SINGAPORE - Singapore’s largest supermarket retailer has taken the fight to online-only grocers such as RedMart and Amazon with the launch of revamped e-commerce platforms and a higher delivery capacity.
FairPrice On, launched on Wednesday (March 28), features a streamlined shopping, delivery and checkout process, offering more than 13,000 products, ranging from groceries to electronics, through its website and mobile app.
There are currently more than 400,000 online account members who can enjoy free delivery on orders of $59 or more, or self-collect from 71 click-and-collect locations with a minimum spend of $29.
Customers will also receive targeted promotions based on their profile, interests, and consumption habits.
This comes a week after FairPrice joined forces with ride-hailing firm Grab to launch the Score subscription programme, which offers rebates on supermarket purchases and discounts on Grab rides.
It pits itself against Lazada's LiveUp membership programme, which offers rebates and discounts for partners such as RedMart.
Score subscribers are eligible for free delivery once a month with no minimum spend.
Through a partnership with the National Council of Social Service, FairPrice On members can now also donate groceries directly to 55 social service organisations.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was the guest of honour at the launch of FairPrice On, said: “FairPrice’s platform is a very good example of how traditional businesses can use technology to transform themselves and improve the quality of jobs in the retail industry.”
FairPrice is providing its 10,000 staff with retraining to take on better jobs as technology has relieved them of the need for labour-intensive work, said Mr Tharman.
The Government is working with the industry and training providers in the retail sector in support of skills development, including a job redesign programme for retail companies to be launched in the middle of this year, he added.
Speaking at the event at FairPrice Hub in Joo Koon, in Jurong West, FairPrice chief executive Seah Kian Peng said: "We were among the first supermarket retailers in Singapore to launch an online platform in 2002... Over the past 1½ years, we have conducted an end-to-end overhaul of our online shopping service."
The revamped e-commerce platforms offer a friendlier user interface, wider range of products and more delivery slots, Mr Seah added.
FairPrice On’s general manager Elvin Too said that the rebranding and redesign of its online platforms aim to serve young families better.
“They need that kind of convenience when they have multiple kids to handle and, maybe, ageing parents at home,” said Mr Too.
“If customers are not satisfied with their orders for any reason, they can go to any of our 138 touchpoints (at FairPrice supermarkets) to do a refund or exchange. This is one of the benefits we can provide that no pure-play online provider can,” he added.
Automation has a big role at FairPrice Hub, which houses the supermarket chain's headquarters and distribution centre.
The distribution centre uses robots and automated vehicles for warehousing operations, and FairPrice Hub has been fitted with a new online fulfilment system. The automated storage and retrieval system is able to handle up to 3,000 orders a day and is four times faster than the manual radio frequency-assisted picking system which FairPrice used in the past.