SINGAPORE-BASED online grocery service provider RedMart has launched an on-demand marketplace, RedMart Relay, which will allow customers to order products from participating food and retail partners, in selected parts of Singapore.
These products, including food, household items, apparel and electronic items will be delivered by "runners" - personal shoppers who go to the participating stores, purchase the products, and deliver directly to the customer, within one hour of ordering. The service will be accessible via a mobile App.
RedMart's co-founder and CEO, Roger Egan, told The Business Times that the launch of RedMart Relay was a natural next step for the company following the introduction of RedMart Marketplace, which is for groceries, earlier this year.
"Whilst groceries will always be the foundation of what we do and remains a core part of our business, our new on-demand marketplace allows us to leverage our extensive delivery network and is all part of our long-term strategy to become an 'everything store', delivering a wide range of products to consumers across Singapore within the hour."
Mr Egan noted that when the company launched RedMart Marketplace, it partnered with Singapore's best niche grocers, restaurants and speciality shops to "offer over 25,000 products, the largest product range of any grocer in Singapore".
Marketplace products are picked up from partners, consolidated, and delivered along with the regular RedMart grocery order, he said. Customers are clearly appreciating this "one stop shop" and "our marketplace has been growing at 30-40 per cent per month", Mr Egan said.
"With RedMart Relay we are now extending this marketplace model to be "on-demand", where we collect from retail partners or restaurants and deliver directly to our customers within an hour," he said.
Mr Egan added that RedMart Relay has two main advantages over other e-commerce companies and marketplaces.
"First, we have more engaged customers, with more frequent repeat purchases. Our customers buy from us around twice a month and that frequency is increasing. With RedMart Relay, we can now develop an even deeper relationship with our customers and deliver a much wider range of products to them, whenever they want."
The other advantage for RedMart Relay, according to him, is its extensive delivery network which is seamlessly integrated into the marketplace.
"We can offer customers and marketplace partners faster, cheaper delivery than 'software only' marketplaces which typically partner with third party couriers. We encourage any retailer who is looking to leverage the e-commerce wave to contact us and see how RedMart Relay can help grow their business."
Vikram Rupani, the company president and another co-founder, added that the company was founded with the mission to "save people time for the important things in life".
"Our grocery service is delivering on this promise, and now we're taking it one step further with RedMart Relay - effectively bringing RedMart's promise of convenience to just about any product, from any store, anywhere in Singapore, he added.
Initially the RedMart Relay service will be available to customers living in Tiong Bahru, Telok Blangah, Keppel, Sentosa, West Coast, Tanjong Pagar and Marina Bay neighbourhoods.
The company plans to launch it nationwide by early 2016.
This article was first published on December 1, 2015.
Get The Business Times for more stories.