Habitat By Honestbee Voted As The Top Must See Retail Innovation In The World In 2019

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 | 985 Views

Habitat by honestbee, the world’s first tech-enabled food and grocery concept, has been voted by IGD[1] as “the top 16 stores you must visit in 2019 in the world” and reported by Google as the top 10 trending searches in Singapore in 2018[2]. Since the launch of its flagship 60,000 square feet store with over 20,000 essentials and unique products in mid-October 2018, it has met with global success. From its early beginnings in 2015 as an online concierge and food delivery service, honestbee has expanded to a physical space in the form of a multi-sensory, omnichannel store format that serves both online and offline consumers, as well as a logistics and retail innovation lab.

Nestled in Singapore’s heartlands, habitat by honestbee has welcomed close to half a million visitors across all ages. Designed to be exploratory with elements of nature amid cosy settings, the space provides customers the comfort they would find in their own home. Coupled with the ease and array of products they need as well as world-class finds from all over the world, each trip is one that inspires. Customers are spending a longer time (two hours) than in any other supermarket. Two of its largest groups of customers fall between the ages of 26 to 35 years old (41 percent) and 36 to 45 years old (28 percent). 64 percent of such customers are multi-generational families that visit the grocery and dining destination for its friendly neighbourhood feel.


Honestbee’s NewGen Retail Is Changing The Way Customers Shop And Dine

With the aim to create a community around food, habitat by honestbee’s NewGen Retail concept continues to inspire more human interaction, leveraging technology to remove the unnecessary hassles of checkout lines and the handling of cash that come with shopping. In the app, ordering and payment features such as Scan & Go and in-app wallet, beePay, ensure a seamless experience. In-store checkout and collection points, AutoCheckout and RoboCollect, deliver a convenient alternative to traditional retail processes.

In F&B, habitat by honestbee’s innovation is in its multi-concept kitchen. A custom-built experiential space that’s first in the world, it houses an F&B hall with 20 original concepts, from a Japanese-inspired craft coffeehouse to a Josper-grilled steakhouse. Each kitchen is maximised to ensure a strong sales return by operating multiple concepts in one space. This innovation sets habitat by honestbee apart from industry players in the market.

Pauline Png, Managing Director of habitat by honestbee shared, “We are pleased to have had such a resounding success since the launch, not just with customers, but also with the business community in retail, property, grocery and F&B. A strong growth in sales pushes us to continue delivering a memorable experience for customers to visit, try new products and return. This tactility that habitat by honestbee provides ignites a curiosity for our products, which are also available online. In fact, we have observed a spike in online orders for Fresh supermarket deliveries since the launch.”

Partnerships are core to habitat by honestbee’s DNA. habitat by honestbee’s ecosystem makes it convenient for collaborations with partners and F&B owners. Technological and operational costs as well as infrastructure and fixtures are borne by the company, allowing F&B partners to scale and focus on delivering quality experiences. Without worrying about the heavy risk of failure in traditional retail concepts, this maximises their revenue per square foot.

A notable Singapore partner is Bear Bear Fresh, purveyors in sustainable seafood. Prior to partnering with honestbee, the supplier was solely Business-to-Business. By inhabiting a seafood counter at habitat by honestbee, Bear Bear Fresh is now able to reach out directly to their target market. Christopher Chan, Partner, shared, “We are happy to be able to interact with our customers such as families and the everyday shopper in person. habitat by honestbee’s pioneering concept of NewGen Retail has empowered us to expand our business. We are looking forward to potentially expanding with the brand to other parts of Asia.”

Habitat by honestbee has also partnered with Heineken for their exclusive launch of Heineken 0.0, its new non-alcoholic all-natural beer with only 69 calories. Faye Wee, Marketing Director of Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore) Pte Ltd shared, “habitat by honestbee’s Get Fresh! campaign made it the ideal platform to launch Heineken 0.0. With our shared goal in providing healthier benefits to customers through food and groceries, our partnership saw a synergy from the start.”


What’s Next as honestbee continues to innovate?

As part of its commitment to meet customer’s needs, honestbee constantly reviews customer feedback and data to improve the 360-degree experience. For instance, after finding that customers often compile orders for families and friends together, honestbee will soon be providing an option to combine food carts on the app, enabling orders from multiple F&B concepts at habitat by honestbee in one receipt. This is an extension of our top local hawker centre experience already available on their online delivery app in Singapore.

Engagement and retention are prime focus areas for honestbee. Customers will soon be able to make informed choices on the app with engaging product information and content. Personalised recommendations will also be available at habitat by honestbee via the app. By leveraging on data, the app will provide relevant recommendations for food, beverages and groceries based on an O2O algorithm. We have also launched our honestbee membership program, beeHive, where customers can get value deals for their groceries and food purchases both online and at habitat by honestbee.

Joel Sng, CEO and Founder of honestbee shared, “The launch of habitat by honestbee has allowed us to elevate our business into an omnichannel platform and work with partners like no other online player can. We are pleased with the results over the last few months and continue to get a strong interest from prospective retail partners from around the world. habitat by honestbee has leveraged on our brand’s promise and expertise in utilising data to optimise the customer experience. We are confident in fuelling the growth of habitat by honestbee to other markets. In the second quarter of the year, we will be extending our food-retail leadership in Asia by launching a scalable multi-concept kitchen and convenience store powered by data.”


[1] https://retailanalysis.igd.com/news/news-article/t/top-16-stores-you-must-visit-in-2019/i/20741


[2] https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/sports-current-affairs-top-trending-searches-among-singaporeans-in-2018