Shopee today announced that its in-house food delivery service, ShopeeFood, will be officially launching on September 24. That being said, the feature is actually already publicly available for consumers. This comes a few months after the e-commerce giant announced that it was looking for delivery riders and eatery partners back in June 2021.
Unlike its versions in Vietnam and Indonesia which require a separate app, ShopeeFood can be accessed through the homepage of Shopee’s main app. However, you’d first need to enable your location to see the ShopeeFood icon and restaurants nearby.
The service will be rolled out to users in batches, and is set to be available to over 8 million Malaysians in the Klang Valley in total. To date, it’s onboarded quite a number of F&B joints including A&W, Burger King, Dave’s Deli, and Tealive along with small-time hawker food stalls.
With services already addressing e-commerce, food delivery, grocery, payments, and more, the Shopee app is expanding to become a virtual one-stop-shop for its customers.
Testing its functionality against the big boys
ShopeeFood’s interface doesn’t look any different when compared to GrabFood. In it, you’ll first be met with the app’s top picks and shown the current promos tagged in each offering.
Most of the merchants on ShopeeFood are ones I’d regularly see on GrabFood as well, but that’s expected considering I live in central PJ.
Interestingly though, my colleague in Sungai Buloh reported that he actually saw more options that were closer in distance to him (around 2km) on ShopeeFood when compared to GrabFood (4km or further). This meant he was seeing different options than the usual too.
ShopeeFood’s search functions work similarly to other food delivery apps, and you’ll be suggested a few trending searches which are presumably based on what others are looking for.
The ordering process is fairly standard to what you’ll get from other players as well. After choosing your restaurant, you’ll be met with the menu items available to order in a list form.
With this new launch comes a plethora of promos, which I had to take advantage of for my mid-day coffee. To which, I came to realise that ShopeeFood’s current availability might just be a trial for now.
During the payment process, I was faced with some difficulties where an error message popped up when I chose online banking as my payment option.
Furthermore, all the promos such as its current free delivery offering weren’t supported through this payment method. But that’s not new for Shopee, as it seems that it’s pushing for the usage of its own e-wallet for ShopeeFood too, similar to how it does for its e-commerce transactions.
Cancelling the order to try again, I used ShopeePay instead, and was instantly able to confirm my order (with the promos). You’ll be shown the same map most delivery apps come with to keep track of your order status.
It’s likely that ShopeeFood has yet to fine-tune its logistics systems and deploy its riders. 15 minutes after payment, ShopeeFood cancelled my order with a refund as they couldn’t find me a rider.
How does it fare price-wise against its main competitors?
To compare prices across the popular apps, I mock-ordered a regular sized cup of Signature Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea from Tealive. Unfortunately, I couldn’t include airasia food in this brief comparison because I was unable to find the same Tealive store.
All 3 delivery platforms had the same base price of RM8.50 for the drink but differed in delivery fees. GrabFood also charged a small order fee which racked up its price a little.
From the same store to my location, each order was priced:
- ShopeeFood: RM13.50 (RM5 for delivery without the promos)
- GrabFood: RM15.50 (RM5 for delivery + RM2 for a small order fee)
- foodpanda: RM12.49 (RM3.99 for delivery)
It can be said that ShopeeFood sits right in the middle of the pack. But if the free deliveries its e-commerce site is known to offer carries forward for the food delivery service (for those who use ShopeePay), it may just be the most affordable option of this sample.
To be fair, however, ShopeeFood has yet to officially launch, so we’ll have to wait and see if any changes to its current functionality or pricing will be made then.
While ShopeeFood is entering a crowded space for food delivery services, the determining factor for customers on whether this is a worthwhile launch would be in its prices and delivery radius.
As for merchants, it will mostly depend on the commission fees being charged and the promos being offered on the platform. F&B operators have previously made it known to us that these points are often their biggest factors in choosing which apps to partner with.
We are also unaware of how large ShopeeFood’s fleet currently is as well, and the competency of their riders in fulfilling deliveries would be a critical factor for both consumers and merchants.
ShopeeFood will have to prove its reliability to both consumers and merchants if it wants to be more than just another, less favoured food delivery service in Malaysia.
- You can read more Shopee-related articles we’ve written here.
Featured Image Credit: Shopee