Getting offline retailers on the road to recovery with the on-demand services app
The ECQ has been in effect for almost two months now, and retailers in particular have been reeling from the restrictions. In fact, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) noted that it was one of the sectors that’s “likely to bear more significant losses” from the impact of COVID-19. Groceries and pharmacies, despite being allowed to remain open still saw low foot traffic, while other retailers had no other choice but to shutter operations. And in some cases, those who opened had to deal with an unsustainable influx of demand.
The majority of demand has then moved online, and brick-and-mortar stores needed a way to tap into the digital space. Through its partnership with the on-demand service app MyKuya, Ayala Malls is helping its tenants overcome this challenge.
The MyKuya app now lets users shop from Ayala Malls’ retailers from their homes while Kuyas and Ates (the app’s partner talents) drop by to pick up their items for them. Throughout the lockdown, the app found popular demand with its wide range of services, from food deliveries and grocery runs to simple tasks like standing in a queue for a user.
The partnership comes in as a much-needed opportunity for Ayala Malls’ retailers to generate revenue when they need it the most. It’s another step forward for operators after Ayala Malls announced last month that it will shoulder about P2.6 billion worth of rent from tenants to alleviate some of the losses that they incurred during the lockdown. Ecommerce grew significantly during this period, and MyKuya provides a swift O2O (offline-to-online) solution for brick-and-mortar retailers to tap into this growth.
“This collaboration with Ayala Malls is one of the ways we can help bring back business to retailers affected by the pandemic,” said Shahab Shabibi, MyKuya’s founder. “We’re excited as well for our users that can now shop from their favorite malls.”
Worldwide, a loss of $2.1 trillion in retail sales was projected by market research firm Forrester, and physical, non-grocery stores will take the brunt of it. The pandemic’s impact will be felt in challenges with logistics, supplier reliability, and a strong shift in demand and buyer behavior.
Rather than shut down, Ayala Malls’ retailers can instead continue business through MyKuya and begin recovery as they serve their customers again. The partnership provides an opportunity as well for offline stores to begin driving their online presence and embrace digital as a channel to support sales, or further preparation for “the new normal,” where the staple is an online version of every service, as the high demand for MyKuya proves.
“The retail industry suffered a heavy blow from the pandemic, but the popularity of MyKuya’s services show there’s still demand for these businesses,” Shabibi explained. “But now, customers are looking for better, safer ways to conduct business, which MyKuya aims to continue to provide.”
Headquartered in BGC, MyKuya is an on-demand service provider that matches users with its talents (Kuyas and Ates) that can assist them on a variety of daily errands and other services such as deliveries, grocery shopping, and more.
MyKuya was founded in 2017 by Machine Ventures.