‘I want it now’ partners with ‘whatever it takes’ as digital transport services boost e-commerce


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ON-DEMAND digital transport services will continue to help the Philippine e-commerce industry balloon to a $10-billion industry in the next half a decade, as they continue to address the last-mile requirements for transporting goods from one point to another.

The e-commerce industry in the Philippines today—ruled by digital shopping platforms Lazada, Shopee, Zalora and the like—continues to be on a roll in terms of growth. In 2018, the industry grew to $1.5 billion, according to data from Temasek, a Singaporean government-owned corporation.

By 2025, it predicts that the value of the e-commerce industry in the Philippines will balloon to $10 billion, as demand for online shopping continues to rise incrementally through the next half a decade.

This, however, will mean that there will also be huge demand for logistics solutions to address the need for deliveries.

As such, Grab is beefing up its position as a platform to help the e-commerce industry reach its full potential by innovating its parcel delivery service—GrabExpress—and help more small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are largely enrolled in e-commerce platforms, address the need for last mile delivery.

“We want to be able to move into e-commerce—into online shopping—and supporting that whole online shopping infrastructure like what we are doing in Indonesia,” Grab Philippines President Brian P. Cu said in an interview.

Grab Indonesia has partnered with local online shopping platforms to service their delivery needs. In the Philippines, Grab has partnered with Shopee for several of its sales to address the on-demand segment of the latter’s customer base.

2 new features

To further help social sellers, Grab is introducing two new features that will make the same-day delivery experience more flexible for entrepreneurs and their customers.

First is the multistop delivery feature, which essentially allows users to send deliveries to five different recipients and locations using one single rider. And the second feature is the multiple concurrent bookings feature, which will allow social sellers and micro-entrepreneurs to send a maximum of 10 parcels using different delivery partners at the same time.

Consumer preferences, he said, are evolving constantly, and the need for express parcel services will continue to increase, as Filipinos grow more and more accustomed to the digital economy, which champions convenience as its top product. 

“Convenience will be the number one reason why people would be using our services,” Cu said. “These are all supporting the ‘I-Want-It-Now’ millennial generation.”


Grab is also addressing the delivery needs of restaurants in the Philippines through its GrabFood service, an on-demand digital food delivery solution that lets users book for their meals through the Grab app.

Since it was launched a few months ago, GrabFood has grown to be the top food delivery app in the Philippines, growing at a pace of 12x in the last six months alone.

It has 5,000 restaurants onboard the Grab platform, which created a digital storefront for these merchants, allowing them to tap into the 3 million active users in the Grab app.

Just recently, it signed an agreement with McDonald’s Philippines, one of the largest quick service restaurants in the country, for the on-boarding of an initial 60 stores in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

“Now, more than ever, we really see the trend of convenience being such an important thing for people. More than ever, people are using delivery apps for convenience,” GrabFood Head Edward Joseph dela Vega said.

Cu noted that the demand for more delivery services in the Philippines will continue to increase, as Grab intends to form partnerships with more merchants, digital platforms, and e-commerce sites in the future.

“As we push that more and work with more online sellers —the large selling aggregators —we think that demand would increase,” he said.