PickMe recently hit its 300,000 milepost in Flash deliveries, making it one of the app-driven mobility company’s most successful products since the pandemic lockdown. Initially with more offices opting for distance working, PickMe Flash gained in popularity, as they considered the product a safe, fast, and smart way to maintain physical connectivity. However, as the product evolved further it took on the position of a bespoke delivery service, where individual needs of clients were met with care and sensitivity.
PickMe CEO Zulfer Jiffry says even as lockdown conditions ease and work resumes in the capital, people need safer ways to go about their businesses. “We see an enormous change in our customer base these days, as people continue to social distance and depend on deliveries to support their lifestyle.”
Suren Perera, a customer of PickMe who works from home says, “I have been using Flash since the company I work for moved into WFH last October. Because I work in finance, movement of hard copy documents is necessary so I tried Flash to send a few office documents across. Now our entire company is using Flash for document transfers, cheques and sending samples, etc. The experience is good and if Flash can handle multiple orders in one go it would be great as well.”
From catering to offices and individuals PickMe Flash has taken another leap. As its CEO says, “The PickMe digital platform has been expanding its reach into different levels of the economic pyramid. The essence of success is not in which part of the economy one serves but how one pivots to make digital solutions relevant. And it is to do with how digital platforms integrate with social structure.”
A business that finds the service unique is Rushini Goonatilake’s Natural Eats, a cloud kitchen catering to people with special dietary needs. “The PickMe Flash model fits very well into our formula as we provide special meals to customers who require their food at a given time and in such a time sensitive situation, there can be no delivery mess ups. PickMe Flash has helped us, especially when we supply clients who live in the suburbs of Colombo. Another thing to note is that drivers assigned to this particular service are very courteous and sensitive towards our customers, most of whom have health management issues. In that sense, PickMe has been more of a partner than just a delivery service because with Flash we were able to expand our business,” she says.
PickMe Head of Marketing and Communications Gowshik Sathiyasiva says that their driver partners are well-trained to handle the eventualities of Flash deliveries. “For example, we found out that a handful of customers had negative experiences when using Flash for the delivery of cakes. We have taken necessary steps to prevent any damage by educating our customers via in-app communication that it would be best to use a larger vehicle for delivering food items like cakes, and to also inform the driver who picks up that the delivery needs to be handled with care. This has worked very well, although Flash is not a new product, it reached its optimum potential during the pandemic.”
Akshari Punchinilame, owner of Caviar Premium Delicacies, Maharagama, is another who says PickMe Flash has helped their expansion. “We opened up our business as a delivery-only operation during COVID lockdown 3.0. When we first started, we communicated about our business to friends and family via WhatsApp, and did not anticipate the increased number of orders. That’s when we opted to use PickMe Flash, and ever since we have been able to fulfil orders on time and grow our business as well. We now use PickMe Flash for all our deliveries and we are open all seven days.”
PickMe Flash is not limited to delivering food and documents, even children’s toys are amongst the broad spectrum of goods on their list. Malshan Fernando, who runs a children’s toy shop says, “We have been operating from a small outlet in Thalawathugoda but COVID pushed us to focus more on digital channels for growth and more business opportunities. We began posting our products on Facebook and a lot of parents reached out to us. Initially we were looking at delivering the products ourselves but with the number of orders it was proving difficult. Someone known to us told us about Flash and we started using it. Since then, we have been able to dispatch all our orders without any problems.”
PickMe is constantly innovating and upgrading their app services, and there are several new features that will soon be included in Flash. Options for multiple vehicles to be booked simultaneously, multiple drop locations for corporate customers, proof of delivery and route optimisation are some add-ons that are expected in the immediate future.