DoorDash uses real-time data to drive business, help merchants

It might seem at first glance that the mobile food delivery industry is fairly simple. Open app, order restaurant food, pay, and chow down upon receipt.

In fact, every order triggers a complex set of technological steps for a business like DoorDash Inc., which has recently emerged as the leader in U.S. online food delivery. A mass of transactional data must be stored and analyzed, dealing with the order, delivery pickup, and delivery drop off. And a key solution driving this complicated dance is Amazon Aurora, a Postgres engine.

…DoorDash’s reliance on Aurora has become critical because unlike other delivery models, such as FedEx, its business is real time, with orders flowing in around the clock and delivery expected in under an hour by hungry customers. This takes a sophisticated routing optimization structure that relies on localized data in dense urban areas or remote suburbs.

“One of the awesome things that we’ve been able to leverage from our cloud infrastructure is the ability to support real-time data access,” Fang explained. “That matters in a business like ours where it’s just a hyperlocal economy. It’s allowed our business operators to really run and sprint.”

DoorDash is also leveraging the data it gathers in the cloud to help merchants expand their businesses. The company recently instituted a “Try Me Free” program where merchants, using DoorDash’s analytics, can reach out to potential customers with a free delivery offer.

“Merchants can actually target customers who’ve never placed an order from their store before and offer them a free delivery,” Fang said.


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