Weekend is here (well, it’s ending, actually). You’re likely thinking about grocery shopping to stock up for the week ahead. Before you think of dreading the jam or crowd, check out this cool new service I just discovered. HappyFresh – a new app that allows you to buy groceries using your smartphone, then having it delivered to your doorsteps in an hour, or the next day.
Yup! On demand groceries is finally here. Just like you’d order food delivery to be at your doorsteps in one hour, you can now enjoy the same convenience with your groceries as well.
I have recently tried the HappyFresh app for a last minute grocery shop at night, when I wanted to cook a simple dinner but had limited ingredients in the fridge. I came out rather impressed, so decided to write this (non-paid) review of the service to let you guys know about them.
If you’re like me, who’s tried the groceries delivery with Tesco Online (read my review here), you’ll be happy to know that HappyFresh is a more convenient and wider variety alternative.
You’re not bound by a single supermarket’s stocks and inventories. Like food delivery services like FoodPanda or RoomService, you get a choice of their partner markets around your location.
This ranges from chain supermarkets, to your local neighbourhood mini-mart, organic food stores and even local wet markets.
The downside though, is that the service is limited to selected areas in Klang Valley at the moment. Neighbourhoods like Bangsar, Mont Kiara, KLCC. While they didn’t quite list down these neighbourhoods, they urge you to download their app, enter your location or postcode and see if there’s any markets around you. This is, after all, a new startup, so do give them time to expand to more areas soon.
At the moment, their service is available from 10 am until 10 pm daily, in line with their partner stores operating hours.
Downloading & Using the App
Once you enter your location (or enable the GPS to locate you), you’ll be presented with a list of stores around you. I was rather impressed that there are some smaller mini-marts and local supermarkets listed in my area. Then, there is HappyFresh Bangsar – which I found out later that it’s really Village Grocers in Bangsar Village – which about covers the spectrum of small, medium to large sized supermarkets near me. Nice!
Quick browse on the items and categories, I noted most of what I would need for my emergency grocery shop is there. The selection is good enough to replace my weekly grocery shop, too. Except that perhaps, I’m personally a bit more picky with my fresh produce – I prefer to see and touch and pick them in person. But this might not be an issue to some.
I also noted that the prices of the items in the catalogue seem reasonable. I don’t see any markup of the items on HappyFresh part – they’re pretty much the same price as you would see in person at the store. The only way HappyFresh is making their money, is of course, through the Delivery Fee (more on this later).
Once you’ve selected a specific store, you get to browse a full list of items in the store, which you can conveniently sort by categories such as Popular, Fresh Produce, Meats & Seafood etc.
Click on an item, and you get a detailed description view of the item, including the per unit price. What I really like is that, depending on the item, you get different images and view of the product. Handy for box items or packaging, which you’d like to flip around to read the labels for ingredients and nutritional info.
Ater browsing and adding items to your cart, click Checkout and you’ll be prompted to signup or login.
Once signed up, you get a Welcome email in your inbox to confirm, of course.
Now, here’s the sweet part. You get redirected to a Replacement section. Basically, this allows you the option to choose if you’d like HappyFresh to pick replacement items for you, should the original item you order is not available or out-of-stock.
By default, this function is off. Which means, that if your item is out-of-stock, HappyFresh shopper will not pick any alternative and the cost of that item will be deducted and not charged in your final total bill amount.
I chose to turn this on, partly to test the feature out, partly because there were items that I really needed to buy and didn’t care for the brand or variety. With the toggle turned on for Replace Items?, I started to search & select for other similar item to the one I added to my cart. For example, I picked a different brand of cherry tomatoes and mixed salad.
Next step is to choose your delivery time.
The biggest sellingpoint of HappyFresh is the convenience of having your groceries picked & delivered in ONE HOUR!!!
If you have a big shop and don’t really need yoru groceries in an hour, you can choose a delivery time slot the next day. Also, for first time customers, your first order entitles you to FREE DELIVERY!!!
So I took advantage of that and tried their ONE HOUR DELIVERY service. And this is when I placed my order at 8pm on a weekday. Forget about traffic, dinnertime where no one really shops for groceries… but hey – I gotta test it, right?
Move on to the next step – Payment. HappyFresh currently only accept online credit card payment via the app. They accept major credit cards, Visa or Mastercard. No Cash on Delivery option, for now.
I noticed my card was charged more than the RM 98.30 order. On the HappyFresh FAQ page here…
HappyFresh temporarily authorizes your card for slightly more than your order total. This is to reflect the higher prices of the replacement items you chose. As soon as your order is complete, we charge your card for exactly what was delivered.
I almost panicked for awhile there. But after checking the FAQ, I though, “Fair enough…”
Once done, your order is confirmed with an Order Confirmation Page. Then, my phone pings with an Order Confirmation Email with the itemised order list.
What’s the Delivery Fee?
Another point of note, is that while there is no minimum order value, you are subjected to a delivery fee for each order.
According to their FAQ page here…
Delivery is free for your first order! After that, for next-hour delivery the delivery charge is RM20 if your order size is under RM100 and RM15 if it’s over RM100.
For all other delivery times, the charge is RM15 if your order size is under RM100, RM10 if it’s under RM300 and free for more than RM300. Delivery prices for your order will be shown clearly at checkout.
Personally, I find that rather confusing. So it’s not a flat delivery fee, but rather dependant on how urgent you want your groceries (in the next hour or next day) and the total cost of your order (<RM100, <RM300 or >RM300).
Delivered to my doorsteps!
Now, all there is to do is for me to wait for my order.
But if you’re a skeptic with new online service like me, you can’t help but wonder if some unscrupulous service charged your credit card but never quite processed your order. You can’t be too careful these days, right?
As time progresses, you can check on the app, go to My Order Status menu option and track your order.
You know how it’s like when you order Domino’s Pizza online, and their website shows you a status bar of your order – from when the order is received, the pizza is being made, pizza is in the oven, out of the oven, delivery guy picked it up, and it’s on the way to you? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but the Domino’s Pizza website status bar is a fake tracker. Because your order is due to your doorsteps in 30 mins, that status progress bar is actually a time based web script and there’s no GPS tracker in your pizza dough to update your order status. It’s essentially a fake tracker.
In this case with HappyFresh though, it is truly a real tracker. Every HappYFresh shopper has an app interface to update when they received your order, when they walk into the shop to pick your order, complete packing and is on the way to send the order to you, and when the order is finally delivered to you. Proper tracking here.
I love this real-time, real human, order tracker notification!
In case you’re not checking your phone (or HappYFresh app) every minute since you placed the order, your phone will still ping with a notification alert at every step of the order so you’e kept updated about the status. Very nicely done, indeed, HappyFresh.
While my order is being shopped, I received a call from my friendly HappYFresh shopper. He was nice and polite on the phone, speaks good English and was professional. It seems one of my order was out-of-stock and I had not picked a replacement item. He double checked with me if it’s OK if the item is removed from my shopping list, and the amount promptly removed from my final bill?
“Of course! How nice of you to call and ask. Thank you.”
Then, on the hour at 9.00 pm, right on the 1 hour time since I placed my order, the delivery guy was here!
Picked up my order from the friendly shopper in his HappYFresh branded bike. Was informed that there’s currently no HappYFresh branded cars or trucks for larger orders. Perhaps it’ll be part of their expansion and growth. 🙂
I also really like that unlike Tesco, HappyFresh has chosen to use branded, recyclable canvas bags to carry your groceries instead of plastic bags. You can keep them and reuse them them. Every time I do groceries shopping, I ALWAYS bring my own grocery bags. I am a huge advocate of using your own grocery bag and limiting the use of plastic bags. Good job, HappyFresh!
At the end of the order, I got another ping email in my inbox on the final bill post order. As you see, after removing the item that was out-of stock, my order has gone from the original RM 98.30 to only RM 91.40. And that’s the amount that was ultimately charged to my credit card. Nicely and neatly done.
In summary, here’s a quick summary of my experience grocery shopping with the new HappyFresh app:-
What I Like
- ONE HOUR groceries delivered to my doorsteps (’nuff said)
- Easy to use app, informative and detailed pics view of labels
- Reliable service (on time delivery) and professional team
What I Dislike
- Somewhat pricey delivery fee from RM 10 – RM 20 depending on urgency of order and total bill (not worth it for small orders)
- Limited Klang Valley neighbourhood
- Overcharge credit card to be refunded later based on final bill (do they really have to do this?)
The app was easy to use, the selection was wide enough for my urgent grocery shop (and even weekly shop), no markup on the items (although delivery fee can be pricey for small shop), the HappyFresh shopper / rider was friendly and professional, and the list of pros can actually go on and on, really.
For an on-demand, smartphone app based shopping service for groceries delivery – I was really impressed and sold.
In a world of first world convenience, I found another service and reason to never leave home! Lazy Winnie will now almost never have to step into a supermarket or grocery store again.
Oh – did I also mention that HappyFresh listed a wet market in my neighboourhood too? I suppose this is accessible when I need to do a morning wet market shop! Perhaps something I should try next time.
For more information, visit HappyFresh website at https://happyfresh.com/ to download their smartphone app for iOS (iTunes link) or Android (Google Play link) and *LIKE* the HappyFresh Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/HappyFreshMY