By SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN
HappyFresh is a collaboration of a startup group in Asia that developed an app-based one-hour grocery-delivery service.
Thailand is being overseen by managing director Siripa Jungsawat, who was corporate director and vice president of finance at Zalora Thailand.
Thailand is the third country HappyFresh has entered after Malaysia and Indonesia.
Siripa said the performance of HappyFresh (Thailand) in the first seven months of operation compared to HappyFresh in Indonesia and Malaysia over the same timeframe was better.
“We have services at 24 branches at superstore partners, covering 95 per cent of Bangkok and nearby [areas],” she said.
Traffic jams and the country’s high penetration of smart phone has resulted in more Thai consumers using online service, which promoted HappyFresh to offer its service to retail operators.
The Mall Group and its supermarket-gourmet markets, Tang Hua Seng and Big C Supercentre are three of the company’s retail partners.
Siripa said HappyFresh could fill a gap in the grocery market in Thailand especially for customer by catering to expats who don’t have a vehicle, mothers, lovers of cooking and men who find shopping for groceries inconvenient.
She believes HappyFresh could help the retail market grow despite the economic slowdown.
She said HappyFresh helped increase supermarkets’ reach by catering to customers located up to eight kilometres away from them.
She said the economic slowdown had impacted on the retail market, which might expand by 2.6 per cent per year. The online channel could help the retail market grow by 2-5 per cent per year, she added.
“The key success of using the online grocery service is the logistics system and the people,” she said. “We have our people who we called personal shoppers at the supermarkets of our partners, with them trained in quality checking, basic recipes and ingredients to ensure that customers who order goods via the HappyFresh application will receive goods like they are shopping at a supermarket.
“The customers can reject goods if the customers are not satisfied with the quality of goods.”
Customers have given us good feedback, giving us a satisfaction score of 4.7 point out of five, she added.
Online grocery shopping is on the rise. In the US, online sales account for 4 per cent of total groceries sales of US$612 billion (Bt21.7 trillion).
Siripa did not have figures| for Thailand but said annual |groceries sales in the Kingdom were five times higher than fashion sales.
“But we believe the growth of online shopping in the grocery segment will significantly increase in the next three years,” she said.
She said HappyFresh would add new partners and groceries items such as specialties and organic groceries to match the lifestyles of consumers in Bangkok.
“Data analysis is important for a startup, and we are tracking the behaviour and lifestyles of shoppers using our app in order to convert the data into marketing |promotions,” she said. “And the data will be useful for retail partners in supplying products to cope with shopping behaviours.”