Philippine logistics company Xend is not only a courier service. It’s also a technology company. After around eight years of using the web to streamline courier services in the country, it’s now set to launch a mobile booking app to further extend its reach.
Unlike other local courier services in the country that focuses on having physical stores, Xend became a nice alternative for many e-commerce merchants. It lets a user to simply go to its website, create an account and schedule a pick-up. From there, someone will get the package from the person’s home or office address and send it to the desired recipient.
To date, 40 percent of its traffic comes from smartphones and tablets combined. This statistic led the team to create a mobile app. Xend founder Bjorn Pardo says:
We consider ourselves an equal part of technology, e-commerce and logistics. And something that’s convenient a couple of years ago is not convenient now. The vast majority of our client base are the micro and small merchants and we want to make it easier for them.
Through the app, users can simply schedule a pick-up from their mobile devices. The app is currently in beta testing and is expected to be available in iOS and Android stores in the next few weeks. In the near future, it will let users track the location of packages as they’re being delivered.
By tapping into technology, Xend has amassed a huge number of users. From 50,000 registered users last year, it now accumulated 90,000 registered users and an average of around 20,000 monthly active users.
Apart from the launch of the mobile app, Pardo says, 2014 will be a year of expansion for them in terms of the market and technological resources. He says:
The mobile app is just the first step to revamp our platform. There’s so many technological advancements that we haven’t tapped on yet.
One of its plans is to make payments cashless. Currently, users have to pay cash to the staff member who picks up the package. Pardo says that after taking user feedback, he found that using a cash-only payment system can sometimes become inconvenient. As a result, a long-term goal for the startup is to help move its customers away from cash and towards other payment methods. The company has already started selling pre-paid coupons on its website, and it’s currently drawing up concepts for an e-wallet.
More users soon?
Likewise, Xend continues to expand its market within the Philippines. In 2008, it saw 80 percent of its clients are in Metro Manila and only 20 percent in the provincial areas in the Luzon region. Now, it’s 50-50. Given the growth in demand in rural areas, it has already expanded into five provinces in Luzon last year.
“This 2014 a big focus of ours is expanding more,” says Pardo. Xend has more room to grow in the Philippines considering it has only tapped one portion of the overall market. This can happen soon as it also hopes to make its booking and pick-up services available in Visayas and Mindanao.
Xend also aims to expand throughout the rest of Southeast Asia by next year. While Pardo hasn’t yet decided on what country might mark the starting point, he hopes to bring Xend into a market that resembles that of the Philippines, where the bulk of commerce goes on in one or two major cities.
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)