Amid the coronavirus crisis, an Israeli online supermarket startup moved its business plan up by two years and still cannot keep up with demand.
As businesses worldwide shutter their stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli online supermarket startup Quik is gaining 10 times the usual amount of traffic, reported TheMarker on Tuesday.
“The company is on steroids,” CEO Aviram Ganot told TheMarker. “It’s crazy. In the last two weeks, 30,000 people have registered on our site – 10 times the regular rate of sign-ups. There’s an increase in the hundreds of percent in orders. The company’s annual sales rate had passed 100 million shekels before [the epidemic] and it’s at 200 million right now.”
As Israel struggles to contain the epidemic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Ministry of Health continue tightening restrictions on movement. With increasing regulations and general fear of leaving the home, online shopping is quickly becoming the safest and most practical way to get supplies.
As of two weeks ago, Netanyahu said Israel is well stocked with food, including for the upcoming Passover holiday, and there is no need for panic buying. However, Quik is already facing a challenge of filling all the orders due to demand rather than lack of availability.
“Even though no small part of our growth is due to the coronavirus, even beforehand we weren’t able to meet demand for the service we provide,” Ganot said. “From January 2019 through January 2020, our revenues grew more than 700 percent and now, with the coronavirus, the numbers are nuts. Even in ordinary times, the public wants to do their supermarket shopping online – there’s more demand than supply. I can do a few thousand orders a day and if I could do 20,000 there would be customers for it.”
The company was formed three years ago under the name BringBring and was relaunched in January 2019 as Quik. It partners with about 30 stores throughout the country to supply customers with their products.
Recognizing the immediate and most likely longterm need for convenient, efficient and safe shopping, the company moved its business plan up by two years. However, it takes “a lot of investment in technology, operations, expansion, marketing and customer service,” explained Ganot. “We’re building the company now. In a little while, for example, we’ll start using electric scooters with crates sized.”
During these daunting days battling coronavirus, the company has “doubled the number of staff assembling grocery orders and for delivery has hired people in the tourism and apparel sectors who have been put on unpaid leave because of the coronavirus,” Ganot said. It is also planning a telephone service center as well as adding more partner supermarkets.
“Everyone talks about medical teams, but our employees are at the front no less,” said Ganot. “They’re around supermarket customers all day. While they have gloves, everyone else is at home and they’re in the supermarkets.”