Moderated by: Sirish Krishna Pallaveda – Country Manager – Philippines, MoEngage
Harm-Julian Schumacher – Co-founder & CEO – DART
Donald Saurombe – Head of Business Development – MPT Mobility
Nathalie Salcedo – Growth Lead – MetroMart
Moderator: I would like to have my first question to Julian. So with the quick commerce industry, there is a lot at stake. Sometimes it’s to deliver in 29 minutes, sometimes it’s 11 minutes. How important is it to understand user behavior and predict what has happened?
Harm-Julian Schumacher: Understanding users is obviously at the core of our business and we are at a quite interesting stage at the moment. So we were founded three months ago. We are growing at the moment, for last month we had 150%. At the moment, we are going with 200 kmph on the other one.
And at the same time, we want to go faster. And we want to make the cart look nice and shiny. So really understanding what are the right decisions because it’s going to take long months or this could end up in a disaster. Understanding customers was like a super key for us. SAR said that, understanding the different customers, what are they doing here? How are they working from new customers? Going through registration process, existing customers ordering, like putting stuff into the basket checkouts – and that’s something where I spend every week basically looking at customer skills and seeing how they’re behaving in the app and understanding what is going on.
And if we understand that, then we can act upon it. And one thing is, with our products, push notifications are just to remind the customer to stock something if they’re out of stock, but then you can also really leverage the data and act upon how customers are behaving.
If someone really likes snacks and is always looking for it in the afternoon, so we send them a specific push notification and let them know – you want some chocolate? You crave something? Just order and we’ll have it delivered in a few minutes. And then linking it to some other product, for instance – to this specific customer, I can actually give a chocolate for free.
Well, that’s basically how we look at this. Really understanding the customer data on an individual level, also aggregated, and then based on that taking decisions on how we want to build the cart, our app or our product.
Moderator: Very interesting. So Natalie the question is, the holiday season is coming. So what do you anticipate as a quick commerce or an on demand delivery service. What to predict during the shopping season?
Nathalie Salcedo: Christmas is the biggest holiday in the country for Filipinos and our Christmas actually started last September. So I think in terms of e-commerce and grocery delivery platform, last year was kind of different and we’re anticipating the different behavior of the consumer spirit as it stands because it’s the new normal.
We don’t know what would be the trend that’s going to happen by this year. It’s super different from last the last two years. So basically, if the Christmas season is coming, there’s a lot of demand, there’s a lot of bulk orders, there’s a lot of people coming out, there’s a lot of traffic as well.
So we also have to consider our logistics partners, our supermarkets. There’s a lot of people going out, but how do you really make sure that we provide the best service for our consumers at the same time? So it’s more on the planning really that has to happen holistically, not just on the marketing side, but on the operation side at the same time.
And then with our marketplaces, with all the partners that we have currently for our app, with the supermarket and specialty source, everything should holistically be altogether.
Moderator: So one question to both of you. Many people are saying that there will be revenge shopping because not many people went out and shopped for the last two years.
Do you think they’ll still order from you or will many people be moving to supermarkets to shop?
Nathalie Salcedo: Well I mentioned, I think in terms of the customer behavior, you really want to create the assistance. This is the first year that we’re experiencing the new normal coming from the high demand of the last two years. So the question is, how do we make sure that the customers are satisfied with the service we’re providing.
So basically we have our loyal customers, those customers who still prefer shopping online even though it’s a new normal. And those are the type of customers that we want to hold onto. So it’s like, how do we keep them interested within the app? We provide different promos, we provide different supermarket stuff, we make them interested.
Harm-Julian Schumacher: I think for us, it’s not really a problem. I see that in Germany, obviously people were always allowed to order in. And even when lockdowns actually ended, people were still ordering.
Because our model is not about – you have to plan and build your day, around groceries and you don’t have any other way. So instead of getting into a car, going somewhere and being there for an hour and then going back home takes two hours and you spend a lot of gas.
Just whatever you want, you order it and you get it, super easy. So yes, things are changing, but not really fast.
Nathalie Salcedo: I think even coming from the pandemic, their messaging has always been stay safe, stay at home. It’s more like online shopping and providing convenience to you.
Moderator: Okay, now the question is to Donald. I found that they don’t have any competition, then why do you think customer engagement, customer experience is so important for MPT DriveHub or MPT Mobility?
Donald Saurombe: I think that’s a common view that people would say we don’t have any competition, but when it comes to winning the hearts of our customer, we still have to take that very seriously. So sometimes it’s even harder when you don’t have competition because there’s nobody for them to compare you against.
So we hold up to very high standards and because of that, we actually take a lot of time and effort in making sure that we gather customer data insights and that we act on them and that our customers are always happy. So from DriveHub, we created the digital platform in order to
connect what is usually considered a transactional kind of business.
You just get on the to road, pass through the tollgate and that’s it, you’re done. But still, if we don’t deliver the service in a way that pleases our customers, they get angry. And nowadays on social media, they do go out there and rant and that tarnishes the brand’s image and it then spills over to other brands within the group. So that’s why we are very concerned about custom engagement.
Moderator: You talked about this initiative, MPT DriveHub. It allows users to plan the journey ahead. So how do you think the real time insights on graphic also helps customers? How you can analyze customer behavior as there are externalities also in play. So how do you use these real time insights?
Donald Saurombe: So real time insights, let’s talk about traffic for one. I was coming from the office to come to the event here today. I know how to get here, but halfway through I opened Google Maps and that’s because I was stuck in a very long traffic jam. And it’s at that moment when I needed that real time data just on the traffic conditions to try and figure out what’s the best route.
Although I knew two routes off the top of my head, but I have to figure out that is it worth it for me to try the other route? So that was an example of how real time data is important for our customers, which are predominantly motorists. When it comes to customer behavior, one scenario could be our rest stops along the expressways.
So these rest stops have very different establishments, ranging from coffee shops to gasoline stations, fast food chain restaurants. We don’t want to be sending push notifications or promotions to people about a McDonald’s or a Starbucks in Angeles when they’re somewhere in Makati, it doesn’t make much sense.
That’s something that annoys our customers. So getting a platform like MoEngage is something that we’re looking forward to helping us out in delivering relevant and timely messaging. And not only that, but also through the right channels.
Moderator: Okay, thanks for that. So even people from MPT Mobility get stuck in traffic. So I have question for Julian and Natalie again. So similarly, the externalities that traffic can have, even you might face externalities apart from customer behavior. So how do you leverage these externalities into your advantage?
Harm-Julian Schumacher: For us it’s actually something which we can really use to our advantage, because we are so instant. Just today, all of you have been out there, it started raining and that was something where we like try to step in on that and say like – ‘Hey, don’t want to leave your house?’
Well it just started, right? And that’s something where we can really go in on that one. The other thing is as you said, negative externalities and we talked about traffic. I think there’s a reason why the Philippines is the only country where traffic is an adjective. So normally during rush hours, we inform our customers that we could take be bit longer. But at the same time, we also use it for advantage because customers are actually super surprised about how fast we are.
They don’t see that coming. So now we are going in the way that ‘Look, your riders already on the way’ and your rider is arriving, and now your rider is there. And that helps us to get the customers sort of ready for their order. Because otherwise we have cases where our riders are calling them and they’re like, what? You are already here? And that’s obviously something we want to avoid. We want to be fast and then also like do the next customer very fast.
Moderator: Natalie do you want to just mention how you leverage or you predict these externalities?
Nathalie Salcedo: I think pretty much the same, it’s really looking forward. It’s rainy season, there’s storms coming in. It’s how we inform our customers as well. But also with service an added advantage is in terms of how do we create a campaign out of it? It’s like leveraging on the current thumb state and then provide promo codes and then you provide discounts and all that. I think pretty much the same.
Moderator: I have an interesting idea for Donald actually. I mean, definitely you can have the toll fee calculator, but we should also have a time calculator from traveling from point A to point B, predicting the traffic. So that’ll be interesting to know.
Donald Saurombe: Yes, that’s actually coming up with some additions to that to make it better than just to show you the traffic. So we are actually adding more experiences to it, tailoring better experiences. So that’s something that you can expect to see in the next few months.
Moderator: And this question is relevant to all three panelists. With the quick commerce and transportation industry, all these industries are based on location, right? So if you want groceries, you want it to be delivered at your doorstep and if you want to go to office, you have to use any of the toll roads. So how do you think we can leverage geofence or the location based notifications, how do you think it will help?
Donald Saurombe: For transportation, example on the toll roads, one of the businesses that MPT Mobility is into is now into also real estate. So the service facilities that you find along the toll roads are usually the kinds where you just find a gas station and a few fast food restaurants.
But they started up this concept. If you’ve ever gone to the Balintawak area, just before the Balintawak tollgate, there’s this establishment called NLEX Drive&Dine. Now, NLEX Drive&Dine is a concept where they’ve basically beefed up what is the usual, toll rest area into something more of a destination place.
So people actually spend more time there. Not just stop, fill up some gas drive through and they’re off. They spend hours there and they’ve actually added restaurants that provide fine dining. And even one of the biggest Nike factory store is located there. So people actually go there to buy sneakers.
Now because of that, geolocation allows us to basically send relevant messages. Like if somebody is passing by Balintawak, we can actually direct them to NLEX Drive&Dine. And that’s something that we can use geofencing for. We can do the same for any of the toll gates, knowing that a person has passed the Pampanga toll plaza, and we are delivering messages about things relevant to Pampanga, not things that are happening in Makati. So those are some of the use cases for geofencing,
Moderator: The next time I buy sneakers from Nike, I will blame Donald for that. Julian, you want to take this?
Harm-Julian Schumacher: For us, we follow a hyper local approach. So we are not active everywhere. We’re in Makati, Mandaluyong, BGC, now adding Pasig and a few more cities.
So for us, it’s like being able to target users locally because we on one hand need it. Let’s say we open up a new area, we already know users who downloaded the app but weren’t able to order. So now we can directly engage with them and tell them – ‘Hey look, we are here. We are live now, order from us.’
But at the same time, what we’re also seeing is we have very different user behaviors depending on the city. Like a very easy example, Makati is more in the morning and Mandaluyong are the night owls. So we really want to communicate with the users at the most relevant times. We are not planned, we are instant.
So if people in Mandaluyong are normally ordering at 8 or 9PM, then we will communicate with them at that time and Makati while they go earlier. So based on this one, on different user behaviors and then being able to segment them, we can really put the full potential of our model to use.
Moderator: So you are selling groceries in Makati and selling beers in Mandaluyong, is that right?
Nathalie Salcedo: I think for us, since DART is also focused within the local Makati area and then with MetroMart, we’re starting to really expand also to different provinces currently.
So we’ve been present in Cebu, Davao and I think in terms of geofencing, how it contributes to us is on how do we personalize those messaging based on those provinces. So each customer’s location differs. So they also have different purchasing capabilities. They have different intent in terms of the supermarkets that they wanted to purchase on.
So it’s really how do we personalize each messaging through emails and push notifications as well. And that is how it’s important for us that we get to geo target them based on locations.
Moderator: This will be my last question. So how can the feedback be collected from the customers? You are into quick commerce, so how important is it to collect and how do you manage to collect the feedback?
Harm-Julian Schumacher: For us, everything is data driven. I have an opinion about customers like you, my marketing team has it. They probably have a better one because I really like the local cultural knowledge. But ultimately everything I say, let’s look at the data. And there are three different layers you can be looking at.
Like one is aggregated data. Which categories will get clicked more? What are customers really looking at? The other one is then getting on the individual level. So to really understand how individual customers are behaving and that you can also do with data.
And then the third one is well, why do customers do that? And for that you really have to go into customer interviews, rationalizing what they’re doing, talking with them, and also finding the right customers for that. You have to firstly identify them and that’s where data is key. So what are your biggest problems? Why are they there and how can you solve them?
Moderator: Then how are you collecting feedback, from your customers? Is it through the app or a different platform or through offline?
Donald Saurombe: Well, currently we utilize both the app and also offline. We track certain events on the app. So by that we are already getting some feedback, although it’s more passive but then also we do it offline. We’ve utilized things like FGDs and surveys, and that’s how we do it for now.
Moderator: Natalie for you?
Nathalie Salcedo: I think pretty much the same for both, we utilize it by the app. We integrated this every time you shop, you get our ratings as well, just so we evaluate our shoppers and riders.
And then we also have the tipping system. So we get to acknowledge our shoppers and riders because we don’t get to see them when they really provide services. And apart from that, we utilize the offline as well as, as tacky it sounds, we still call the customers directly. So we cohort them based on strategy and then we call each of those customers through different questionnaires, survey forms, and then through it we get to evaluate what could be their pain points from these locations and how can we possibly solve these problems as well?
And that at the same time, I think everyone’s really social. There’s a lot of comments and feedbacks via social media, so we’re trying to maximize all of those feedbacks as well, because we really believe that the customers are key essentials here and how we really retain the business.