Learn more about Singapore’s new online grocery shopping service honestbee

From how it works to the fine print of the delivery service

Shopping for groceries in Singapore ain’t easy. The sweltering heat doesn’t help when you are lugging bags of vegetables, meat and an assortment of food back home. The thought of sweating and aching muscles would stop you from even entering the supermarket.

One would say online grocery shopping services such as Redmart is a lifesaver. Order your groceries online, have them delivered to your doorstep and that’s the end of it. Grocers such as NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage have similar delivery services. But all three share a common problem - no same-day delivery for your groceries.

Enter honestbee, a new player in the online grocery shopping service that promises same-day delivery and more - it delivers within an hour.

Now that we’ve got your attention, spare a few minutes and we’ll answer any questions you have about the new grocery delivery service.

How does it work for you and the shopper?

Essentially, the moment you place an order, it’s sent to honestbee’s trained shoppers, which amounts to 500 odd, according to its co-founder and CEO Joel Sng.

The request, as Sng mentions, is segmented based on which area the delivery is headed to. Called hubs, the order looks at your postal code (which is required before you make the order), identifies which hub it belongs to and assigns the order to a shopper.

From here, the shopper makes the trip to the nearest grocer, purchases the required items and delivers them to you based on your requested time.

Is one-hour delivery on the same day guaranteed?

Subjected to stock availability, of course. And traffic conditions.

Sng highlighted that shoppers typically go through a few hours of training before they are fully on board, so they are aware of the procedures should the item be unavailable or they’re held up. The shopper will contact you and check if you’re willing to purchase a substitute item.

As for that one-hour guarantee, honestbee does what it can to meet that requirement. Failing which, the shopper will call to inform the buyer, and arrange for an alternate delivery timing.

Is it a 24/7 delivery service?

They would love to do that, but it’s subjected to the operating hours of the grocers.

So typically, if you’re ordering items from Cold Storage, the last order will have to be made before it closes. In fact, do it an hour before the grocer closes. After all, the honestbee shopper requires some buffer time to do the shopping before he or she can proceed with the delivery.

Speaking of buffer time, your order isn’t delivered within an hour after you’ve placed an order. You’ll need to specify when the delivery is made, usually an hour after you’ve clicked on the checkout button.

How much does a delivery cost?

A token sum of S$10. But you don’t need to pay a single cent for the delivery if you’re paying S$30 or more from each store.

Note the word, “each”. Because even if your final order costs S$100 in total, it must be from the same store to enjoy the free delivery. So if you’ve ordered S$25 worth of items from four different stores, you’re still paying S$10 delivery. Per store. That amounts to an additional S$40 delivery fee.

In short, plan your purchases properly to hit the minimum S$30 to get the free delivery.

Can I combine deliveries from different stores?

Yes. While you might have different shoppers scouring various stores for your items, honestbee will combine the orders into a single delivery if it’s sent to the same location at the same time.

What are the available groceries to choose from?

Before that, we hope you’re a patient shopper. Because honestbee estimates it has over 12,000 items for you to purchase, and it's going to take you a while to look through the full list.

Right now, it has existing partnerships with Cold Storage for everything you need, The Butcher’s Dog and Mmmm! for your meat cravings and even Pet Lovers Centre to pamper your pets.

Is there an honestbee app?

Nope. So you’ll have to do your orders from the website. To be fair, the interface is mobile-friendly, so you won’t need to squint your eyes or pinch to zoom. With just a few taps, you can order your groceries from your phone, and have it delivered to your door step.

Remember, on the same day. So if it's fresh meat you're after on the day itself, this is the most viable option.