Disclaimer: This article was published in the Manila Times on March 18, 2018
Honestbee expands PH reach
The online grocery and food delivery service has become a sought after tool for an increasing number of Filipino consumers
Back in 2014, Singaporeans Isaac Tay, Joel Sng and Jonathan Low came up with an idea to make grocery shopping more convenient through a digital platform that consumers can avail of at the click of a mouse or at the tap of a smartphone.
In line with these men’s vision to have “the world’s most convenient services marketplace,” Honestbee first became operational in Singapore in 2015. It was immediately a hit with consumers there and eventually expanded its reach to include neighboring countries like Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, and most recently the Philippines.
Warm reception in the Philippines
The emerging startup quickly became popular with a good number of Filipino shoppers shortly after its launch last year.
“Internally, we’ve gone from a seemingly small group of 5 to a team of 150 and counting. As a brand, we have about 100 grocery partners and close to 300 food partners on the platform,” Honestbee Country Manager Crystal Lee-Gonzalez told The Manila Times.
Honestbee’s Philippine reach has also now expanded to include Metro Manila areas like Novaliches, Malabon, Valenzuela, Marikina, Antipolo and Cainta as well as Meycauayan and Malolos Bulacan.
It has also launched the service in Metro Cebu and other locations such as Camanava are being considered.
“Right now, we have our eyes on highly populated urban areas with relatively difficult traffic conditions such as Imus, Dasmariñas and Lipa. On a larger scale however, we’re looking into going nationwide,” Lee-Gonzalez added.
All about convenience
The all-in-one platform has been a big help for an increasing number of urbanites who can no longer find the time to personally buy their groceries at the supermarket. Or to have lunch or dinner on time whether alone or with their loved ones.
“One of the main catalysts to the success of our brand would have to be the increasing demand for a service that provides convenience during times like this you know, with traffic everywhere and all,” Lee-Gonzalez added.
“People nowadays just need a quick solution to even the most basic of things. The point of interest here is time and how we help our community save more of it.
Honestbee’s trained grocery concierge handpicks the freshest produce at in-store prices, while looking out for expiration dates and suggesting the most suitable substitutes. As the service on the app is customer-centric, there is plenty of room to leave specific instructions for the items to be purchased.
Deliveries, which are marked for two hours, are from 10am to 8pm daily, subject to store operating hours, including weekends and public holidays. There is a P150 concierge or shopper fee. Free delivery is offered for a minimum spending of P1,500. Otherwise, a delivery fee of P99 applies.
Beyond grocery deliveries
Aside from online grocery shopping, another exciting development is the added Wet Market Concierge Services
feature. Consumers can choose and buy the best produce and the freshest seafood from Farmer’s Market in Cubao, the Alabang Wet Market, and the Pasay Wet Market.
In addition, Honestbee also launched its concierge services for laundry pick-up and delivery (including dry-cleaning) and is soon set to offer deliveries from premium partner restaurants.
The future for Honestbee
Now regarded as “Asia’s leading online concierge and delivery service,” Honestbee wants to continue helping the shopping community in the best way they can. Lee-Gonzalez is hopeful that the platform will continue to grow in 2018 and even beyond that. She also shared that they already have plans on expanding nationwide.
“Revenue isn’t our top priority at the moment. We want to continue helping our community in the best way we can, and that’s by providing convenience. As simple and nonchalant as that may sound, this is at the core of Honestbee’s values as a brand,” Lee-Gonzalez concluded.