2021 was a year of explosive growth in online commerce and home delivery orders. The third wave of the pandemic resulted in 70 percent more home delivery orders in the spring compared to the previous two months, according to DoDo, a dynamically growing provider of artificial intelligence-based courier services. Dynamically growing startup's revenue increased by 359 percent compared to the previous year and attract 1.2 billion HUF. Black Friday in November doubled and the period before Christmas tripled the number of deliveries compared to the average months of the year.
In 2021, with the explosion of e-commerce, the demand for home delivery also increased dramatically. Customers had already become widely aware of and used online ordering in the year before, so the third wave of the pandemic saw a more spectacular increase in the frequency of home deliveries than ever before. According to statistics from DoDo, a Czech start-up that improves the efficiency of delivery through data-driven, smart logistics developments and has been present on the domestic market since 2020, the number of orders in March and April jumped by 70 percent compared to the previous two months. From late spring to early autumn, the number of home deliveries fell slightly on a monthly basis, as many people took advantage of the easing of restrictions and went on holiday.
The numbers for the winter months showed an extraordinary increase again, exceeding the spring epidemic period. In November, twice as many deliveries were recorded as in a normal month, mainly due to the Black Friday promotions. The pre-Christmas period saw an even more impressive increase, with almost three times more deliveries than in the average months of the year. This shows that a significant proportion of online shoppers are timing their gift purchases for the 2-3 weeks before the holidays.
Interestingly, the Christmas period in 2021 was a major contributor to the increase in hot food deliveries, in addition to the March restrictions that accompanied the third wave of the epidemic. This shows that more and more people prefer to order ready-made hot meals over home baking and cooking during and before the festive season.
Shortening delivery times is a general trend and an increasing demand from consumers. This is particularly true for hot meal deliveries, but for consumer durables, customers no longer want to wait days, but at most hours, before receiving their order. The average delivery time for food orders for KFC by DoDo was just 24 minutes in May. Artificial intelligence-based solutions developed and used by DoDo also contribute greatly to reducing delivery times.
In 2021, the number of orders delivered by DoDo increased by 486 percent, With this expansion, DoDo - like in other countries in the region - has become one of the largest players in the home delivery market in Hungary. This is partly because more and more companies are recognising the benefits of smart logistics, based on artificial intelligence, as customer expectations change.
As a result of increasing door-to-door deliveries, the total distance travelled by DoDo couriers increased by two and a half times in 2021 compared to the previous year. In terms of the regional distribution of orders, the largest share of deliveries is made in Budapest, followed by Miskolc with the second highest number of deliveries, but also cities such as Veszprém and Eger have high order numbers.
In order to meet the growing demand for home deliveries and to expand its customer base, DoDo increased its fleet by 80 percent in 2021, and its business partners have grown to include names such as Alza.hu, one of the largest Hungarian webshops, KFC and Pizza Hut fast food chains, Falatozz.hu and the Falusi Kosár family business. The Czech start-up has also pioneered delivery methods, using jet skis to deliver food orders to sailors on Lake Balaton this summer. DoDo is currently in negotiations with a number of retail and hospitality companies, and the company is preparing for further significant expansion and increased deliveries this year.
"Thanks to the continued growth in consumer demand and the lasting impact of the pandemic on online sales, we expect to see an increase in home deliveries in all sectors this year. Consumers now expect the shortest possible delivery times and retailers need to adapt to this. In order to shorten delivery distances - our last two miles principle - it is becoming increasingly essential to create a denser network of smaller but more numerous warehouses - dark stores - and smaller shops. This trend has already emerged on the domestic market and we expect it to spread further this year," said Károly Sáfár, DoDo's representative in Hungary.