Ordering Food thru an Internet Cafe

Hmmm… Interesting idea from Greenwich and Netopia.

While walking along a commercial center in San Juan, I saw a poster displayed at a Greenwich store that was promoting this this new “delivery channel”:

ORDER GREENWICH PIZZA AT NETOPIA

Too bad I was in a hurry and I didn’t have a camera with me.

Not a bad idea though.

The people in Greenwich found a creative way of tapping this market segment for online ordering and food deliveries —-> people who spend a considerable amount of their time at internet cafes to go online (obviously, these are the same people who don’t have any PC and/or internet connectivity at home). Netopia, considered the largest chain of internet cafes in the Philippines, with 150 branches nationwide (and targeting a total of 500 branches by 2008), is the best choice among existing internet cafe operators in the country.

I don’t know the exact use case that Greenwich has in mind for this one. Probably this: (1) Netopia users can place their orders online using their rented PC’s —-> (2) Specify delivery address —-> (3) Pay for it in cash at the Netopia counter —-> (4) Netopia confirming with Greenwich that the order has, indeed, been paid —-> and (5) Greenwich fulfilling the order by delivering the pizza to the specified delivery address.

The 3rd step, actual payment, is very important for online ordering. This is the main hurdle for fast food merchants wishing to tap the online ordering and delivery business. There are still instances of prank calls to fast food merchants (i.e. People order via phone, then deny that they ever placed an order for such and such when the items are at their doorsteps already). Evident waste of time and inventory for the likes of Greenwich. The 2nd step (specification of a delivery address) is another obstacle that is immediately addressed by no. 3. Stores don’t deliver to a “non-permanent” address such as a basketball court or an internet cafe or at a bus stop since no payment has been made.

By ensuring that payment has been made prior to the delivery of the ordered items, Greenwich can confidently fulfill the orders.

Presently, the average Filipino consumer is not yet accustomed with conducting buying and selling products and services via the internet (and SMS). This is a good first step towards achieving that level of comfort for consumers who may want the convenience of being able to do electronic/mobile commerce . This will also be good for merchants, most especially the small- and medium-sized ones, to prepare for the eventuality of conducting commerce thru the internet.

Pioneering companies like Greenwich can help condition the market for the eventual mass acceptance of online commerce. I hope that other merchants, regardless of industry, will see the value of implementing alternative channels of service delivery, such as this model, as a way of extending its commerce reach and sales.

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