Olo takes a chance on Amazon for food delivery

Delivery food - Wikimedia Commons / Ahrbear
Amazon will start delivering food for Olo's restaurant clients. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Olo, a software company that's partnered with restaurants including Chipotle, Shake Shack and Applebee's, recently announced it would start offering delivery from its restaurants through Amazon. This move is just another partnership and step taken by third-party sellers to help get and keep customers on Amazon. At the same time, it drives Amazon into the competition of food delivery. 

Olo has more than 200 restaurant brands with 40,000 locations across the U.S.

According to Dan Wilkinson, COO of 1WorldSync, it will be important for Amazon to monitor customer feedback as platforms such as these are implemented so that these programs work effectively and reflect positively on the brand.

Amazon already has a head start when it comes to getting into the restaurant delivery business, as it has cornered the market on logistics and fulfillment capabilities—as proven through Amazon Prime.

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"Amazon’s reputation for speed, combined with its massive devoted customer base, will give them a leg up from other players in the delivery service market," Wilkinson told FierceRetail.

And much like Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods shocked shook up the grocery industry, Wilkinson says that Amazon's foray into food delivery has the potential to have a similar effect.

"Companies like Uber have already moved in the food delivery industry in the past year, leveraging their fleet of drivers to deliver food," he said. "Amazon’s entry shows Uber and other food delivery services that a robust logistics ecosystem will be important to stay competitive, as the company can deliver almost anything to almost anyone. As Amazon moves further into this space, food delivery companies will need to offer additional value outside of simple delivery to stay competitive."

Brennan Wilkie, senior vice president of customer experience strategy, InMoment, also weighed in on the new service.

“As Amazon scales its business model to involve brick-and-mortar retail, grocery, food delivery and even healthcare, this customer experience leader will, no doubt, look for guidance from their consumers. Another audience that can provide a goldmine of insights is employees," Wilkie said.

However, the new service will hold challenges for Amazon as it crosses the line into an omnichannel experience. Therefore, customer insights plus employee opinions will offer a perspective that is different and invaluable.

"Amazon employees sit at the intersection of the business and the customer, and can understand the problems and opportunities from both lenses," Wilkie added.

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Employees can be a key identifier of a customer's displeasure and often offer simple solutions. Employees can also be a source of ideas for new products and services, and are the best resource for understanding what tools are needed to make their jobs run smoothly, Wilkie says.

"If Amazon is as good at mining employee insights for business value as they are at listening to customers, the company’s evolution to an even more dominant source of goods and services will be a successful one."