Grocery shopping is a multibillion dollar business, an estimated US$6 billion grocery market. When one talks about grocery stores, several brands come to mind: Sheng Shiong, Cold Storage, Giant and of course, FairPrice.
Sheng Siong is well known for having their 33 nationwide stores largely tucked away in the ‘heartland’ areas. Cold Storage on the other hand, has 48 stores and many are located in areas with large expat communities. You can find Giant in large hypermarts or small convenience stores all around Singapore, while Fair Price has at least 15 outlets around Singapore’s major shopping centres.
“Grocery Stores Are Not Going Away” – Eduardo Saverin
With the proliferation of technology and growth of online shopping, online grocery shopping is slowly picking up in Singapore.
“Grocery stores are not going away, but in today’s digital world, consumers want to interact with retailers any time, anywhere, on any kind of device, including with their grocers,” billionaire and Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who resides in Singapore, told The Sunday Times in an e-mail interview.
Grocer incumbent FairPrice saw that coming too: its online transactions have gone up about 15 per cent this year compared with the same period in 2013. Which was why over the weekend, it has relaunched a whole new online grocery site targeted at customers who want to get their groceries from the comfort of their home.
FairPrice online features your typical grocery products which you can buy online and have it delivered to your house. Other than that, Fair Price online also offers a Click and Collect service, allowing you to order your goods online and collect them at selected Esso stores on a chosen date.
Some of its categories offered for purchase includes beverages, snacks, beer, fresh food, frozen food, baby needs, home care, health, beauty, as well as general merchandises. There are also dedicated sections for weekly deals, bank card deals, events as well as general information about Fair Price.
Competition In The Online Grocery Shopping Space
While the online grocery business makes up only less than 1 per cent of Singapore’s estimated grocery market, RedMart, one of the most popular online grocery site in Singapore now has been growing in the last few years.
Launched back in 2012, RedMart now has about 200 staff and will move into a 100,000 sq ft temperature-controlled warehouse in October. RedMart’s revenue is also growing about 20 per cent month on month, and currently offers around 6,000 products on its online platform.
Other than RedMart, Sheng Siong, another giant grocer chain in Singapore has also launched its online store Allforyou.sg earlier this year, and is aiming to offer more than 10,000 products on the online platform eventually. Offering a same-day delivery with a 3 hour delivery window, Allforyou is a convenient one stop shopping experience powered by Sheng Siong.
Cold Storage on the other hand, while it has an online presence, it has a rather dated website.
Would FairPrice Online Work?
Buying groceries online offers the convenience of home delivery; however, the range of products online might be quite narrow. While that might be the case, more and more customers in Singapore are embracing this convenience and they seem to enjoy the online shopping experience: Lin Meiyan, a happy customer of RedMart said that she would continue using RedMart due to its prompt delivery.
Would FairPrice Online be able to replicate that experience to its customers? Hopefully. After all, its mission is to provide customers with the best value, quality products, and excellent service.