The GoodGrocer app makes shopping much easier

Innovative techpreneur, Khomotso Malakalaka.
Innovative techpreneur, Khomotso Malakalaka.

Innovative techpreneur Khomotso Malakalaka has launched an online grocery shopping and delivery app, The GoodGrocer, that is set to take retail e-commerce to another level.

Many might argue that the start-up app, that will see Polokwane and the surrounding areas' customers place orders on line, is nothing new.

But Malakalaka argues that unlike big retailers like Woolies and Pick n Pay, her clients' grocery orders are sourced immediately after an order is placed, eliminating the tedious warehousing and storage method that leads to groceries being stored for longer periods.

"Retail online shopping is limited to what is available in the stores. In my case, customers can order anything and everything grocery-related. Our inventory covers a wide spectrum of grocery and delivery services. So everything ordered is delivered fresh - 'in-and-out'.

"We don't use the same model as retailers, we don't even think retail. We don't have large warehouses or storage facilities. To cut the costs there is no store inventory. We source the groceries from different suppliers, our savings on costs are filtered down to the customers."

Malakalaka, 30, a construction studies BSc graduate from the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, said she conceptualised the grocery online app after encountering arguments, leading to family disputes at home about who should go out and shop for groceries.

Determined to come up with a solution for the family feuds, she came up with the app while she was on a study break one-and-a- half-year ago as she was pursuing her honours degree.

However, the fact that she was also jobless was enough of a motivating factor that encouraged her to become innovative.

Malakalaka's The GoodGrocer start-up app's fortunes where boosted by the fact that her parents are business people. She has a fair knowledge and experience of working behind a cash register. "I come from a business background and one day I just thought, 'why not delve into e-commerce to make people's lives easier?'"

She said her start-up app targets anybody who can use a smartphone to access social media networks like WhatsApp.

"It's about the convenience of grocery shopping. I'm using a bakkie for long distance bulk deliveries and a tuk-tuk for the shorter distances to drop off, maybe a weekly basket. I'm prepared to sell the groceries at a minimum cost because I shop around. Polokwane is not a big city. I'm trying my utmost best to ensure that my customers get orders on time.

"At the moment I'm vigorously marketing The GoodGrocer app on social media to make people aware of its existence."

Malakalaka was last year awarded the national prize of the 2018 SME Toolkit Business Partners's Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs. The competition saw 800 young aspiring entrepreneurs attend business planning workshops across the country to equip them with the necessary skills and tools to turn their business ideas into a reality. She received R25,000 in seed capital for her business, and a mentorship voucher valued at R12,000.

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