IPWS annual sponsor, Epermarket, is an online expat supermarket that offers over 7,000 products from reliable brands from around the world at diverse price ranges to be delivered directly to your doorstep. This month, the team at Epermarket shares a bit about what goes on behind the scenes at one of Shanghai’s most successful online grocery stores. Specifically, they tell us how entrepreneurial mindset, or intrapreneurship, has been key in their journey.
What are your expectations from a grocery store, here in China? Convenience, quality foods and safety? Epermarket aims to tick all these boxes. It is an online expat supermarket, with a range of over 7000 products, delivered directly to your doorstep. You can find everything from imported jam to cereal, from high quality meat to fine chocolate. In fact, there are many non-food items available as well, so if you need baking utensils or eco-friendly laundry liquid, they have them too. This online store seeks to make you feel at home, and provide you with all the necessary items for your everyday life.
Around 2015, the international team working on product selection felt that there was a service they really missed from back home – a weekly vegetable box delivery. Peggy, the Product Director took it upon herself to find out more from the international communities and assess their needs. She quickly found out that people from all horizons were very enthusiastic about the idea of regularly receiving a selection of vegetables and fruit, which are healthy and easy to cook. Epermarket’s team further assessed the needs of their clients and found that most expat families wish to include a varied assortment of seasonal vegetables into their daily diet. Peggy noted that the appeal, of what later became known as the Eperbox, is similar to a gym subscription: you receive an assortment of healthy ingredients, thus you are much more motivated to eat home-made meals. That’s when strategic planning came in: there are several business models for a product like this. The team settled for family oriented box sizes (2/3 or 4/5) people, and a regular and a premium model (organic and premium vegetable or fruit only). The delivery frequency can be determined by the customer, and while remaining flexible, the longer you subscribe, the bigger is the discount you get. The program development took several months, and included
further research. Peggy continuously puts strong emphasis on quality and safety of foods, and from a personal perspective, she solely selects products that she would personally use. She also went through the motions of adapting to life in Shanghai, and her main goal is to make fellow expats’ lives easier and make their families healthier.
Eperbox has been a very successful initiative within Epermarket, and is gaining more and more popularity. Subscription is flexible, and several types of boxes are now available: wine and cheese have also been a hit. And a new one is coming out soon! This additional service is an exciting example of entrepreneurship within a company. When an individual project is in line with the company ethos, and the leadership encourages entrepreneurial initiative within the company, anything is possible!
Epermarket is your online expat supermarket, where you can find the products and brands you miss, from a place you can trust. ISO 9001 certified, they also routinely test their finished products, which are available at diverse price ranges. Everything you need is delivered directly to your doorstep- grocery shopping just got easier!