Google has joined the league of food delivery and local services mobile application services with its latest launch, Areo. Currenlty available only in Bengaluru and Mumbai, the android application may rival the likes of Zomato, UrbanClap, befikr.in, UberEats, Foodpanda, Faasos and Swiggy in the future.
The mobile app claims to offer food delivery from local restaurants, chefs and lets users search for local food joints and businesses such as plumbers, electricians, painters and cleaners. The application allows users to pay by card, net-banking or cash on delivery. Apart from that, Areo states to have features such as scheduling deliveries and services as well as a repository of customer reviews.
But the company already had all of these available on Google maps, as a part of its business listings and the users would be directed to the right applications to go about their business. Then why the app?
Interestingly, Areo is currently acting as an aggregator. In the app sections are divided into food delivery, beauty, home maintenance, chores & cleaning, repairs and installations, fitness and specialty services (which is currently not available). Now each section has a subsection of the genre of services, for example if you click on food and delivery, the subsection will show you mains, desserts, drinks etc. similarly the home maintenance has subsections such as carpentry, electrical, house cleaning etc.
The aggregator angle comes in because Areo has listed different existing delivery services within the application. The food and delivery section has FreshMenu, Faasos and Box8, (all food delivery services) which gives the user a huge menu and the time it will take to deliver. Similarly, the beauty section, home maintenance, fitness and others have services from UrbanClap and Zimmber (blue collar services) in Bengaluru.
Maybe what Google wants to do is gradually get more such services in and give customers a single platform to operate from, so that customers don’t have to switch between apps that give the same services. For example a user does not have to do a to and fro between Faasos and FreshMenu for food delivery, is all in one place. Though this might just lead to loyal customers of these delivery services switch to other brands, but why would they sign up with Areo in the first place? Or maybe Areo will collect all the data and start something of its own combing all the traits of food delivery and business discovery apps to compete with the ones mentioned above.