- Has seven partnerships with supermarkets, 62,000 products and 50 active stores in the app
- Employs a pool of trained personal shoppers to assist customers
JAKARTA-based online grocery platform, HappyFresh, marks its second anniversary in Indonesia by building more partnerships with suppliers, listening to customers and improving services.
“We started operating from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Because of the traffic situation in Jakarta, we came up with the idea of having a real app to enable customers to enjoy our service. It has been quite a journey for us as a startup,” says HappyFresh Indonesia managing director Filippo Candrini (pic, above) to Digital News Asia (DNA).
Founded in October 2014, HappyFresh has been operating since March 2015 and is positioned as an on-demand delivery player focused on fresh groceries.
The startup says it employs a pool of trained personal shoppers (number undisclosed), drivers and customer service staff to offer its customers next-hour online grocery deliveries.
“I have witnessed the growth and changes that came along. Changes mean the improvements that we have made as an e-grocer. Along the way we started to build partnerships with more suppliers and supermarkets. This is something that are we always keen on, keeping our ears open to listen to our customers and to see what will be the best market for them,” adds Candrini.
Partnerships and quality of service
According to Candrini, it is important to have a long term and “in-depth” relationships with their partners as a requirement for the continued improvement in delivering products to customers.
“It needs constant communication with our partners such as marketing that we can do together, promotions that they have in the stores, promotions that can be exclusively online to increase their sales or the value that we can give to customers using HappyFresh,” says Candrini.
HappyFresh now has seven partnerships with supermarkets in Indonesia with 62,000 products available and more than 50 active stores in the app.
It is also important for HappyFresh to show customers the products that are available in store and in stock in the supermarket by understanding their partners’ current set up.
If a particular product that a customer needs is not available in the store, HappyFresh has trained their personal shoppers to look for a replacement.
“There are two ways for customers to figure it out. First, customers have to trust the shoppers by letting them pick a suitable product replacement or the customer makes their own choice based on options which the shoppers tell them is available in the store,” adds Candrini.
In terms of personal shoppers, Candrini thinks that it will be good if they have related background experiences.
HappyFresh provides approximately two weeks of training for personal shoppers. The training includes teaching them how to use their native shoppers and drivers apps.
HappyFresh is also starting to give their personal shoppers some basic training in the English language.
“Even though most of our customers are locals, we realised that it will be difficult for those who do not speak Bahasa Indonesia and this is also good for our shoppers' development,” adds Candrini.
The final leg of the training programme is hands on where personal shoppers go to the supermarket under the supervision of senior personal shoppers to actually see how it works because each store has a different layout.
For Candrini, the grocery business is tricky as HappyFresh has to maintain their relationship with their own brands, partnerships, and customers.
“The grocery business is a very tricky one to handle. If customers find that the product is not suitable or an accident happens during the delivery which causes damage to the product, the customer will be refunded.”
Candrini also thinks that it is good to engage customers’ personal experience in using their app by grouping personal shoppers based on where a customer usually shops when using their app and partnering with third parties.
“Along the way, we explore ways to delight our customers by partnership with brands or with third parties such as telcos and banks. This is something that we do not just for the sake of business but also to enable us to understand a customer’s journey in the end and further develop the app.”
The traffic conditions in Indonesia and customer education are two challenges HappyFresh continues to face.
“We need to educate customers to get them to engage with our service and immerse with traffic to be able to improve.
“It depends on customers' habits and whether you want to change or not. If you put yourself in a new environment, it will become tricky but eventually you will learn along the way,” Candrini says.
It is also important for HappyFresh to develop their app based on customisation for every need of the customers.
“As an example, are we targeting the right promotion or product to the right customer through our app? Now we are working on it by having user tests. But we have to tap into the right market especially in Jakarta because it is very huge,” adds Candrini.
Candrini says that HappyFresh’s partners also contribute by introducing the e-grocer environment to their customers.
“The good thing for our partners is the additional revenue share (number undisclosed) but obviously over the two years things are improving and we are becoming significant in some stores.
“We also see a different contribution to our partnerships. So it’s interesting for them to start to tap into online services as well. We are like an investment-free service that they can use.”
Visions for the future and new features
As they go into their third year, HappyFresh will look for ways to measure customer satisfaction in order to grow further as an e-grocer.
HappyFresh is also open to new opportunities for partnerships as well as improving their technology.
“We look forward to working with our partners to organise events at which our customers can participate.
“We are also adding a feature allowing consumers to leave a note for personal shoppers and we are trying to build personalised communication for each customer such as sending them a reminder of a product that they have run out of. It will be tailored to fit each individual.
“We need to show you thousands of products on a small screen within a few scrolls. We will be upgrading our app bit by bit,” says Candrini.
There are no plans yet for HappyFresh Indonesia in terms of expansion. They are currently available in Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, Bandung, and Surabaya.
“We need to focus on our services by hiring suitable shoppers and on our technical integration. Things take time especially when you are in areas that lack tech-savvy people, but things will keep improving,” says Candrini.
Candrini thinks that e-grocers will become something that is necessary in big cities especially in Jakarta with its heavy traffic and people with busy schedules.
“The most important thing is that we want to create value for our customers. Other players are starting or planning to coming in but we always rely on what we can offer customers in terms of experience and customised services.
“It’s not just about delivering goods from point A to point B. There is also the promise of quality and on-time delivery that we have to maintain,” adds Candrini.
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