Deep-fried crystal ball: Seamless’s recent missteps pave the way for competitors

Seamless, once beloved by over 2 million customers nationwide, is swiftly becoming a case study of a brand brought down by iffy design decisions and tech snafus.

Its desktop and mobile site redesign in May was declared a failure by users who had their credit card info and addresses deleted. The brand has been doing more social media damage control lately in lieu of its customary tweeting of funny GIFs. Seamless has also adopted cheeky text messages confirming orders are out for delivery, including one that says the Seamless “a crystal ball we deep fried” has estimated delivery time. Error messages on its site have been more glib than helpful (“some pretty boring error happened”). Worse, its latest email communication with customers included a 40-second explainer video of how to use the new site — but did nothing to assuage concerns over data loss.

Seamless has had almost two months to respond to user issues, so all of this feels tone deaf for a service that has become such a huge part of the cultural lexicon. Nowhere does it explicitly address issues that people are actually steamed about, like those misleading text notifications:

Or the blasé error notifications …

Now it appears possible that Seamless’s design misstep paves the way for other food delivery apps with a more … seamless ordering experience: On Twitter, people have been recommending an alternative service called Caviar to Seamless refugees. It’s owned by payment app Square, itself renowned for its sleek design, and delivers food from a selection of restaurants that don’t normally deliver, with delivery fees starting at $1.99.

Indeed, since late June, Caviar users have been calling out Seamless’ problems, coupled with a coupon for $15 off.

Seamless, however, shows no outward sign that they will be deterred. “The changes to our site are just the beginning,” a rep wrote in an email to Digiday. “We think it’s wonderful that people love our service, and we’re taking feedback very seriously; we want to continue providing a service that people love.” And one that, in theory, doesn’t leave a bad taste.

More in Marketing

In the marketing world, anime is following in the footsteps of gaming

As marketers look to take advantage of anime’s entry into the zeitgeist, they might be wise to observe the parallels between the evolution of anime as a marketing channel and the ways brands have learned to better leverage gaming in recent years. 

With the introduction of video ads and e-commerce, Roblox looks to attain platform status

Roblox is expanding into more areas than just ads in 2024. Much like platforms such as Amazon and Facebook have transcended their origins to evolve from their origins as online marketplaces and social media channels, Roblox is in the midst of a transformation into a platform for all elements of users’ virtual lives.