Retail

Aggregation Apps Coordinate Rides And Food Deliveries

Accomplice

There are many on-demand apps, but few apps aggregate multiple services. Apps such as Accomplice, however, allow users to choose from multiple services and coordinate food deliveries with rideshares.

When a customer orders food and a rideshare through Accomplice, the app monitors the customer’s journey home and places his or her order at the optimal time.

In addition, Accomplice provides users with time and cost estimates for on-demand services. With this information, users can decide to book a service based on cost or convenience.

That priority may differ from moment to moment. “Depending on your sensitivity at that given point in time, you’re able to make a well-educated decision,” Accomplice Founder and CEO Hani Samaan told PYMNTS in an interview.

In the business-to-business market, this information could allow employees to save their employers money. And employees can save clients’ money, if their company bills clients for expenses.

Either way, Accomplice allows the rider to book a ride — and that takeout order. Accomplice also enables customers to pay for those services through the app.

The Value Proposition for On-Demand Apps

Accomplice works with several on-demand services such Uber, Lyft, Delivery.com, EatStreet and Yelp. The app doesn’t just benefit customers: It benefits on-demand services too.

Here’s Samaan’s value proposition for on-demand apps: List the app on Accomplice and you get a new sales channel. That channel is promoted by Accomplice as Samaan markets the app. As a result, Accomplice is essentially marketing the supply of these on-demand apps.

Accomplice can also benefit on-demand apps by encouraging customers to make purchases they might not otherwise make.

“If you’re ordering a ride and you’re presented with an opportunity to also order food, maybe without that opportunity … you would have probably not ordered food,” Samaan said.

The B2B Market

While Samaan said it made sense to start Accomplice for the business-to-consumer (B2C) market as it was the quickest way to get feedback, he sees strong opportunities in the business-to-business (B2B) market. As a result, he’s currently working on a proof of concept with two companies.

Businesses make a good market for aggregator apps such as Accomplice as employees sometimes work late on engagements and projects. As a result, companies often provide them with reimbursements for ground transportation or meals.

But these expenses are hard to manage, so Accomplice simplifies them: Instead of having these transactions spread across multiple platforms, companies can have a single app — such as Accomplice — for their needs.

The company also seeks to provide employers with more information on food and transportation spend. “They have unprecedented access to transactional data that they can mine,” Samaan said.

The Road Ahead

In the future, Samaan hopes to bring more on-demand services onto the platform. But he wants to make sure they actually contribute new ordering options. Restaurants may list on multiple platforms, after all, and it might not make sense to onboard a platform that lists restaurants that Accomplice already has.

“A lot of these marketplaces are competing, which means they have the same restaurants on their platforms,” Samaan said. “So, you have to look at the value of the supply as it comes on board.”

Beyond carefully adding new on-demand services to his platform, Samaan plans on adding new product categories. He’s thinking of adding lodging or air travel to serve the B2B clients, but, in more of the consumer space, he said alcohol delivery “will come onboard at some point.”

While Accomplice is available nationwide, Samaan wants to expand his presence throughout the U.S. Beyond the States, he wants to bring Accomplice to other countries.

“In five years, we want to have total dominance in the U.S. and some presence in the international markets … Asia and in Europe and specific markets within those two continents,” Samaan said.

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