KhmerToGo.com can’t solve the capital’s traffic problem, but it can keep residents and restaurant owners from getting stuck in it.
The new online supermarket is set to go fully operational next week, offering what it claims will be the country’s most comprehensive selection of wholesale and retail grocery items for online ordering and delivery.
“We have the whole [market] covered and no one else is doing that,” said James Dumar of 3nokor, the local website design company that developed the e-commerce platform.
Having soft-launched in October, KhmerToGo.com offers an extensive selection of food and beverage items – everything from kitchen staples to bulk foods and gourmet specialties.
Hundreds of items are already on the site and Dumar said the catalogue could swell to 4,000 items by the end of the month.
While the online supermarket is open to retail customers, Dumar said it is mainly aimed at wholesale buyers, such as restaurants and hotels, which buy in bulk.
“Restaurants don’t want to go Thai Huot and just buy individual steaks; they want to buy whole tenderloin and cut their steaks themselves,” he explained.
“We have tenderloin in six different grades, even Wagyu beef – it costs about $140 a kilo – and there is nobody else who is offering that,” he continued.
“But if they want to drop down and get the Indian buffalo beef for $7 a kilo, we have that as well.”
Beyond selection, the online catalogue allows customers to identify product availability in real time, avoiding unnecessary run-around.
This is particularly valued by restaurant staff, who must often visit several supermarkets or wholesalers when searching for a particular product, which may be out of stock, Dumar said.
KhmerToGo.com gives “people a complete and up-to-date catalogue, and if an item does go out of stock, they’ll get a timely notice of that, which allows them time to plan”, he added.
Products on the website are supplied by local and international suppliers, and shipped from a central warehouse in the capital’s Tuol Kork district.
Orders are shipped on a cash-on-delivery basis, though Dumar said the company intends to contract with a third-party payment provider in future.
There are also plans to offer delivery to customers in Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang – though he declined to provide details.
The response to the online grocery platform has been positive so far, said Dumar, adding that four restaurants had already begun ordering from the site.
Traditional food wholesalers played down the presence of the upstart online rival.
Koem Sophan, one of the managers at Danmeats Selection Ltd, a Phnom Penh-based wholesaler of meats, said his 200 restaurant customers are well served by the existing call-in ordering system.
“It’s very easy,” he said. “My customers just write an email [to order] or call by phone, and we prepare [goods] for them. And when they get [the order] they send back the money.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KOURCHETTANA KUN