The launch of the talabat mart grocery shopping experience in Egypt has revolutionized the Egyptian grocery shopping experience that hasn’t evolved at least for the past 20 years. With consumers having to go to hypermarkets and enjoy the discounted deals for the monthly stocking or go to the neighborhood grocer for the weekly top-up and essentials with the occasional visit to the specialty retailers for their unique assortment. This does not only waste their time and energy, but it also leaves them with limited choices and frustrations.
Hence, talabat emerged as the region’s leading food and grocery delivery app, setting its sights on transforming the delivery experience for the Egyptian people. Right before Ramadan last year, the company launched talabat Mart, to capitalize on the wide gap in the online grocery market,” explained Hadeer Shalaby, the Managing Director for talabat Egypt, speaking exclusively to Arabian Reseller. “talabat Mart was built around solving the nascent Egyptian customer grocery shopping challenges, for providing customers with the fastest and safest way to shop their daily grocery needs from the widest variety available.”
In Egypt, talabat successfully rolled out its q-commerce concept by being backed by its parent company, Delivery Hero. According to Shalaby, consumer expectations have shifted all over the world and people do not want to wait for next-day delivery. “In fact, they do not want to wait for next-hour delivery. Currently, the question is how to deliver exactly what the consumer needs in the fastest time possible and ensuring an impeccable experience,” added Shalaby. The q-commerce concept’s introduction was also smoothly ushered by the country’s digital transformation journey. “The Egyptian government’s efforts in building the country’s digital infrastructure and advancing Egypt’s digital transformation agenda plays an integral role in market expansion decisions for us and for the whole technology sector.”
According to Shalaby, the company’s mission is to shift the Egyptian mindset from phone ordering to adopting technology. Unlike other markets, phone delivery services have been part of everyday life in Egypt for the past 20-30 years, which represents a huge challenge and that’s where talabat says its technology plays an important role. “Last year, talabat grew tremendously despite the pandemic. So, you can only imagine the potential and how the future will be like for us,” she added.
“Our goal at talabat is to be the most affordable channel for customers to order – this is already unfolding to become a reality due to our innovative, supportive technology that enables us to be the most efficient platform for food and everyday products delivery. Simply put, our goal is to ensure a seamless customer experience almost 100% of the time,” Shalaby claimed.
“By leveraging the use of agile technologies and stores placed strategically around the city, talabat Mart managed to decrease the delivery time from 30 to 20 minutes, despite operating in Cairo, one of the most crowded cities in the world,” she added.
talabat already launched around 30 dark stores, also known as virtual or delivery-only stores, covering 85% of greater Cairo, and many more have been planned to open in the future to include more cities. So how has the response been so far for talabat Mart? “Customers have begun to value the convenience, speed, and safety of our offerings,” said Shalaby. “Through our agile technology, we are meeting the growing need of delivering high-quality groceries and home supplies right to our customers’ doorsteps in record time. In order to bring this experience to more cities, we recently launched in Alexandria, Tanta, and Mansoura.”
The range of products sold through talabat Mart includes groceries, detergents, fresh food, butchery, ready meals, and so on. There are two words that describe why talabat Mart has been such a huge success in Egypt – technology and market knowledge. “In order to create a seamless customer experience, we had to innovate. We combined the expertise of our talabat team, the Egyptian market knowledge inherited from Otlob, which has been a market player for two decades, with Delivery Hero’s state-of-the-art technology,” explained Shalaby. “We are constantly working to make our delivery even faster and safer. Another important factor that contributes to success is real-time stock, which eliminates the possibility of ordering an item then finding out it is out of stock or getting a different one. The real-time stock allows customers to shop what is on the shelf, right then and there.”
talabat Mart has already launched in seven markets of the MENA region. The company currently has over 90 regional dark stores and plans to expand by adding more cities and stores each week. “At the heart of it, our business is based on enhancing our entire ecosystem. On the customer convenience front, we work relentlessly to ensure that our customers’ expectations are met and even exceeded. We continue to innovate to guarantee a seamless customer experience,” explained Shalaby. “Last June, talabat became the first company in Egypt to provide delivery riders with a life insurance package and full insurance against accidents. We also introduced new programs to enhance their work conditions and quality of life. In order to create more employment opportunities, talabat launched a partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports last year to invite bike riders to join its riders fleet and introduced “walkers” this year, both under a very well-designed project that ensures riders’ safety and well-being. Talabat also launched a microfinancing partnership with Bajaj auto the leading motorcycle producer to provide its riders with a range of benefits that helps them secure a long-term career and income. Looking ahead, we aim to provide women with wider employment opportunities and to increase the number of female riders in our fleet.”
Fintech is also an important arm of talabat, said Shalaby. talabat Egypt has recently partnered with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to fully digitize its payment chain within its ecosystem. “This cooperation stems from our strategy to expand electronic payments and in support of the Egyptian government’s financial inclusion and digital transformation policies. In fact, digital payments through our app increased by 82% last year alone,” she said.