29 Jul 2020 | Business & Innovation | by Chloé Gamache

The key to successfully launching and running Dmarts

At Delivery Hero, constant innovation has always been at the core of our growth. Most recently, we announced that we were driving the next-generation of e-commerce by pioneering quick commerce, which guarantees an almost instant delivery of groceries and household goods to customers around the world. This new industry standard relies heavily on our Dmarts, delivery-only supermarkets or warehouses located centrally and optimized for delivery. 

Our Dmarts in a nutshell:

  • Delivery Hero already operates 148 Dmarts in 11 countries, with many more to come by the end of the year
  • Each store has several thousand items in stock and inventories are constantly being adjusted to match customers’ needs
  • Dmarts rely on real time inventory management, high-speed order transmission, as well as efficient pick, pack, and delivery operations to minimize delivery times
  • In some countries, goods are delivered in less than 15 minutes
  • Some popular product categories include: dairy, household goods, snacks and drinks, etc.

From a technological and logistical perspective, launching and running Dmarts requires a tremendous amount of innovation and expertise. The fast launch and successful operation of our Dmarts in the last 1.5 years have been fueled by years of experience gathered from our core business: delivering food to our customers. 

Over the past years, our ever-growing tech teams have learned fast, and achieved incredible milestones along the way. Let’s deep dive into how they are using this acquired expertise to launch and operate Dmarts. 

1. We work very closely with our riders

Since the very start of our delivery operations, we have built an amazing community that now amounts to more than 800k riders. Working closely with them, we have developed algorithms that allow us to predict demand, so that their shifts and routes can be planned in the most efficient way possible. 

For each and every order placed, we need to make sure that it goes to the right rider and Dmart, so that each route is tailored to their availability and current position within a given city. This also applies to our pickers, who are preparing orders within Dmarts. Here is how our riders’ and pickers’ times are managed:

  • Stacking: assigning multiple orders to a rider to optimize time and trajectory
  • Leveraging data insights to forecast demand according to the area
  • Relying on a global rider app for fluent communication with customers and support teams
  • As Dmarts work symbiotically with our restaurant network, enabling riders to pick up orders from both restaurants and Dmarts optimizes their time even more

2. We exchange knowledge with our local teams

The main benefit of having existing delivery operations in 40+ markets is that we are able to share best practices and leverage our existing infrastructure. By fostering local knowledge, we have already built a center of excellence and created global synergies that local teams building Dmarts can benefit from.

On a central level, we have developed tools that enable local decision making. Our tech teams have for example built expansion trackers to help countries ensure they are staying on track and meet their growth objectives (i.e. store launches), and even more importantly, we are always sharing knowledge gathered from previous launches with potential future Dmarts. When it comes to new openings, we trust our local players to know where to place them, and how to best operate them. Still, the central teams offer guidance and learnings about how to set up and build stores – even though the ultimate decision making responsibility lies locally. This enables us to move fast and smart simultaneously.

3. We know our customers

At the top of our priority list stands the satisfaction of our customers. Over the years, we have always made sure that we could deliver fast, easily, and to their doors. Therefore, we developed methods to ensure that we knew what our customers wanted even before they knew it themselves, and always aimed at delivering an amazing experience. Relying on our gigantic customer base, we have a wealth of knowledge on our markets and customers.

When ordering goods from a Dmart, every customer can filter the full product catalogue by saving their favorite or previously ordered items at the tap of a button. Looking ahead, we aim at further personalizing the overall experience, which is a domain we have plenty of expertise in. In the past, our teams have engineered algorithms which personalise the food ordering experience through content-based recommendations, down to ingredient level.

4. We know how to develop solutions, but also how to adapt them to new contexts

Dmarts use Delivery Hero’s own order, dispatching and fulfillment technology adapted for the retail environment. Some tools developed for specific use cases linked to delivering food have been repurposed to fit a new reality. Having previously determined how to optimize our riders’ fleets has for example greatly helped to optimize our pickers’ shifts as well. 

Next to that, we also rely on proprietary Dmart operations solutions, and are building a product stack from the ground up that is designed to maximize efficiency and customer value for Dmarts, including our picker app to streamline in-store operations. 

5. We know how to scale

Launching the first Dmarts came with quite a few challenges – finding the right spots, building the local teams, optimizing logistics and operations, marketing the new service, etc. Since our very first launch in 2019, we have come a long way.

Our goal to operate 400 Dmarts by the end of the year is a very ambitious one – but now that a tremendous amount of challenges have been overcome when launching the first 150 Dmarts, we have the right technology, global footprint, and logistical capabilities to make this a reality. The more we build, the faster and better we get. Since the start of this year, we have opened Dmarts in the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Malaysia. Where next? Stay tuned!

About the author


Chloé Gamache Delivery Hero
Chloé Gamache

Senior Specialist, Corporate & Tech Communications
Delivery Hero