The HappyFresh App For Grocery Shopping: 8 Things We Liked

HappyFresh promises to deliver fresh groceries in an hour within the Klang Valley. We put the app to the test in our 39th Tech Tuesday feature.

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Grocery delivery remains one of the several voids that the supermarket industry has yet to fill. However, HappyFresh, a new e-commerce startup launched in March, is claiming to fill that void with its one-hour grocery delivery in Kuala Lumpur.

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Here's how it works:

Shoppers look at grocery stores and select the items/products they want to buy, heading to the basket menu to pay. Deliveries, which can be sent to their door in an hour or scheduled for later, are monitored in-app, much like Uber.

According to HappyFresh, each order is fulfilled by personal shoppers who are permanently based at their partner stores, and they notify you about the process as their personal shoppers go about buying what your ordered.

The app also lets shoppers schedule the arrival of its one-hour delivery option a few days in advance, giving shoppers a fixed time that they need to wait at home for the package to arrive.

In an interview with TechCrunch, HappyFresh co-founder and Executive Chairman Tim Marbach said that their "goal is to have the full selection of offline stores." And HappyFresh has plenty of credentials on paper to take its proposition seriously.

HappyFresh co-founder and Executive Chairman Tim Marbach

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It's a well-backed startup.

"HappyFresh has raised a single-digit million USD pre-round A financing with local VCs, international angels and institutional capital," its press release reads. According to Tim Marbach, it is "one of the largest seed stage funding in the region… [from a] combination of local VCs, international angels, and institutional capital."

HappyFresh also has an impressive team.

Its seven co-founders - CEO Markus Bihler, CTO Fajar Budiprasetyo, COD Benjamin Koellmann, CFO Dr. Konstantin Lange, CCO Kai Kux, executive chairman and investor Tim Marbach, and Stefan Jung from Monk’s Hill Ventures as advisor, each come with experience in the tech business including Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, The Boston Consulting Group, J.P. Morgan, Rocket Internet, and Rocket Internet’s Lazada Group.

We put HappyFresh to the test. Here's what we liked:

1. Browsing through 'everything' in a grocery store with the help of categories and keywords

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If you know what you want, you won't have to walk down five aisles in a grocery store to hunt it down here. An easy keyword search will quickly give you options to choose from. We liked how we could easily scroll and swipe to reveal more products within a category.

HappyFresh currently serves selected areas in Klang Valley. Inside the app, users can check if HappyFresh delivers your location by putting in your area or postal code to see what stores are available in your location.

2. The product images

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Beautiful imaging makes everything look more enticing. We were drawn to how items indeed look fresh, which is a big win for an app that promises to deliver fresh produce within an hour.

However, if you're not happy with the quality of the product upon delivery, HappyFresh claims that they "will reimburse the full price of the item."

3. Keeping tab of prices as you shop

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You know that feeling of being jolted by the total of your shopping at the checkout counter, wondering how it got to the hundreds? Or not knowing how much an item costs because there isn't a price label? Well, the HappyFresh cart totals everything up for you; you can control quantities and change your mind with a quick tap.

However, prices are 10% more on items shopped on the HappyFresh app, a fee for people who value convenience, personalised shopping, and precious time saved.

4. Satisfying notifications that your personal shopper has begun selecting your items!

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As stated earlier, HappyFresh has personal shoppers who are trained to select the best and fresh items (if you don't know how to choose pineapples or meat cuts, you're covered)!

The app, however, currently doesn't support a return policy for any items that you may have accidentally purchased and would want to return. In such cases, you are required to coordinate returns directly with the store you have purchased from.

5. The fact that you get to shop from your home or office. You also get to schedule your delivery.

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Buy groceries for dinner from your office, have it delivered before you leave, and head straight home to cook it. Selecting when you want your groceries to arrive is also a nifty feature that surely gets an extra point from us.

While delivery for your first order is free, you'll be charged RM20 for next-hour delivery if your order size is under RM100 and RM15 if it's over RM100.

For all other delivery times, the charge is RM15 if your order size is under RM100, RM10 if it's under RM300 and free for more than RM300. Users can see the delivery prices for their order at checkout.

HappyFresh delivers from 10am to 10pm depending on local store hours.

6. Getting an SMS from the person who will deliver your groceries

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We were pleasantly surprised to receive an SMS from the person who would deliver our order! Adds a personal touch to it.

7. Delivery within the next hour (stalking the status of your order in the meantime is addictive)

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Our order was placed at 4.25pm and Baskaran, our delivery man, arrived at the delivery destination, our office, at 5.50pm. True to its word that the delivery would arrive as scheduled between 5-6pm. We can imagine the app's service appealing to young professionals who want to get home from the office as soon as they can to have dinner and unwind.

Speaking about how HappyFresh came about, Bihler says, "The only way was to eat out all the time. But we wanted to know what was going into our food and enjoyed being able to prepare simple meals at home with friends and family. Having fresh groceries delivered to your doorstep presented the solution."

8. The items are as advertised and yes, fresh

We received our HappyFresh orders from Baskaran at the office!

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We could see the condensation on the walls of the plastic packed Chinese lettuce and grapes, but that was understandable, seeing the groceries are placed in a normal non-woven bag. We would've preferred for fresh produce to be separated from dry goods though. The packet of chips was in pristine condition!

An order invoice is sent to your email with a summary of your order including an itemised list of groceries you purchased. It's liberating when you don't have to deal with paper receipts and you can always fall back on your digital invoices to track your expenditure.

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Totally random: you can leave a note under 'Delivery Instruction' at Check-out like we did in the screenshot above. We had requested Baskaran, the delivery man to do a 'happy dance' but since he was shy, we let him escape.

HappyFresh is available for both Android and Apple devices

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HappyFresh provides first-time shoppers with free delivery in addition to RM30 off for your first shopping experience and when your grocery basket size hits RM100 and above.

Previously on Tech Tuesday:

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