Elevator Pitch: ShopWings

Elevator Pitch: ShopWings

Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with Manu Dupont from ShopWings.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.

ShopWings is a 2-hour grocery delivery service that allows you to shop from your favourite supermarkets (ALDI, Coles & Harris Farm) and have your order at your doorsteps within 2 hours or a convenient later 1-hour delivery window.

Because ShopWings relies on personal shoppers who will go to the store on your behalf to purchase your order and who will call you if any item is not available, the experience is a lot more personal. Also, the layer of convenience provided is unparalleled with both a short wait time of 2 hours and very precise delivery windows.

Lastly, ShopWings is about choice. You can choose from a variety of supermarkets, including some, like ALDI, who don’t otherwise offer online ordering.

What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?

We have secured seed funding from a series of investors who strongly believe in the potential of our model. We believe that we have a model that is able to revolutionise the grocery delivery industry that existed for a while, but is relatively underdeveloped given that groceries is the number one expense for Australian households.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?

Last mile delivery of groceries is tough and a lot of players have tried and lost a lot of money in the industry. There are a lot of steps to get right for each order. While we have to grow fast like any start-up, we are trying to grow at a sensible pace to make sure that we can uphold to our high quality standards and deliver on our promises to our client; deliver in 2 hours.

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?

The main difference for us is our model to rely on independent contractors to perform the delivery. They are personal shoppers who we train and equip with the required tools such as a Shopper App. This model allows us to be a lot more agile than incumbents who typically have to manage trucks, warehouses and the like.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?

When building a start-up, be agile and don’t be afraid to challenge the way you do things. Pivoting will save you a lot of time instead of being too attached to the one idea you nurtured for years and which may also be blinding you of other great opportunities

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  • From the website:

    How much does delivery cost?
    Delivery is free for your first order. After that a fixed fee will be charged for each delivery.

    That’s great, but how much does it cost? $12, $50? I’m not entertaining a service without knowing the costs.

  • I was about to enter my first order when I realised something.

    Unfortunately, the company charges more for a product than its normal price in store (e.g. 2kg potato is $3 in Coles and $3.45 in Shopwings – Pizza Ristorante $6 in Coles and 6.89 in Shopwings). A final price of around 13-15% and there are prices as higher as 43% more expensive than in store (the prices that I came across). So ShopWings would be buying and reselling products for profit instead providing only a delivery service and charging for it.

    I honestly think the way they present their services is misleading and/or it should be more clear in their website. It is like they hide the information hoping the customer would not notice the difference.

    The information is in their “Terms and Conditions” (which most people do not read): “The additional fee Customer pays that is above the retail price of the Groceries is ShopWings service fees.”

    But this one in special draw my attention coming from a company that claims training the Personal Shoppers: “ShopWings does not have control over the quality, timing, legality, failure to provide or any other aspect whatsoever of the Personal Shopper Services.”

    How can you not guarantee the quality and legality of the services provided by your employees?

    Concluding, if the products bought are around 15% more expensive in Shopwings, the minimal purchase of $49 would be 15% cheaper in Coles or Woolworths. Plus, you need to pay the standard delivery fee of $11.90. An order of $100 in Coles with delivery (which range from $6 to $13) would cost roughly $111 (It would be the same in Woolworths and there is a free delivery on Wed with a minimal purchase of $100 in Coles) and it would cost around $126.90 in ShopWings (more if the prices are more than 15% expensive – as I said, I have come across prices as higher as 43% more expensive).

    The only advantage in my opinion is the same day delivery which is not offered (yet) by Coles or Woolworths.

    Analysing Pros and Cons, I will stick with the online shopping services of Coles and Woolworths which are cheaper.

  • I am very interested so shop Aldi as they don’t have online store, but it’s not available in my area. Not my friend’s areas. Nor my families’ areas. Apart from CBD postcode 2000, where else do they operate? I’ve been given all sorts of vouchers and promo material but what’s the point of this if I can’t even use it? I don’t get how they have this major advertising campaign yet barely anyone can actually use them! It’s a joke.

  • I think also that you have a personal shopper. I’ve received shopping from coles and the produce wasn’t good. Shopwings have someone pick the good items.

    I guess it goes down to if it’s worth paying extra for quick service and better quality items

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