Inquirer Super

Premium delivery app Pick.A.Roo launches tomorrow—what are you ordering?

By: Irene C. Perez

There’s a new “premium” delivery app that promises easy lifestyle shopping and Super tested it before it’s official launch tomorrow, Aug. 18. 

Five months into the quarantine, PICK.A.ROO “all-in-one delivery” app goes live. 

The icon is a friendly, cart-pushing unicorn since PICK.A.ROO is “quick, convenient and unique,” CEO and cofounder Crystal Gonzalez (who used to manage the Honestbee delivery app when it was operating in Manila) said during a recent online introduction. 

The PICK.A.ROO app is “clean” and easy to use. It shows merchants within 10 km of your location in these categories: Grocery, Snacks & Sweets, Bakery & Café, Premium Eats, Everyday Eats, Babies & Kids, Home & Kitchen, Safety Essentials, Self Care, Pet Care, Farm-to-Table, Gifts & Hobbies, Luxury Hotels. Promos and prices compared with the actual shops may vary.  

No membership required 

PICK.A.ROO is the first startup of AGILE Digital Venture, a Megaworld company. Since last year, the team has been studying how to “redefine the Filipino shopping experience” according to founder Kevin Tan. 

Crystal said that PICK.A.ROO’s edge over competitors are “curated brands” and connection with hotels such as Shangri-La at the Fort and Manila Marriot. It carries Michelin-star restaurants such as Hawker Chan, Tim Ho Wan, Tsuta ramen and Kam’s Roast, plus prime local finds from The Grid food hall, Cru Steakhouse, Las Flores, Paradise Dynasty and The Test Kitchen by Chef Josh Boutwood. 

One can also shop in members-only hypermarkets like Central by Landers and S&R without signing up. 

This writer is one of the first 188 users who beta-tested PICK.A.ROO two days before the launch. I had the order delivered on the second day to give the team a day to adjust. I chose the earliest delivery, 10-11 a.m., hoping for fresh stocks that had less human contact. Deliveries can be scheduled in real time or up to 7 days after placing an order, with the buyer’s choice of window hours.  

Since PICK.A.ROO a location-specific app and we’re again under modified enhanced community quarantine, some stores were not available in my area, like Coco, Cold Storage Seafood, Dentiste, Banana Leaf and Via Mare. 

So it was a toss between a juicy porterhouse from Wolfgang’s Steakhouse and groceries, but I chose the more essential: S&R.  

While S&R supermarket is a 15-minute sexy walk from my place and I have a membership, I try to stay in as much as I can when not reporting for work. 

S&R items on PICK.A.ROO are plenty, from dressed chicken to undershirts, and though the items are limited (please don’t expect the whole club), the basics are there. Frozen items not on the S&R Lazada shop are listed so I got the house brand bacon and sausages, some fruits, bread, spreads, and tita things such as supplements and balms. Booze wasn’t on the listing, so I chose health and bought probiotics instead.

If available, enter your own S&R membership number (you can’t cheat on this) to get a 5-percent rebate upon checkout. Cash on delivery payment is ok, but paying via Paymaya or debit/credit card is encouraged. 

Introductory service fee for August is P168 (P80 delivery fee plus P88 shopper fee) per transaction; regular rate of P288 (P99 delivery fee plus P189 shopper fee) applies afterwards. 

As scheduled, I got a notification that “shopping has started” with the name of the attendant. She informed me through text of unavailable items (butter, bagel, chicken katsu, Yakult—better to load up the cart to save on fees in case of out-of-stock items), with a list of system-generated replacements, meaning, I can replace only with other items on PICK.A.ROO, not the whole S&R. I okayed the list and the groceries were delivered in 16 minutes. 

After sanitizing and checking expiration dates, I’m glad to report that PICK.A.ROO delivered on its promise of convenience. The challenge is for this premium service to be consistent when more users sign up. What can be improved: choices and packaging, especially in cities that ban plastic. 

Local merchants

PICK.A.ROO is a homegrown app that supports local establishments, among them, The Bamboo Company, Echostore, Vargas Kitchen, Sonya’s Garden, Jamo Solutions. 

Soon, Apple products will be sold by Beyond the Box. 

Crystal said that all riders and personal shoppers undergo coronavirus rapid testing; they are covered by life insurance and provided protective gear. But why is it called PICK.A.ROO? “Because you pick and we roll,” she said.

Try it and don’t forget to give a tip. 

PICK.A.ROO app is available on Google Play and App Store. Visit www.pickaroo.com; follow @pickarooph on Facebook, @pickarooapp on Instagram.