Homegrown mobile app aims to simplify e-commerce
Edison Subala’s fascination with brewing beer led him to concoct his own version of the golden liquid in his kitchen.
With an initial capital of P5,000, he bought the ingredients to create his own craft beer. “[I used] a small glass with a rubber bung and improvised airlock as fermenter and a modified refrigerator to control temperature conditions,” he recalls.
His first batch of wheat beer was a hit at a craft beer lounge in Makati. In 2017, Pulè Premium Craft Beer was born.
Subala wanted a name that would resonate the local vibe of product. Pulè was named after revolutionary hero Apolinario Mabini, a native of Tanauan, Batangas, where Subala’s brewery is also located.
But with the brewery operating outside the metropolis, Subala constantly worried about logistics and order fulfillment. He was constrained from “taking the products to places where they should be.”
After conducting extensive research, he found a company called Payo, an e-commerce enabler that provides holistic and tailor-fit solutions for merchants. The 34-year-old recounts that he started using Payo in 2021. He says that the global health crisis was a difficult time, but Payo seamlessly plugged all the logistical holes for his business to stay afloat.
While Payo now handles the logistical and warehousing needs of Pule, Subala says, it gives him more time to focus on other important matters, such as product development and improvement of product quality.
“The very reason we stick with [Payo] is because of their service and very polite customer support personnel. They are very easy to deal with and issues that arise are attended and resolved immediately. Also, our products are safe, handled and packed with utmost care,” Subala shares.
Payo was established in 2018 by Israeli Liron Gross, who values integrating technology into business operations.
Back in 2012, she was selling different products to Asian countries. She took interest in the Philippines, however, she saw that there was high cancellation rate in this market, and remittance took too long that it affected her company’s cash flow. Seeing an opportunity to make a business out of helping online merchants, Liron came to the Philippines and established Payo.
Payo provides solutions ranging from warehousing and delivery, live customer support and value added logistics to local and international merchants. Its services also include last mile delivery with third party couriers, marketplace optimization and customized business to business services. It now serves 300 customers led by Maya, Carmen’s Best, Sunnies Studios, Zenutrients, Decathlon, World Balance, Finn Cotton and New Era Caps.
To provide merchants with a more innovative and convenient way to manage their businesses online, Payo recently launched its first logistics mobile application. Among the key features of the app is self-onboarding, wherein new merchants can register and activate their account. The app contains instructions to support self-onboarding as well as an option to book a call with a Payo business development manager to guide merchants with the process.
In addition, the sales tracking function of the Payo app displays the daily total cash collected, total sales and revenue earned on its dashboard.
Using the ordering feature, business owners can simply input the merchant and buyer details, and an order will be created. Additionally, the in-app shipping fee calculator gives an accurate cost estimate based on package information and shipping information.
Other notable features available in Payo’s app include: ship bill tracking to help merchants track shipments and the notification bell to alert them of changes to the status of orders in real time. A downloadable copy of their statement of account can also be viewed from the app.
The mobile app was developed by Payo’s in-house information technology team. A talented all-Filipino crew of 10 programmers and developers created Payo’s latest innovation, says Dennis Hilario, Payo chief technology officer.
As every merchant has unique needs for warehousing and delivery, he says that Payo maintains multiple warehouses nationwide. Pick and pack services are also made available. Payo likewise handles the package turnover and courier coordination to ensure a smooth delivery process.
Aside from being known for end-to-end solutions such as warehousing and on-time delivery of products, he says Payo’s skillful business process engineers can analyze the gaps of the business process and create solutions. Afterwards, they transform the solutions into usable technology for the merchants, such as order management system and chatbots.
Payo also offers services such as marketing strategy for [online sellers in] marketplaces such as Lazada and Shopee. “We help them (merchants) with launching marketing campaigns. We also have inventory management [to help them] maintain the right level of inventory,” Hilario adds.
For customer support, a chatbot is deployed to answer frequently asked questions. There are also live agents for more complex queries. In terms of payment for Payo’s services, Hilario explains that they charge merchants per fulfillment of every services availed.
To better serve the merchants, the Payo app is constantly being finetuned to make it more holistic in terms of functionality. Features such as inventory management, business analytics, artificial intelligence-based in-sighting, payment gateway integration and KYC (know your customer) platform integration are in the pipeline for the mobile app.
“Smartphones are now part of our way of life both as business owners and customers. The Payo app lets merchants access our services and manage day-to-day operations with just a few simple taps anytime, anywhere,” says Hilario.