LivingSocial, the main competitor for Groupon across the Atlantic, has launched a new feature called Room Service (available at home) and Instant Ordering (real-time order). The new services offer delivery of meals to high-end home from participating restaurants.
For now, these offers are only available in Washington D.C., LivingSocial’s hometown. However, LivingSocial is looking forward to eventually expand these new services to other major U.S. cities.
Room Service is a high-end catering service and food delivery to home, including plates, candles and cloth napkins. Instant Ordering is a relatively low-end catering service, mainly to be used to provide take-away. LivingSocial’s traditional services offer different discounts, but these two services are full price services and mark the company’s premium feature expansion as it diversifies.
A company representative of LivingSocial said, “Room Service is a great way for us to have our members gets the food they love quicker and easier. The new service will also expose LivingSocial’s participating merchants to a new type of customer.”
LivingSocial has undertaken a major shift in its strategy. Indeed, these two new offerings to be offered at a normal rate is a break with the tradition of the company’s practice of offering deep discounts in various sectors: spas, hairdressers, restaurants etc.
New Appetite for Food on the Net
Both consumers and grocery stores in the United States show a growing interest in food trade online. Earlier this year, Wal-Mart launched its service Wal-Mart To Go in Southern California, and Amazon is delivering food in Seattle and beyond through AmazonFresh. GrubHub is another player in this market, with a few recent developments that hark its solidification in the space, including a hefty funding round earlier this year.
Amazon recently added its own iPhone app, powered by Metia/Seattle on Amazon Fresh. The new app will be a smart tool for shopping with offering like simple and clean interface, speedy search and fast image loads.
Just last week, Google Offers, Google’s daily deal offering, launched their app for Android devices. The new app will allow user to discover, buy and redeem deals on the go.
Tiffany Glasco has launched a new online grocery delivery and catering business called Mercado on the Go in St. Louis. In St. Louis, Schnucks has operated a low-profile online grocery delivery service called Schnucks Express Connection for more than a decade, but now is looking to retool and expand the service.