Here’s how DoorDash is using SMS and MMS to make safer deliveries

Demand for delivery services has increased over the last several years, and with public health emergencies like COVID-19, all the more.

As social distancing plays a vital role in the prevention and spread of the virus, more and more people are staying home and ordering food with delivery apps like DoorDash.

Instead of greeting delivery people at the front door, customers are opting for contactless delivery to be on the safe side. They expect drivers to leave their order at the door, or a designated spot.

DoorDash caught our attention recently with how they allow their deliverers (Dashers) and customers to communicate using both SMS and MMS, which helps ensure a safer delivery experience.

The Contactless Delivery Experience

To experience a DoorDash contactless delivery experience (and for science), we ordered lunch from a local restaurant through their app. Here’s how everything unfolded.

Setting up contactless delivery

First, we changed our delivery method to “Leave it at my door, " and included special instructions to have them send us a picture message upon delivery.

DoorDash App: Special instructions for our delivery drivers

Placing an order

We made an order from a local restaurant that was approximately 15 minutes away. Soon after, a Dasher accepted the delivery. DoorDash immediately provides us with their name along with a calling and text messaging option.

DoorDash App: Text message option circled in blue

Initiating a conversation with our Dasher

Tapping the text messaging option redirected us to our Android Messages app with a pre-filled virtual number.

We sent our Dasher a text message and an image. He responded politely and promptly. Our conversation looked like this. (We replaced the original images with illustrations)

DoorDash SMS and MMS conversation with Dylan S

As you can see, the whole contactless delivery experience was smooth. We were able to provide our Dasher with instructions and an image of our location, and they were able to quickly respond and provide an image of the drop off location.

In our humble opinion, this messaging channel improves communications between Dashers and customers. Deliveries often get delayed, and images can help prevent this from happening less often. As we all know, pictures are worth a thousand words, and they can communicate more than voice can.

Of course, your experience might be different. It depends on how your Dasher communicates.

Extra tidbits

We ordered from DoorDash several times before, and we noticed that they provide a temporary virtual number for the Dasher and for us. Both of us send text messages or pictures to this number, which is then forwarded to our respective mobile devices, keeping our numbers private. The functionality is similar to how a Group SMS broadcast works if you wish to implement a similar feature in your application.

If you’re interested in sending out an MMS campaign, then you may find this guide on how to design a perfect MMS helpful.

Final Thoughts

With social distancing changing how people and businesses operate, it’s necessary to find new ways for your employees to communicate with your customers. SMS and MMS is one option. If you need another example, check out this recent article about contactless gas delivery using SMS keywords.