Super apps release grocery delivery to ease social distancing during COVID-19

18:14 | 25/03/2020
Taking advantage of social distancing and people going into voluntary isolation and refusing to leave their homes during the COVID-19 outbreak, ride-hailing applications Grab and Be introduced a new service where drivers can pick up their grocery.
super apps release grocery delivery to ease social distancing during covid 19
The GrabMart grocery delivery service is being piloted in Ho Chi Minh City

A few weeks after Be launched its new service helping customers to buy grocery from supermarkets, Grab has also begun piloting a similar service named GrabMart in Ho Chi Minh City. The Singapore-based firm has partnered up with several retail chains and convenience store chains for the pilot and remains open to further partners.

As soon as receiving the orders of customers, the partners can begin preparing their orders, then drivers can pick the items up, pay, and deliver them. Grab has been offering this service in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia for years now.

A representative of Grab said that the launch of the new service aims to create an added shopping option for customers as the epidemic keeps spreading. It is also in line with the authorities’ direction of encouraging people to shop online during these times.

Currently, less than 10 stores and supermarkets have partnered with GrabMart, but Grab expects the number to rise soon.

The GrabMart and Be model is not entirely new to Vietnam, as local firms like Chopp.vn, Disieuthi.vn, and Now – one of the biggest competitors of GrabFood in the local market – have been offering this service for years now.

GoViet’s parent company, Gojek, has launched the same service named Gomart in its Indonesian system. However, in Vietnam, GoViet only offers ride-hailing, food delivery, and parcel delivery services. As the epidemic has been growing more serious in the local market, GoViet may soon add the Gomart feature, too.

As people are reluctant to leave their homes during the health crisis, these super apps have seen great growth in shipping and food delivery. Meanwhile, retail chains have started recruiting more staff for their online shopping channels.

According to Nielsen’s latest survey in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang city, more than 50 per cent of consumers go to supermarkets and convenience stores less to directly purchase goods. Moreover, 60 per cent of consumers have also been going to wet markets less frequently, with all of them turning towards e-commerce as a viable alternative.

By Van Anh

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