Zomato, an online restaurant guide, is one of the fastest ways to search places to eat around you. It is currently serving 22 countries worldwide and covers more than 1 million restaurants. Initially known as Foodiebay, this successful Indian startup was started by IIT graduates Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in 2008. Zomato has its headquarters in New Delhi. In June 2010, it expanded its reach to Pune and Bangalore and then to Chennai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad in 2011. In a very short span of time, Zomato went global and started providing its services in Dubai in September 2012. Later, it expanded to United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Philippines, South Africa, Turkey, New Zealand, Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal.
In November 2014, Zomato raised $60 million funding from its biggest shareholder Info Edge (India) Ltd , Vy Capital. Existing investor Sequoia Capital values the firm at $660 million.
Since July 2014, Zomato has acquired seven companies in various parts of the world to extend its reach in the restaurant search space and the biggest one being of Urbanspoon which has been a dominant player in the US, Australia and Canada. In April 2015, Zomato acquired MapleGraph, a Delhi-based startup and built a cloud-based point of sale product for restaurants known as Maple POS which was later renamed to Zomato Base. It has restaurant features such as menus and inventory management and has a built in payment solution to accept credit and debit card payments. The company also acquired US based Next Table which is a restaurant reservations and table management platform.
The collaboration of Zomato with travel itinerary planning portal TripHobo allow users to access content and deals on restaurants in addition to itinerary based recommendations. The launch of Zomato for Business application has helped business owners to engage with customers to drive business. Zomato’s entry in food ordering space is likely to affect Foodpanda and TinyOwl’s business in Mumbai
Apart from listing and reviews, Zomato will now own the communication channel between hotels and customers via online ordering and table reservations.
As the company is going more and more global, it rebranded its logo that so that it could transcend cultures, languages and geographic boundaries.
- To expand across the globe as a leading service provider
- To increase their fund and revenue
- To own the communication channel between the consumer and the businesses
Zomato uses different platforms to engage their customers with them. It is one of the finest brands in terms of social media marketing.
Images play a very important role in social media marketing. The images posted on Zomato’s facebook page are very entertaining and each post marks excellence and higher degree of creativity. They create something for ongoing events. One cannot miss the posts which are simple yet engaging. They prefer quality to quantity.
The Foodie Friday contest received a great response on Twitter.
It lets people share the foodie photographs by using the tag #zomato and the image automatically gets shared on the microsite.
Zomato also chose Mobile Marketing to reach their customers which took the compnay to a different level.In the initial phase, it was just a website which displayed number of restaurants, revenues and recommendations. Then the company came up with the decision to have a smartphone based application and Zomato application was developed and made available for Google Android operating system. Later it launched applications for Windows phone, IOS and BlackBerry devices.
The Zomato’s application help users to follow updates on their favourite restaurants, follow other reviewers and friends and create wish lists. The users get notifications for any new reviews added by other users, ratings as well as menu along with the some pictures .The users can also invite friends to follow them and their activities on Zomato.
The company started food delivery in NCR in April 2015 and users had an option to order food from restaurant using the main application. After a month, Zomato has now unbundled the feature and has launched a separate application – Zomato Order, which will be opening up for Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Pune.
- Zomato has more than 159k followers on twitter and there is a huge customer engagement on facebook with more than 12,07,000 likes.
- 50% of Zomato’s 30 million plus monthly visits come from its mobile application across the globe
- The company is now planning to expand its business and is aiming to launch in 15 more countries in the next year or so.
When it comes to restaurant search and discovery, Zomato is indisputably the leader. It has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. It knows its audience and it has used the right approach to engage with them through their marketing strategies. It has been constantly evolving around user experience.
Image Credits: zomato