good. What we want to avoid is a courier being in a small town and not having any orders. Having said that, it’s a very good point because what Glovo Local allows is actually a restaurant or store in a small village that can now build a website. And it doesn’t need our logistics to sell online. They can create their own logistics and they don’t necessarily need the Glovo App to be working in their village or town at that point. Having said that, we still think about expanding to smaller regions, but we have to get the dynamics right. Otherwise, operations don’t work very well. We give customers a bad experience and our partners don’t sell enough. We need to get everything right for it to be beneficial to everyone.
Therefore, Glovo will have small local companies all around Georgia to help businesses create their own websites. It creates a win-win situation for both sides: If Glovo gives them the tools to sell products through the website, the company will charge business owners a smaller commission for the operations that go through that. To be clear, it is basically for locals who don’t have the chance to use the Glovo App.
“We give a lot of our technology for free and then it’s based on transactions. So if our software, and technology are useful, and they sell, then we charge a small commission. That’s how our business works. So a good example would be if a restaurant wanted to have its own website; they create it then want to implement transactions on that through Glovo- they can just plug it in and it’s absolutely free,” explains Michaud, adding, “Our success is our partners’ success. Glovo is nothing without a restaurant. If that restaurant becomes a success, all the better for Glovo, it’s a win-win,” says Michaud.
He points out that at this stage, they are launching the program in cities for partners who are already on the Glovo platform.
“Obviously we are a business, we’re not an NGO, so we charge a commission on the different tools and we also offer simple packages our partners can understand. In the future, it will allow other partners in places where the Glovo App doesn’t operate that want to sell online, and we’ll give them the tools. I don’t have the dates yet, it depends on the tech team and on a lot of things. Joining the Glovo App is free. Any partner can sign up, and then we charge a commission on every sale. So it is a win-win situation – we try and help. And again, I think the most important thing is that it’s focused on small businesses. Glovo Local is not for larger corporations that already have a lot of tools themselves. Glovo Local gives small businesses easy access to digital solutions for local businesses and restaurants.