Grab unveils back-end tech to help merchants scale their businesses


Good news to Grab's merchants!

Grab has worked on several back-end technology products to help merchants scale their businesses and serve more customers beyond her dine-in space.

During a presentation, Grab's case study was Nong, a noodle house owner in Thailand who dreams of taking her family recipe nationwide one day.


• Today, 95% of GrabFood & GrabMart merchants are onboarded within 3 days.

• With self-onboarding, new merchants like Nong can sign up via the GrabMerchant app and have their stores activated quickly. Merchants can also activate multiple services at once, such as listing their restaurant on GrabFood and activating GrabPay in-store payment.

  • Input business and store information
  • Grab reviews application
  • Track onboarding status
  • Rectify errors (if any)

Setting up shop for success 

1. AI Photo Engine

Grab’s AI-based photo engine detects poor-quality photos (e.g. stretched, blurry, unrelated) and are flagged for review or instantly blocked. Merchants will also be alerted to upload a better photo. Our system can also de-stretch photos.

2. Employee Profiles

• Business owners like Nong can assign user profiles for a different level of access:

o Owner: Full access, including the ability to view and manage other outlets and more

o Store manager: Partial access, including updating store information, buying ads and supplies and

tracking sales history

o Cashier: Limited access to order and payment-related features 

One-stop learning resource with GrabAcademy

• Structured training can raise merchants’ service level quality, and help their business growth.

• Grab is bringing its training program, GrabAcademy, into the GrabMerchant app soon, with additional enhancements that will roll out in phases:

• Content recommendation which can identify and recommend relevant training content based on its rule engine which identifies merchants’ business performance and needs.

• Engaging video and text-based courses to mimic 1:1 training

• Progress tracker to help keep merchant-partners’ completion rates and for us to know what is working


Managing crowd with Store Status 

• Merchants can switch among three modes depending on their ability to handle more incoming orders:

o Normal: Default mode.

o Busy: Ability to key in more prep time required and ETA is extended accordingly. 

o Pause: Merchants cannot take in more order; users cannot place orders for a period of time.

Chat with Support

• Merchants who need support can go through the Help Center within GrabMerchant, and choose to chat with a CE agent in-app.

• When Grab first launched the in-app chat feature, we noticed that 25% of chat users become unresponsive after waiting 5 to 10 minutes for support staff to be available.

• Grab is enhancing its Chat feature with a dynamic queue formula which will direct merchants to other support channels if the expected wait time is long.


Menu Insights to know what sells and what don’t

• With Menu Insights, merchants can view the sales performance of each item, as well as the top menu item combinations.

• Merchants can upsell by creating combo pairings within minutes, based on in-app recommendations.

 Self-serve Marketing tools to boost visibility and sales

• In just a few clicks, and just a few dollars, merchants can create different combinations of ads and promotions via Grab’s Ads tool.

1. Promotions tool for merchants to create discount or promo campaigns to encourage trial for specific menu items. Merchants can also choose to participate in Grab-led campaigns.

2. Banner Ads which offer high-visibility on the GrabFood homepage to promote an existing promotion. The app automatically pulls all existing promotions for the merchant to choose from, and generates a banner for preview as well as provides suggestions for the target audience and campaign duration based on what it knows.

3. Search Ads enable merchants to appear at the top of the search ranking to target consumers with specific intent. Grab also provides recommended keywords for merchants to ensure relevance and scale.

GrabMerchant Portal - a back office solution

Three years later, Nong has successfully expanded her noodle house to 30 stores across Thailand. She now needs a single, consolidated view of the business performance across all her outlets.

• The GrabMerchant portal provides merchants with a single view of their business performance across outlets and Grab services.

• The portal enables back-office staff to see in-depth insights:

1. Make instant changes to menus across all outlets.

2. Easy accounting, reconciliation and financial reporting – saving merchants ~30 hours/month

3. Provides in-depth insights across multiple functions such as business, operations, menu

performance, marketing and customer insights.

• The portal comes with much more in-depth insights than what’s available in the GrabMerchant app:

• Operational insights: individual outlet performance; peak hour distribution; driver wait time & order

ratings; as well as any lost orders and reason why.

• Customer insights: percentage of new, existing and returning customers; customer retention &

purchase frequency; demographic; as well as rating and reviews.

Grab meanwhile shared with me that Grab and its various verticals offer numerous promotional campaigns and discount opportunities throughout the year as a way to thank its loyal users. These include seasonal and thematic campaigns such as the recent “Summer Bahaycation” and “Taste the World” campaigns. One of the most popular offers from Grab is the “Sakto Sweldo” Deals during which selected MEX and verticals offer as much as 30% discount.


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