Growth is fabulous: Why Foodpanda’s app and team are growing rapidly

SOUTHEAST Asia’s digital economy is growing rapidly and popular daily apps such as Foodpanda have a big opportunity ahead of them.

As a result, both the app and the team running the show in Singapore are growing quickly.

“In mature markets like Singapore, consumers are spoilt for choice. So, place a lot of emphasis on brand differentiation, enhancing the digital touchpoints we have with our consumers, and building and driving loyalty,” Foodpanda Singapore Director of Retail Diego Pinto told Tech Wire Asia.

According to Pinto, consumers’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and companies that drive an innovative consumer journey and present the least number of clicks will win the race.

“Companies will also be motivated to enhance the user experience on their mobile apps and website, incorporate new forms of technologies that will continue to engage with consumers in the digital economy.”

The company has a finger on the pulse of the market at home and across the region — which is demonstrated in its recent launch of ‘pandamart’ and ‘pandanow’ offering customers on-demand delivery services to include groceries, flowers, and household essentials.

“To maintain our industry-leading position, we have to be constantly challenging ourselves to break the status quo and lead the market with first-of-its-kind innovations, be it through vertical or horizontal differentiation.”

However, the decision to launch these new services wasn’t made on a hunch.

Pinto told Tech Wire Asia that the company launched a three-month-long pilot program a couple of months ago to better understanding the demand for such services.

“During the pilot period, orders for groceries and household items more than quadrupled. pandanow is the only service in Singapore offering 24/7 on-demand groceries in under 20 minutes,” said an excited Pinto.

That’s an interesting proposition and guaranteed to not only delight customers but also help Foodpanda capture a larger share of the customer’s wallet.

A renewed focus on technology and talent at Foodpanda

Foodpanda’s decision to grow its app and offer more services to customers is a great one. It’s clearly moving in the direction of the ‘super app’ — a model that other competitors in the region are exploring as well.

Given the company’s established rider base (delivery team) and popularity with customers, the expansion was natural.

“The newly launched ‘pandanow’ and ‘pandamart’ sit on the existing foodpanda app and taps into the infrastructure and technology already in place to track inventory, orders, rider dispatch, and more. With five live ‘pandanow’ outlets and more in the pipeline, there is huge potential in the growth of this concept.”

Of course, the company’s success has been driven by its talent.

Pinto told Tech Wire Asia that since launching in Singapore in 2012, product development has primarily been managed by Delivery Hero’s headquarters in Berlin.

However, to efficiently and effectively scale up in Southeast Asia, the company decided that it was crucial to strengthen technological and product capabilities and tap on the world-class talent across the region.

“As a result, Singapore has been designated as Southeast Asia’s HQ and will also be at the heart of technological innovation and product development tailored for the region.

“Working with the most up-to-date and sophisticated technologies, we have hired more than 200 experts since September last year and we plan to hire more than 500 across product and engineering teams to form our technology hub.”

Those experts are entrusted with helping Foodpanda enhance its capabilities across all platforms (iOS, Android, desktop) and are encouraged to help simplify the customer journey.

Working closely across teams, they also collaborate with other departments across the company’s regional team to gather feedback on changes and/or enhancements that they want to see in the app and how those can be delivered.

“For instance, when we launched the opt-in plastic cutlery option, customers still received plastic cutlery even though they have opted not to receive them.

“Upon checking with the vendors, we realized that the problem was rooted in the lack of prominence of the notification that the customer has opted-out from receiving cutlery. With this insight, the product and engineering team promptly looked into the issue and rectified it.”

Ultimately, the company is keen to delight customers and wants to make sure they’re first. The market, after all, is competitive and a smoother experience is definitely key to winning big.

“We’re always open to exploring ways to optimize the user experience and push the status quo. Innovation will always be in our DNA,” concluded Pinto — confident in the company’s ability to most of the growing digital opportunity in the region.

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