Technology

Online grocery delivery wishes granted by GrocerGenie

GrocerGenie PH founder Abigail Joyce Victorino Mendoza says the startup aims to become the number one online grocery aggregator marketplace for Filipino shoppers.
GrocerGenie PH founder Abigail Joyce Victorino Mendoza says the startup aims to become the number one online grocery aggregator marketplace for Filipino shoppers.

Do you wish everyone in the Philippines could enjoy the benefits of online grocery shopping? Your wish is GrocerGenie PH‘s command.

GrocerGenie PH was born in April in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This Philippine startup aggregates different online sources of food supplies and other necessities. Physical supermarkets only allow a limited number of shoppers at a time to observe social distancing. These days, getting groceries means lining up for hours. Because of this, shoppers have been looking for online alternatives. The challenge, however, is that these online stores and suppliers are scattered across different platforms.

Online grocery delivery for all

“Although we started very ad hoc, we did not build GrocerGenie PH as a grocery errand service, but more of an aggregator of essential products typically found in the supermarket. We only accept cashless payments, and offer scheduled deliveries, cart reorders, and a loyalty points program for customers,” GrocerGenie PH founder Abigail Joyce Victorino Mendoza told Digital Life Asia.

Businesses and customers are adjusting to the new normal. This is just the beginning of dramatic changes that are shaping the world. The birth of GrocerGenie PH was a response to the urgent needs of Filipino shoppers.

“Three weeks ago after one of our President’s briefings, I was chatting with a college friend (now my business partner who chose not to be named), about the effects of COVID-19 on businesses. We talked about the problems and opportunities of ecommerce and eventually he convinced me to try out the online grocery business. Obviously the opportunities to help out outweigh the challenges. It took me five days to develop the marketplace with a few brand partners to begin with,” Mendoza shared.

She admitted that the challenges initially seemed daunting.

“To be honest, I was scared not just because of health and safety reasons, but also the amount of pressure from customer demands, especially during these sensitive times. But at the end of the day, we chose to look at the benefits to businesses, grocers, and riders that we’re helping,” she said.

Reaping ecommerce benefits

The fight against COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation and encouraged more customers to embrace online transactions. This is all the more reason that companies should use ecommerce to empower Philippine business, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

With this in mind, GrocerGenie PH aims to become the number one online grocery aggregator marketplace for Filipino shoppers. Its stated mission is to deliver 1,000,000 grocery bags to Filipinos, create 1,500 jobs within the Filipino gig economy, and enable 5,000 vendors to sell online.

Mendoza said the demand for online grocery delivery will grow even after the end of the community quarantine.

“We’ve been hearing about the ‘new normal’ and I believe after the lockdown, customers will still be extra careful in doing errands outside their homes,” she said.

Technology for good

She also said that it has become even more clear that technology can be a powerful force for good.

“Definitely. If used well, I believe we can reap the same economic benefits China has now because of Alibaba, JD.com, and others. This starts with ecommerce, fintech, logistics, agritech, and data,” she said.

Is Mendoza optimistic that we will be able to build a better post-pandemic world?

“We can do a lot more if the government, corporates, venture capitalists, and end-users help young startups like us,” she said.

GrocerGenie PH is actually a sub-business of StyleGenie Asia (Singapore), of which Mendoza is the founder and CEO.

What would be Mendoza’s three wishes if an actual genie could grant them? Here’s her list:

  1. More customers buying online even after this crisis
  2. More vendors selling online for the Philippine economy to #bounceback from this crisis
  3. More genies to be born (hint: Gifts, Go, etc.)

How about you, what’s your wish?

(Editor’s note: GrocerGenie PH has provided a special discount code for Digital Life Asia readers in Metro Manila in the Philippines. Use the code DIGITALFTW to get a Php100 (one hundred Philippine pesos) discount for a minimum purchase order of Php1,000 (one thousand Philippine pesos) at Grocergenie.ph. One-time use only. Digital Life Asia did not solicit this discount code. We thank Abigail Joyce Victorino Mendoza for her generosity.)