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NTUC Fairprice launches revamped online shopping platform and new high-tech order fulfilment system

NTUC Fairprice launches revamped online shopping platform and new high-tech order fulfilment system

Singapore’s largest supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice
(FairPrice [1]) today officially launched
its refreshed online platform, “FairPrice On”, with a revamped mobile app and
online portal for customers, which provides an improved user-interface. It is also
using a new automated storage and retrieval centre at its Distribution Centre
facility in Joo Koon, that increases order fulfilment efficiency by four times.

This is in line with Singapore’s Retail
Industry Transformation Map (ITM), which was launched in 2016. It contains
key strategies to support sector transformation, including a focus on
innovation and the adoption of new technologies to drive productivity, as well
as staying agile and responsive to trends in jobs and skills. 

FairPrice On’s launch was officiated by Mr Tharman
Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic
and Social Policies.

CEO of NTUC FairPrice, Mr Seah Kian Peng, said: “NTUC
FairPrice is one of the first supermarkets to launch an online platform in
Singapore more than a decade ago and today we take another leap forward to
enhance our online customer experience with FairPrice On. In line with
Singapore’s Retail Industry Transformation Map, we continue to innovate and
harness technology to boost productivity and customer service while adapting to
constant shifts in the e-commerce industry.”

High-Tech Fulfilment
System

At the High-Tech Distribution Centre facility at FairPrice
Hub located at Joo Koon, FairPrice On’s new online fulfilment system,
“AutoStore”, is an automated goods-to-man storage and retrieval system.

It utilises robotics to provide high-density storage,
optimise manpower and boost productivity.

The high-density storage system consists of over 20,000 bins
spread over multiple layers, occupying a space over one and a half times the
size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Each bin can be configured to hold any
quantity of products depending on size and weight, with the ability to hold
multiple types of products within the same bin to provide greater flexibility
and scalability.

Order fulfilment is managed through a computerised system
with robots retrieving the items needed and shifting bins around to maximise
space. The system is able to handle up to 3,000 orders per day and is four
times faster compared to Radio Frequency (RF)-assisted picking, with the
ability to fulfil 220 order-lines (each unique item per customer order) per
hour.

The system is also scalable to accommodate for future growth
of FairPrice On.

Enhanced Customer
Engagement

In addition to operational efficiency improvement, FairPrice
On features a revamped online portal and mobile app to provide a more robust
and intuitive shopping experience for customers.

For example, the online customer journey from searching and
selecting products to choosing a delivery slot and making payment has been
streamlined to make it faster and easier for shoppers. To date, FairPrice On
offers over 13,000 products ranging from groceries and fresh produce to
personal care and electronics. Over 400,000 subscribers are registered on
FairPrice On.  

To cater to varied customer needs, FairPrice On also
utilises data analytics to send targeted personalised promotions based on their
profile, interests and consumption habits.

Helping the Community

FairPrice On also offers subscribers a convenient platform
to donate groceries to the less fortunate. Through a partnership with the
National Council of Social Service, FairPrice On subscribers are able to choose
from a list of 55 Social Service Organisations (SSO), such as Thye Hua Kwan
Family Centres and Food from the Heart, and donate groceries they require
directly to them. Delivery fees are waived for donated groceries.

[1] Fairprice is a
co-operative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC),
Singapore’s national confederation of trade unions as well as a network of
professional associations and partners. 

Featured
image
: Apple Vidadof/ CC BY-SA 4.0

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