Enabling trust at scale: How Shadowfax built a delivery network that is reliable, safe and fast

Team Shadowfax

Engineering trust

At Shadowfax, the trust our customers place in us is a direct reflection of the trust we have engineered between the riders and us. This is increasingly important when you consider the recent issues users of taxi services, home services, etc have reported. The consumer, who had placed trust in the service marketplace, distrusts them — and not the individual — setting off a vicious cycle deteriorating the network.

We, at Shadowfax, have come up with an ingenious solution to this conundrum: Only allow people we trust into the network. We achieve this by sourcing over 80% of our riders through referrals. As the referrer has already partnered with us and has earned our trust, he ensures that new partner is trustworthy, accountable and safe to work with which ensures long term association.

A further challenge that trust-based economy faces is of affirming the identity of the agents that show up which creates room for plausible deniability. To avoid this, Shadowfax has built a fully automated and technology driven on-boarding system, industry-first Aadhar based KYC of all partners — they simply scan their Aadhar card from the mobile app, and perform biometric authentication at any of our training centers.

The third issue is of variability in service delivery based on the agent interacting with the user. We, at Shadowfax, have overcome this limitation by ensuring standardization of service quality through a virtual self-guided orientation and training program.

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Self-sustaining network

Our focus on rider-satisfaction has ensured that Shadowfax has the lowest month-on-month rider attrition among the competition. By providing payout transparency and introducing gamified growth opportunities we have earned the trust of our riders. This has allowed us to replace the vicious cycle described before with a virtuous cycle that allows our network sustain a high growth rate.

Even with an attrition rate of as low as 7.5%, 20% of our active riders each month are new peer referrals. It is a testament to the trust that we have built that just in the month of September, we hit an all-time peak of 10,000 organic referrals from a network of 4,500 active riders.

While economic incentives go a certain distance, social incentives — a sense of belonging — is what makes you go that extra mile. We understand this at Shadowfax, and have built an innovative incentive scheme called ‘Bikers’ Club’. This scheme generates a recurring income of up to Rs. 500/month for each active referral in the network. In August, 13% of our riders took home over Rs. 35,000 in earnings — which is much higher than the industry average.

About Shadowfax

Shadowfax is India’s largest crowdsourced delivery platform with presence in 13 cities across India and 5000+ daily active delivery personnel. Shadowfax’s unique app enables delivery of food, grocery, pharmacy and e-commerce for businesses and helps them create customer delight using technology. With relentless focus on engineering pleasant experiences for the customers, Shadowfax envisions to become the most desirable and trustworthy delivery platform for customers.

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