Pick.a.roo cofounders Crystal Gonzalez and Kevin Tan had a vision: they wanted to redefine the way Filipinos shop.
Since last year, their team had been researching and working on the concept of a premium all-in-one and on-demand lifestyle delivery app.
“We wanted to bridge the gap between premium offline brands and the growing online segment,” said Tan. “We decided that to be able to create a unique delivery experience, we had to build our own homegrown startup.”
That led to Pick.a.roo becoming the first startup investment of Agile Digital Ventures, Megaworld’s technology and digital investment arm.
Then the pandemic happened.
“It did not impact our vision but we had to be more agile in adapting to the challenges and needs of both retailers and consumers,” said Gonzalez, who is also Pick.a.roo’s CEO. “We had to do intensive research to understand how to make a better experience out of staying at home for our consumers. This played a major role on the types of categories, brands and products that would make sense to be included in the platform.”
Gonzalez added that they also had to think of ways to support small businesses “who needed to quickly get into e-commerce in order to continue to generate revenue amidst the new challenges they are facing.”
Pick.a.roo launched Aug. 18 for key cities in Metro Manila. The app is a gift to those still stuck at home, an easy and convenient way to order everything—from groceries, meals and kitchenware to gifts, baby needs and pet care.
Through the app, even nonmembers can shop from big box stores S&R and Landers, order from restaurants like Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Las Flores, Paradise Dynasty, The Test Kitchen by Chef Josh Boutwood and many other establishments you don’t usually see on delivery apps, including hotel restaurants.
They can buy from Scanpan, Bodum, Gourdo’s and Mothercare. Soon, Beyond the Box will be on the app too for gadget needs.
Safety essentials have their own category—disinfectant from Sanyx or Herbasafe, antimicrobial sprays from Dermclens, disinfecting foot mats from Clean-O-Mat and more. More categories and brands will be added every week. But the Pick.a.roo team stresses that for them, it’s quality over quantity.
It’s not just the curation of brands and its adorable unicorn mascot (who you should think of as your online butler, according to Gonzalez) that make Pick.a.roo unique. It offers you access to establishments within a 10-kilometer radius. The app also lets you schedule the most convenient time for delivery and allows you to order three days in advance. But you can also have your order delivered in less than 60 minutes. You can also opt for curbside pickup. Soon, you’ll be able to order from multiple shops and do just a single checkout.
Quick and painless
Lifestyle put the app to the test. Registration was quick and painless, browsing a breeze. Pick.a.roo is not just pretty, it’s very easy to use. “We wanted to make sure that everything is user-friendly, that even the elderly can use it,” said Gonzalez.
We ordered all kinds of goodies from Landers even though we’re not a Landers member. Checkout, which is powered by Paymaya, was easy. Introductory delivery fee is P168 for groceries—the P88 is shopper’s fee while P80 is the delivery fee. For other establishments, delivery fees are as low as P80.The next day, at 9:17 a.m., we got an alert from our friendly unicorn: “Shopping has started!”
A little over an hour later, Juvy, our Pick.a.roo shopper, sent us a message. Some of the items we had ordered were not available. She sent a list of suggested replacements. We replied and soon she was done shopping. Another alert from Pick.a.roo: “Our rider is now delivering your order.”
I had asked for my order to be delivered between 12 noon and 1 p.m. It arrived at 12:19 p.m.
I thanked both the rider and Juvy for their great service. “Order po kayo ulit, ma’am. Stay safe po,” Juvy said.
Part of the magic of Pick.a.roo of any delivery app is its people—their front-liners, if you will.
Over 1,500 shoppers and riders
Pick.a.roo has a pool of over 1,500 shoppers and riders ready to fulfill your orders. “Our crew members are paid hourly then we give them incentive on a per job or per delivery level,” said Gonzalez.
She added that taking care of them and keeping them safe is a priority. Apart from strict safety protocols that protect both the customers and the crew (they provide sanitized ziploc bags for cash on delivery payments but they accept debit and credit cards and online payments, too). Delivery bags are constantly disinfected.
The shoppers and riders undergo rapid testing, go through thermal scanner checks and are given medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE).
Pick.a.roo has also partnered with FWD Life Philippines in providing them with life insurance. Gonzalez said, “We want to make sure that all our crew are protected especially during this time . . . We’ve also invested in a financial literacy program. We don’t want to just empower our merchants but also our crew. That’s something very important to us in our effort to bring economic opportunities to our shoppers and riders.”
Here’s another reason to support Pick.a.roo: it’s an all-Filipino team.
“We are very, very proud of that,” said Gonzalez. “We made this app for Filipinos and we’re proud to say everything is by Filipinos as well—from the technology, the ideation. Even the investors are Filipinos. That’s something we hold very dear to our hearts and that’s something we want Filipinos to be proud of. A full Filipino team and Filipino-invested startup can be competitive with all the global brands out there.”
Pick.a.roo is available in Play Store/Google Play (for Android) and App Store (for Apple). Visit pickaroo.com.
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