The process of purchasing groceries in Malaysia has largely been an analogous act rather than a digital one—you create a list of items that you’d like to buy, drive to a grocery chain, park, grab a trolley and you have to walk around aimlessly through the aisles looking for your list of products.
Once you fill your trolley up to the brim, you then have to walk towards a counter, and wait in a long queue while the cashier scans away each product as quickly as he or she can.
Overall, this is a rather time-consuming and a strenuous process for the tech-driven millennial.
Alternatively, if you despise shopping at your local grocery store, you could always purchase them online. In fact, quite a few startups, like Freshcart, HappyFresh, among other sites, enable you to do so, and are constantly working towards making it an enjoyable experience.
Zero is a relatively new entrant to this space and it’s looking to improve the overall experience of shopping online while offering a unique value proposition to its customers all at the same time.
A key thing that distinguishes this site from others is that Zero doesn’t have a minimum order requirement and it offers free delivery.
Users can register on the site and easily select products from Zero’s collection, once they do, they are given an option to select their preferred delivery slot. Zero offers two-hour delivery slots that start from 10am till 10pm.
Zero operates under the motto, “senang for your household shopping needs”, and in the spirit of doing so; they even give you the option of setting up a date for delivery. They even let you place an order for your groceries to be delivered 30-days ahead of time.
Zero also provides a wide rage of payments options, they accept payments from various banks through MOLPay and they are also working on adding in an option that would enable customers to pay via their credit or debit card.
Given that they are relatively new, they continue to add new items to their online store every week and they only deliver to locations within the Klang Valley for the time being. However, expanding to other areas in Malaysia and Asia is a part of their overall vision, according to their website.
Currently, they also operate their own fleet of delivery vehicles and they have their own delivery representatives, and the startup professes that each order will be packed with utmost care.
Zero has a decent number of products that are listed on the site, and the user experience of shopping for products on the site is quite streamlined. They offer a range of categories that you can choose from and it’s definitely a delight to know that they don’t have a minimum order amount.
There are two main challenges that Zero has to address. Firstly, the nature of purchasing groceries is a quite personal, people tend to have a certain brand that they prefer in terms of grooming products and they also tend to have stronger preferences when it comes to meat products, produce and other forms of perishables. Most of the time, people prefer examining the ingredients (especially meat, fruits and vegetables) thoroughly so that they make sure that they pick out the freshest ingredients.
This is one aspect of the shopping experience that can’t be replicated (yet), and customers are indefinitely required to place a level of trust into Zero’s ability of being able to pick out fresh ingredients and deliver them while they are still fresh. And given that people are incredibly picky, Zero also has a policy in place where they will replace the product if the customer is unhappy and informs them within 2 hours from the delivery time.
Secondly, the startup also needs to address the issue of logistics. While the startup maybe able to absorb the costs of operating without a minimum order and delivering products for free, I feel that it would be quite tough to replicate the same model and maintain a healthy level of profitability if they looking to expand to cover more areas. I predict that they might eventually end up introducing a minimum order and a delivery fee to ease out their operational costs.
However, given that we are at end of the year, it would be a delight to see how the startup performs in the following year.