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GoodsMart: The Egyptian App Making Grocery Shopping Easier

4 years 4 months ago
 GoodsMart: The Egyptian App Making Grocery Shopping Easier

Have you ever wished for an easy way to finish all your house errands? Grocery shopping can seem like a simple task, but on a busy day, it can be a daunting process.

In September 2014, an aspiring team of entrepreneurs saw the hassle of grocery shopping as a business opportunity and launched GoodsMart, a grocery shopping service that allows users to order grocery items through an app and then have them delivered to a box installed by GoodsMart at their doorstep.

“Our clients can order all of their needs with just the touch of a finger and all of the items will be placed inside of the box by the time they wake up,”
according to Nayra ElBerry, The Partnerships Lead at GoodsMart, who told us the story of their startup.

1. How did you get the idea for your startup and when did you launch it? 

The idea was inspired from the daily hassle of grocery shopping. We were inspired to use technology to improve our lives and make them easier. From there we decided to take convenience to a whole new level and make unattended delivery the norm.

We had three goals, to save people's time, save up money through budget controlled shopping to avoid splurging, and inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle by delivering daily fresh products.

2. What is your startup's impact?

Through our service, we save their time, efforts and money by preventing impulsive shopping and always providing receipts to avoid mistakenly buying items twice. We also encourage a healthier life by providing daily fresh food in the morning and allowing them to schedule orders to prevent families from stacking snacks and junk food.

Our impact has been clear since almost 60% of our customers have heard about us through word of mouth from other satisfied customers. And to us that is the biggest indicator that our service has made a positive impact.

3. What is the kind of feedback that you usually receive?

We receive feedback that daily inspires us to constantly improve. Usually the feedback that we get varies from members who’re extremely happy with the service all the way to a request of adding a new product. In all cases we’re always receiving feedback with open arms be it good or bad because in every case it’s constructive.

We have a fully equipped warehouse operated by a team experienced in packaging and delivering the orders to the clients with the best quality. We accept orders all day round until 9 pm. The orders that have been received get sorted by our in-house fleet and delivered before 6AM (overnight delivery) to ensure that our clients wake up to a full box and a happy morning.

4. What are the major challenges that you face?

The biggest challenge was the FMCG [Fast Moving Consumer Goods] suppliers, those suppliers normally deal with supermarkets or big companies. They don’t condone the idea of doing business with a startup, let alone an e-commerce startup.

Egypt in particular regards ecommerce as a new concept and it isn’t widely accepted when it comes to grocery shopping. Therefore, a lot of suppliers refused to do business with us or hesitated. This problem led to our limited varieties which forced us to buy products from retailers in order to satisfy the needs of our clients.

Luckily, GoodsMart hired a new partnership team that immediately set on solving the problem by first understanding the supplier’s concerns and then smoothly assuring them and offering new unique benefits that suit each supplier differently.

Some suppliers were offered benefits that they can get exclusively from GoodsMart like honest consumer’s opinions, or trying new samples and providing new marketing opportunities. Which successfully solved the issue and now GoodsMart has unlimited variations of products, now most of our suppliers have become faithful clients that they use the service themselves.

We faced several major challenges at the beginning of our startup like financial issues and team hiring, which were resolved by gaining great investors that gave us the support we needed both financially and in expertise, and the great help received during our acceleration phase with Injaz.

5. Did you attract investments? and how?

Algebra Ventures is GoodsMart’s main investor, with a first round of USD 750k and other undisclosed rounds. Investors continuously search for startups that fulfill customers’ evolving needs with a top-notch experience and have proper functional operational model and these were the main edges that got Investors to participate in the first place.

6. What is your startup's greatest achievement?

We consider our team as our greatest achievement and our greatest treasure, to have a team full of experienced ambitious people is the key to any successful business.

With the efforts of everyone in our team over the past few years GoodsMart has achieved several things that define who we are and what we’ve become and the community that we now harbor and call our family.

One of our biggest achievements is the increase of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies that are willing to come and partner up with us as we have mentioned before. 

Over the past years we added the feature of a mini-mall on the app which consists of different shops that were keen on being a part of the GoodsMart community. We also consider the increase in amounts of clients as a great achievement, we began with around 10 clients but now have over thousands of clients.

What helped contribute to the increase is our very active customer service that is daily interacting with our clients, this leads to our next achievement which is our high retention rate that has a success of 73%.

We regularly love to prepare gifts to surprise our clients throughout the year in all events like Mother’s Day, valentines, Ramadan, Eid, back to school, and New Year’s eve. From the first day the clients join our community we send them a welcoming gift consisting of irresistible goodies. Most of our gifts are made possible by partnering with great suppliers that are always willing to try out their new products and get the pleasant reactions of people.

7. What is the team's background?

Founder and CEO Amr Fawzi graduated with a bachelor degree in Mechanical engineering. Amr comes from a corporate background, he used to be a regional technical manager at a company based in the UK where he conducted different technical consultations to companies.

Co- founder and technical lead Ahmed Sudan graduated with a bachelor degree in Computer Science from the University of Wales. GoodsMart was Ahmed’s first interaction with the business world.

8. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Currently the ecosystem in Egypt is emerging, a lot of people are willing to start their own businesses, and there are a lot of organizations that help ease the process, spread awareness and promote entrepreneurship through different programs and initiatives.

I would advise young entrepreneurs to first join a startup to learn and understand how it operates and then take the risk and start their own startups as long as they believe what they are doing will make a change and will help solve a pain to the customers.

The photo above features GoodsMart team

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