Why Pickupp Built An E-commerce Arm To Support Home-Based Bizs

The Covid-19 pandemic has been the catalyst for a new wave of entrepreneurs.

Singaporeans have regularly seen new home-based businesses jump on the digital bandwagon to secure their place in the region’s maturing digital economy.

With this, Hong Kong-based logistics start-up Pickupp launched Shop on Pickupp to help home businesses get started online.

Founded in December 2016, Pickupp expanded to Singapore the following year.

Pickupp Singapore co-chief executive Lee Chee Meng told Vulcan Post he knew Pickupp CEO Crystal Pang as she sought to launch the startup in Singapore.

While chatting over coffee, he found that the two were aligned and shared similar views, such as how the future of last mile logistics should be data and asset driven.

We believe the Pickupp model supports the flexibility that can help businesses scale affordably in a rapidly changing environment. This belief in redefining logistics and helping businesses grow has kept me motivated throughout my journey with Pickupp.

Lee Chee Meng, Co-COO of Pickupp Singapore

Before he knew it, things progressed and Crystal took him on the journey to build and grow the Pickupp network in Singapore.

Support more than 10,000 companies

Pickupp Singapore Delivery
Image Credit: Pickupp

Pickupp was founded with the goal of helping businesses across all industries solve inefficiencies in their deliveries.

Chee Meng said the team realized that most SMEs have limited manpower and resources to facilitate wholesale and wholesale delivery orders.

In addition, most companies use a fixed fleet model, in which supply cannot adapt to fluctuations in demand.

To help solve this problem, Pickupp provides flexible, technology-driven logistics solutions that enable businesses of all sizes to grow and prosper.

With highly optimized batch processing and chaining technology, customers can book delivery anytime without sacrificing speed and cost, while real-time GPS tracking provides end-to-end transparency.

Pickupp’s flexible delivery windows and convenient scheduling feature allow customers to be agile and capitalize on business opportunities.

The startup is also using a hybrid of freelance writers and in-house delivery fleet to respond to fluctuations in demand.

Today, the company has expanded its operations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

It has also provided logistical support to more than 10,000 companies, from multinationals and logistics giants to small retail and e-commerce stores.

The team had to do a lot of work to build a solid foundation for the brand, and most of Chee Meng’s efforts were funneled into raising awareness for Pickupp early on.

We had to pursue the delivery agents one by one to get them on board. To accommodate the merchants, we would schedule as many appointments as possible.

My days consisted of meetings with potential traders, explaining how we envision how our delivery network works and why this was the way to go compared to the more “conventional” options in the market. I would repeat the same speech to different potential merchants for days on end.

Lee Chee Meng, Co-COO of Pickupp Singapore

According to Pickupp’s website, it offers three services: on-demand couriers that deliver within a two-hour window, same day deliveries, and next day deliveries.

It also claims that it can save customers on average around 28% in logistics costs.

More recently, the company decided to leverage its expertise in delivery and logistics and translate it into an e-commerce platform called Shop on Pickupp.

From logistics to e-commerce

pickupp delivery
Image Credit: Pickupp

The idea for Shop on Pickupp was conceived at the end of 2019 when the team wanted to leverage their expertise as a logistics company to provide delivery support to online merchants.

“Aside from the usual on-demand food delivery platforms where deliveries were often limited to a 3 km radius, and traders’ commissions and delivery prices are relatively high, there was no ‘other combined e-commerce and delivery platforms in Singapore,’ Chee Meng explained.

Noting this shortcoming, the team wanted to provide flexible and affordable e-commerce and delivery support to local merchants.

For example, Shop On Pickupp offers a four hour same day delivery solution to many online bakeries such as The Unsaled Butter and Tartisan by Grain.

It also supports newer bakeries that do not yet have a fully operational e-commerce and delivery platform.

In addition, the automatic processing of deliveries on Shop On Pickupp allows bakeries to save time on the management and processing of delivery orders.

The platform also responds to these bakeries’ need for longer order times, stock caps and specific delivery windows.

It has made significant progress since launching in March 2020 as it sees healthy growth in users and merchants.

Over the past year, Shop on Pickupp has had over 200 merchants listed on the platform, with almost 100 active and permanent merchants.

Popular merchants on the platform include Cat & the Fiddle, Wu Pao Chun, Matchaya, Nassim Hill Bakery, Mdm Ling Bakery, to name a few.

It has also fulfilled more than 10,000 orders, marking tenfold growth since its launch.

Besides e-commerce, he also contributed to the digitalization of the popular Shilin Night Market. The annual event usually draws large crowds with its various limited edition Taiwanese food and product offerings.

As it could not host a physical event in 2020 due to the pandemic, Pickupp hosted the digital version of the food festival on its web portal and mobile app.

A category called “Digital Shilin 2020” was specially organized for this, which included nearly 100 unique F&B suppliers.

Customers could shop at these stores from the comfort of their homes and have their orders delivered to their doorstep at their preferred time slots during both weekends.

Ecommerce will continue to ‘pick up’ in Southeast Asia

Pickupp delivery
Image Credit: Pickupp

The future of e-commerce is bright in Southeast Asia.

Changing consumer behavior and the region’s growing digital economy will undoubtedly attract more established and new online retailers.

“We continue to see ourselves supporting home-based businesses in Singapore as they grow in the coming months, and we plan to maintain a constant order volume during holiday periods through the platform,” a Chee Meng said.

Building on this momentum, the team aims to continue expanding their platform to offer more options at popular bakeries and cafes with affordable delivery charges across the island.

As a technology-driven logistics company, we’ve learned that businesses need to be agile and stay open to change. Those who take advantage of technology and implement strategies to facilitate transparency and flexibility will see an improvement in the quality of the online to offline customer experience.

By integrating our expertise, we’ve created a reliable and profitable e-commerce platform for new and established businesses that allows them to focus on what matters most: accelerating their sales growth.

Lee Chee Meng, Co-COO of Pickupp Singapore

In the coming years, Chee Meng and his team plan to improve the delivery offerings on Pickupp to suit the specific needs of businesses across various industries.

As Shop On Pickupp grows, users can also expect on-demand delivery, special campaigns paired with a diverse range of products and platform-exclusive offers.

Featured Image Credit: Pickupp

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Jothi Venkat

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