CREDITED for the rapid digitalization of Philippine online retail business is the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reality is however, Filipinos have been on shopping platforms for the longest time, the fear of the virus simply refocused the digital part of the retail business as the brick-and-mortar stores are temporarily not the “go-to” places they used to be.
The buying and delivery experience, however, will change with the introduction of VeMoBro, an e-commerce platform that promises a leveled-up shopping and shipping experience.
A homegrown e-commerce platform, VeMoBro officially joined the country’s e-commerce sector last week.
It sets for itself, as differentiators, the ability to connect buyers and quickly deliver the pandemic-created “new essentials,” assuring that only genuine products are sold on its platform, a self-contained logistics service with over 10 partners and a 48-hour delivery commitment, a strong customer service center and a fair use policy that levels the buying and selling field between seller and buyer.
What exactly are these new essentials?
“Anything that would be needed daily by the average “Juan” is considered essential to us, be it automotive items, beauty and home electronics, as well as electronic gadgets. Many of us now prefer to stay at home but some of us might not have the luxury to wait for days for their purchases, which is why we promise for fast and immediate delivery for our buyers,” Rain Ibajo, co-founder and COO of VeMoBro explains.
Aware of the proliferation of fake products and online scams as online shopping gains more popularity, VeMoBro ensures the legitimacy of the products on its marketplace to protect both consumers and sellers. It adopts fail-safe features to filter out fake sellers and implements a system that regulates and ensures accurate, easy-to-read product descriptions to deliver peace of mind while shopping.
“VeMoBro’s utmost mission is to create a platform that puts high value on consumer trust. By carefully filtering out, investing in and supporting legitimate sellers, we assure our customers that our platform does not only attend to their essential needs but also provides a safe e-commerce space,” Engr. Vergil Bargola, VeMoBro Founder and CEO says.
Tomatoes, mangoes, sili, kamote and okras are part of the VeMoBro shopping list, as is longganisa, Australian prime rib and bagoong. Located below the main e-commerce page listings for hard disks, computer peripherals, gaming accessories, cabling and even Acer laptops.
The Supermarket offers a wide range of everyday essentials while its Marketplace carries the a smudging of electronic gadgets. The automotive accessories section is still unpopulated but it will soon have its shelves filled, I was told. Scrolling the VeMoBro interface is quite satisfying. It is like a digital walk around any big superstore with only sections separating the various departments from each other.
“Our platform is made with the convenience of our buyers in mind. With logistics as our other expertise, our differentiator is our ability to provide the same-day delivery service not limited to grocery items. When buyers look online they tend to prefer certain apps for certain items, but with VeMoBro, we consider essential purchases beyond grocery items too,” Engr. Bargola explains.
VeMoBro’s easy-to-use and clutter-free digital interface lets customers track their purchases in real-time and they have a fourth differentiator–humans. This is a big difference because there is real time and customer responses are almost instantaneous, instead of communicating frustratingly with chatbots that give one the run-around.
“Our customer service hotline operates from 8AM to 8PM from Mondays to Sundays, even on holidays. As our live chats are operated manually, our representatives provide a personal touch in understanding our customer’s and merchant’s concerns,” Ibajo narrates.
But proof of the pudding is, ultimately in the delivery.
One of the answers to the question I posed is that their e-commerce platform is purpose-built—guaranteeing businesses and customers convenience and efficiency. I just had to try to wrench that promise myself with the self-care package of a soap dispenser, ultraviolet cleaner, and car disinfectant I won. Couple to that a short purchase list of computer essentials, an Andriod box, and an ergonomic box, and a commitment to deliver—to 83 kilometers away. The first box came less than a day after and the second box, exactly 28 hours after the order was placed.
Logistics expertise clearly puts it ahead of the competition. This gives credence to its promise of standard 48-hour delivery. Same-day delivery is also available with just a simple scroll and clicks with VeMoBro’s wide range of partner delivery service providers.
Moreover, VeMoBro’s flexible payment method provides customers with several payment options. They can opt for cash-on-delivery, online banking, or e-wallet payment through GCash, GrabPay, Coins.ph, and Dragonpay.
The biggest element that sets VeMoBro’s platform apart is its fair use policy between customers and sellers. Both parties in the transaction can rate each other on the site. While the review of sellers has been a long-known feature on online shopping sites, the platform encourages sellers to appeal and report faulty product reviews. Additionally, sellers can give reviews of customers so other merchants can be made aware of fraudulent customers or transactions.
Launching at a time when Filipino consumers need more e-commerce options, this proudly all-Filipino brand puts emphasis on providing superior services to both online customers and sellers through its unique take on digital shopping and on the most critical aspect of e-commerce, which is logistics. Furthermore, VeMoBro commits itself to empower Filipino retailers of all sizes, with focus on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
“One of our goals is to be a platform for growth. We understand how the pandemic took its toll on Filipino businesses, and we are here to work with them to achieve recovery. Whether you’re an established brand or an aspiring start-up, you are welcome to join our growing list of partner merchants as we work together to succeed in this industry,” Ibajo said concluding the virtual media launch of the platform.