• About the client
HEYHO is a platform to help home-based businesses start and grow in the digital economy. It began with a focus on enabling home-based chefs and cooks to enter the competitive food delivery scene, by helping them to overcome common operational hurdles such as marketing, ordering, tracking, payment collection, and delivery.
• The client’s need/idea
The global job market saw unemployment rates soar during the COVID-19 pandemic. Malaysia was similarly affected, and many people who lost their jobs started trying to make ends meet by selling food out of their home kitchens.
Our client, the Jovian Mandagie Group, had a strong desire to give back to the community and wanted to find a way to help emerging home-based cooks. Armed with vast experience in fashion, retail, F&B and eCommerce, the client saw a need for an organised platform to enable home-based cooks to reach a wider market. They initially floated the idea of creating an “online Ramadan bazaar” for Hari Raya 2021, but our brainstorming sessions soon led us to see the potential for something larger with long-term impact.
Through many rounds of conversation with home-based businesses to understand their pain points, we saw the need for an end-to-end platform to address key challenges – such as marketing their products, payment and delivery logistics, as well as customer support.
As a platform, HEYHO would also differentiate itself by emphasising a “hyper-local” experience. This would be done by highlighting businesses within a customer’s neighbourhood so as to promote community spirit, especially through the difficult periods of lockdown (#kitajagakita).
• Key innovations and features
By developing a user-friendly end-to-end platform, we enabled home-based cooks to enter the competitive food delivery scene with ease. Many of them had great food to offer, but struggled with business operations and logistics. Those who were not tech-savvy felt particularly daunted by “going digital”.
HEYHO was able to help them manage common pain points such as marketing (through visually engaging menus and promotions), payment collection (through integration with Stripe), as well as food delivery (through integration with Lalamove).
In addition, the strong chat functionality within HEYHO allows for home-based cooks to connect directly with customers and gather their feedback. This was intentionally designed to preserve the close communication that home-based businesses are used to having with their customers (since many of them used to sell via WhatsApp!), rather than anonymise the customer service process by having the platform act as an intermediary. This fulfilled the objective of building local communities and relational eCommerce, which is unique in the food delivery scene.
The end-to-end HEYHO platform consists of these components:
- Customers app – to discover home-based chefs and place orders
- Merchants app – to manage the menu and incoming orders
- Admin tool – for the HEYHO team to onboard merchants and curate content for each neighbourhood
- API – to coordinate the various components above
- Direct integration – to integrate external payment and delivery providers
• The impact it brought
Within six months of launch, HEYHO helped 2,000 home-based chefs to sell online without hassle to a wider market.
Within the first year, HEYHO grew to include other home-based sellers to sell a wide range of non-food products.