In-Home Delivery Heads For Premium Market

gourmet food to go

There’s not much that won’t be delivered to the home during this COVID-19 crisis. From lattes to lingerie to langoustines, retailers of every vertical and stripe are either starting to deliver to the home or are ramping up their capacity to do so.

For example, while intimacy has been replaced by social distancing, Adore Me has made its in-home lingerie delivery service a higher priority.

“Many more new customers are now choosing our try-at-home, curated box shopping experience,” said Ranjan Roy, Adore Me head of content. “We launched our Elite try-at-home service in 2018 and have long believed that the model of an algorithmically-driven curated box would play a central role in the future of shopping, especially for items like bras and lingerie which carry complex demands in personal style and fit. We’re cautiously optimistic that as retail once again stabilizes and is slowly enabled to once again thrive, the try-at-home model will become a larger piece of the overall omnichannel retail puzzle.”

Adore Me currently has three ways for customers to shop: the standard pay-as-you-go way of shopping (shoppers can buy any items), a monthly membership model, and the curated Elite box service. Try-at-home was already the fastest growing segment of the business for the past few years (220 percent growth from 2018 to 2019) and is a central bet for the future of Adore Me. Typically 30 percent of the retailer’s new customers choose to shop via the try-at-home Elite model. In the past month, that has spiked to 50 percent on some days, and averaged just over 40 percent for the month.

Gourmet To Go

At the high-end, restaurants across the globe have started delivering, even fine-dining establishments that would have considered the practice beyond the pale just weeks ago. For example, just two weeks ago Regalis Foods was a busy high-end distributor, supplying everything from caviar to $100 steaks to Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City. Then its clients were all shut down. So instead of riding it out, Regalis Foods Founder Ian Purkayastha has taken matters, and delectables, into his own hands, offering delivery of gourmet foods to customers hunkered down at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Think jars of caviar, boxes of mushrooms, wild black truffles, French white asparagus, Australian tiger prawns, live king crab, Heritage Berkshire Pork, American Wagyu beef, and truffle oil — FedEx-ed in ice-packed boxes right to your door,” said Business Insider.

Caviar, the DoorDash division that had been ramping up its business as a high-end restaurant delivery service, was featured in a New York Times article last week that exposed many less well-heeled consumers to the concept of $70 veal parmesan. Caviar, along with its more mass-oriented cousin, has doubled down on its business model through a series of initiatives in response to the coronavirus crisis. First, it has dropped its signup fees and commissions for 30 days. Second, it has earmarked $20 million to promote its member restaurants; and third, it has changed the physical mechanism of its service. Starting this week, Caviar is changing the default delivery method to a no-contact option. “Leave it at my door” will be the default drop-off option, and customers will have the choice to select “Hand it to me” if they prefer. DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said he has told delivery personnel they can initiate a no-contact delivery at any time by reaching out to the customer with a call or text message to confirm.

“Around the globe, the restaurants that form the backbone of our communities are being asked to change how they operate. From limiting their occupancy to closing their doors to dining guests, these businesses are facing the prospect of lost sales, making it harder for them to meet their daily expenses,” said Xu. “Yet these restaurants continue to serve their customers by remaining open for delivery and pick-up, and now, more than ever, they need all of our support.”