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How personalization will change a user’s experience of Zomato


Zomato’s mobile app is reorganizing restaurants lists, and even dishes in a menu according to an algorithm that studies a users behavior on the application.  Changes are being determined by tracking cuisine preferences, average order value, and even previous items in an order, etc. For the time being, changes are active only in the online food ordering section of the app, but Zomato said in a blog post that it will gradually expand it to search and discovery product as well. The changes in the app are being made in two sections:

– Within a restaurant’s menu list: The app will list a user’s preferred dish, cuisine, etc., in the beginning so that they don’t “need to not keep scrolling down to find favorite dishes”.  In fact this feature might be particularly useful in a country like India, where there are users who prefer only vegetarian food. So, if a user consistently orders vegetarian dishes, Zomato’s app will push vegetarian dishes to the “top of every menu page on all restaurants that the person views.”

– Recommended tabs within restaurant menus will display a list that re-arranges ‘frequently ordered dishes’ in the beginning. For this, the app will deploy an algorithm that studies user patterns like “past order history, other users’ order history, and corresponding order ratings received for each dishes”.

Zomato says this has improved their checkout conversion rates on their order app by 2.5%. Both updates have reduced the time it takes to build an order, according to Zomato. The company claims that users are placing orders 21% quicker, after rolling out these changes.

Does this impact ads?

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While introducing ads in mobile apps in 2014, Zomato said that it would display more “contextual hyperlocal ads to consumers”, since they will be able to collect more data from mobile phones like location, etc.  The company had said these ads are “contextual to a user’s search and location”.

However, we are not sure if the recent personalization changes would also apply into sponsored ads as well. MediaNama has written to Zomato asking if it might recommend ‘preferred restaurants/dishes’ as an ad, based on user’s behavior pattern; we will update the story once we hear from them.

Financials and deliver business revenues

Last month, Zomato reported operational revenues of Rs 184.97 crore for the fiscal year 2015-16. In the previous fiscal year (FY 2014-2015), Zomato had reported revenues of Rs 96.7 crore.

At that time, the company said that in India, 20% of revenue in April came from delivery business, while overall contribution from food delivery business was around 7% at the same time. Zomato added that its average orders per day is around 25,000-26,000 overall, while monthly growth rate in order business is at around 30%. 

Suggested Reading:
Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal says its food delivery competitors have only 6-9 months left
Zomato’s learnings from its food ordering biz – Pankaj Chaddah, Zomato co-founder

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