A Neighborly New Way to Grocery Shop: nabo
A Neighborly New Way to Grocery Shop: nabo
Community. Neighborly. These words are the genesis of why two Frisco locals created the nabo app. Meaning “neighbor” in Danish, nabo is a grocery app where neighbors can help each other by picking up items at their local store and dropping them off to one another.
At the store and have a few extra minutes? Check and see if there’s anything a neighbor needs. At home and need just a few items? See if anyone on nabo can help you out while they’re at the store.
Listen and enjoy as we explore a little more about how nabo services our community and our local nonprofits.
[00:23] What is nabo?
[02:54] How is it different?
[06:51] Who can use nabo?
[09:56] Launch date and what’s next for nabo
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Connect with Lifestyle Frisco on:
Welcome to the Frisco Podcast. I’m your host today, Kelly Walker. And we are talking to local business owners, Jim and Charith, about nabo. We’re going to learn what that means today. So welcome to the studio, guys. How are you?
Great. Thank you so much for having us here, Kelly. We really appreciate it.
Well, I know a little about nabo, but I don’t know if our audience knows everything. So I want to fill them in. The basics, I guess, is that Frisco has its own food technology startup. So tell us what that means, what it’s all about.
Aboslutely, Kelly. Thanks for having us here. We, we love being here at Lifestyle Frisco’s office. So well, the first thing is we are a delivery app and nabo means neighbor in Danish. So true to the word. We are all about neighbors. We are about building stronger communities, building stronger neighborhoods. That’s what we’re about. Now, if you take yourself back to the start of the pandemic, one of the things that we actually saw were people going out of their way to help each other, you know, I, I personally reached out to folks who were quite early in our neighborhood and said, Hey, do you guys want something? And it was just not me. Everybody was reaching out to people at, Hey, how can we help you? Think about the pandemic. Think about the snowstorm. And these are not one-off events. We know that neighbors want to help each other, but there’s just nothing out there.
When we actually looked at the market up, there are a lot of apps delivery apps, but they’re not focused towards communities. They’re all focused towards, uh, being a big economy, right? You order through the app, somebody comes and delivers at your door. They’re not transparent. The other day, in fact, I caught you a funny incident. Uh, my wife and I were talking and my wife said, Hey, uh, can you order something? That’s $5 or more from Kroger? And I said, why? She said, I want to get the bill above $35. So we don’t pay a delivery fee.
And I was like, yeah, it’s crazy. You know? So,
So we got talking together and we said, um, Jared, and I, we said, we need to bridge this gap. We need to bridge the gap and get something in the market. That’s for neighbors, for communities. And that’s how the Genesis of nabo began by trying to build a delivery app that can bridge neighbors who are at stores, buying something for them, themselves, and neighbors who are actually wanting something. So we’re at home needing help. Absolutely. We wanted to bridge that gap and that’s the Genesis of it.
Which is such the neighborly way. Exactly. Unfortunately tend to lose that over time with, with schedules and just distance. And I don’t know, there’s something about the loss of that community neighbor feel sometimes. So I love the Genesis of this and that you’re, you’re, you’re bringing that back. Like the whole, can I borrow a cup of sugar? It’s can you grab me one at the store? Right.
You know, we, we grew up with that, Hey, knock the door and say, I’m out of sugar. I need to have my cup of tea. Can I have sugar? We want to get that back. Yes. I
Love it. So you mentioned fees and delivery fees, but I want to know kind other things about what makes nabo different from other types of delivery, app delivery apps that can help people out. Yeah,
Absolutely. Kelly hope. So. You know what happened originally? When James first reached out to me and said, Hey buddy, let’s build a delivery app. And I was like, there’s so many out there in the market already. I don’t want to really focus on building a delivery app. Another one. Yeah. Another one. What’s the point? Then he was like, no, no, no, no, you gotta hear me out. Let’s let’s get together on a call one day and I’ll explain my concept. Uh, Jim and I go way back. We’ve known each other for a few years. Our kids play together. So we got together. We started talking and then he finally explained it to me. And then I got it. And then we quickly nailed it down to our mission to make this app more neighborly focused. So our mission is to bring neighbors together, make neighborhoods, uh, more neighborly. And that was the premise. And we then said, okay, so now how do we bridge that gap? And how do we make this successful? So we first and foremost said, okay, we cannot be charging exuberant fees, like other apps.
Because that takes away the simplicity of needing just two or three things.
That’s right, exactly. So if you look at some other delivery apps, they have complex fee structure. So we said, okay, none of that will make a very simple, fee structure. We’ll be very transparent with our customers. So all we do is charge a 5% or a dollar 99, whichever happens to be the most. And there is no minimum number of orders like Jim said, so people can place orders for any value. And, and next we said, okay, how do we make it bring, how do we get the neighbors together more? So they then make it local, make it local. Yeah. So we, we thought, okay, we need to implement some features like Groups feature. So imagine you have a few friends in your neighborhood who are all part of like a keto diet and you want to get together and talk about it. So we said, okay, let’s create a group feature where people can form their own custom groups and then they can, uh, help each other when they go to the grocery store and say, Hey, I’m buying this thing. And I plan to make this meal today. Does anybody want to do the same thing? I was like, okay, let’s, let’s do it. So you can, you have instant notification of somebody who’s already there in your neighborhood and they can bring something to you.
Okay. Like, as you’re talking, I’m sitting here thinking up all these people that I need in my vegan group. Right. Because, because I do, I have this community of people. They’re not all my exact direct neighbors. They’re in some other pieces of Frisco, but we talk a lot about food and Hey, where’d you get that? I saw you post that vegan butter. Where’d that come from whatever. And so, um, I already know, like that would be perfect for me. And some of my friends who eat a specific way, or like you said, just of, I don’t know, like-minded in a certain way that they shop. So that is cool. I love that idea.
And then we started thinking, Hey, if you’re already doing so much good, how can we make, uh, enable people to do more good? Uh, so we thought, okay, let’s see if we can work together with local. And how that really unfolded was that we said, okay, if we look at our target shoppers, they’re not really in it to make money. They’re just helping their neighbors out. And they just want to have fun join groups. So we said, okay, what if we give them an opportunity to donate their tips to a charity? So we partnered with a local charity. Uh, you might know this: Lovepacs. So we have successfully onboarded them to our platform,
We love Lovepacs at Lifestyle Frisco. Yes. We have partnered with them for many things and they are great. They do a lot. They work really hard to do a lot of good for this community.
I’m very, very pleased to have this feature because now there are two ways for somebody to do good. So you can help your neighbors out. And when your neighbor pays you tips like for, for your service, you have an option to say, I just want these tips to be donated to my local charity.
Yeah. Yeah. So you mentioned a shopper, um, I’m, I’m curious, like I know you’re early in this, but who is your shopper? Who do you think your shopper is? Because I do want to clarify, like you mentioned, you don’t become a shopper for nabo to make money. This is not an Uber driver or an errand runner where you’re, this is not a side job, right? This is a community centric thing where you’re, you’re grabbing stuff for your neighbors, for the good goodness of being your neighbor, right. So who, who are your shoppers? And then when someone hears this and says, okay, I need to get in on that. How do they, how do they get in on it and sign up?
Amazing question Kelly. So our typical shopper, like you rightly said is not here for the money it’s they hear from a neighborly perspective. So anybody who wants to help neighbors are our typical shoppers. And the best part about our app nabo is the shopper and the customer have the same app. You don’t have to log into a different app as a shopper. And I know in many of our competitors, you have to log into a shopper app and a customer has to log into a customer app. Both of them are so beautifully integrated in our app that you could at one instance decide to be a customer, at the very next instance, decide to be a shopper with the same app. So that’s great. Yeah. Let’s take an example of a teenager who’s on summer break and, you know, they want to help their neighbors or on some tips, they’re our typical shoppers. Let’s take an example of somebody shopping at Kroger at 11 at night. And you know, they’re like, I have some time I can see orders by a number of items by distance from my house. So they see an order that’s 50 feet from their house. They’re like, wow, I never knew they needed some OTC medic medication. You know, there are typical shoppers, anybody who wants to help neighbors.
And, and I love the idea of you’re already in this store. Don’t make them get out and go get the thing because none of us like to get out and go get, you know, a few things. None of us like to make big trips either usually, but yeah, for one or two things like it’s so nice when you don’t have to make that trip sometimes. Right.
And Kelly, as a shopper, you decide which order you want to pick up. You can decide either by tips either by a number of items, distance from my house. So when you log in as a shopper and you see the app, you can see that, Hey, I’ve got three orders, which are a hundred feet from my house. I’ve got an order which has just two items, the exact same items I’m buying. Yeah. So the control is with you. Yeah.
I love that. So yeah. When you talk about your shoppers, it’s really anybody who was going to be in a grocery store or who needs something from a grocery store, are your, your people, which is a wide range of people, right. It’s men, it’s women, it’s young, it’s old. Like it’s everybody eats everybody shops, so anybody can do. Yeah. And,
And, and also Jim and I talk about this in our, how hot, extremely hot Texas summers get here. And a lot of kids out of high school, they like to get some extra money, right. They want to, most of them, the neighbor’s lawn mowing their yard or wash cars. Now there is a new way of doing this. You can actually go and help out your neighbors and make the extra cash that way as well. The options are limitless.
Yeah. I love that. Okay. Well, at the beginning you mentioned the Genesis of this coming out, um, you know, in a year, in 2020, when it was a rough year for people and we needed to help each other. So obviously this is a young idea, right? A young concept, a young app. And I know that you’ve gone through some testing and different things. So where are you in that life cycle? And what’s, what’s next? Like what can we watch for, for nabo?
Absolutely. Kelly. So the journey so far has been incredible. I mean, for all of us here at nabo, we have, uh, started out, uh, we’ve done a lot of research and enormous amount of research. We’ve looked at other apps, we’ve done some market research and we’ve done the development and we’ve had the app used by some early adopters who gave us extremely valuable feedback. We’ve made improvements. And we’re extremely excited to announce here that, uh, we are launching the app, uh, for general availability in both app store for Apple users, iPhone users, and for, uh, Android users in Google Play Store on July 4th. So yeah, July 4th is a huge day for all Americans. I mean, that’s, that’s the, the main reason why we chose that day, because we also want to kind of bring out the people, bring out the neighborliness app. We say, Hey, we have an extremely important day that we’re all proud of. And we are going out of our way to celebrate this. Everyone gets together, everyone comes out into their-
Yeah. It’s, it’s a community day for sure. Okay. I love that. And easy to remember too.
Exactly. So very excited about that. And we can’t wait, uh, to be, uh, to tell you the truth and it won’t stop there really. Right? Like once we, once we launch, once we start, um, helping, uh, the North Texas, uh, or DFW rather, we’re going to be launching all of all over DFW. Once we start there and we have a good customer base, we are going to expand to other cities in Texas. So major cities: we are thinking Austin, we are thinking Houston and so on and so forth. And what that means is that we also need to start looking at, uh, other big retailers, more stores, more stores.
Because we didn’t touch on that, who are the store partners that you work with now?
Great. That you asked. So we have, uh, successfully onboarded, two major retailers, both Kroger and Walmart. And we also have, uh, one local, uh, business local to Frisco, in fact, a small business. And we want to kind of balance that out in our app. We want to have a good number of major retailers, um, because that’s where most people tend to shop. Yeah. But we also want to support our local businesses. I love that.
Yeah. Because there are definitely items that you, um, need to go to your specialty or your local retailers for there’s items that it goes both ways you can’t get there. And there’s some that you really want to get there. You seek them out for that reason. So that’s great that those will start popping up too more and more as you guys, as you guys fully launched and you get those, the momentum and more partners and relationships, there’ll be more that come around. Right.
Because one thing, one thing is there a Kelly, very local app, we were born out of Frisco. We, we want to make sure the community is involved. So these local, small businesses, we reached out to them and said, Hey, here’s what we have. Here’s how we can help you. Do you want to get onboarded? You know, so we’re reaching out to them actively, you know, uh, local charities, local businesses, because they’re a Frisco based startup. We have to help Frisco first. Love that.
And some of these local small businesses that are run by a mom-and-pop shops, like elderly people. They’re not too tech savvy. Right. They don’t know how to get started. So we want to help them as much as we can because, uh, and during our research, we found out that other delivery apps, uh, they charge a lot of fees to these retailers for their services. And, and that’s where we also want to focus. We want to make sure that they’re getting their fair cut and not just getting-
Yeah. Picked apart. Right? Yeah. I mean, it needs to be, it needs to make sense for them. It’s different for a big box versus the mom-and-pop. They just don’t have the margins and they can’t give as much to, you know, to a supplier, um, as, as others can. So I was curious when you talked about, um, beta testing, research and feedback, and you said you got some valuable and made some adjustments, are there any of those you want to like mention, I’m curious if there was anything cool that you learned. All that it’s always surprising, right? You don’t know what your feedback is going to come back. That’s why we do it. So I was curious if there’s anything that, um, that you learned that you’re now proud of as a feature.
So one of the things that, uh, really, uh, hit us was as we were partnering with, uh, one of the local, uh, uh, retailers, uh, local to Frisco, really, we realized that we not only need delivery, uh, feature, which we already have. That’s our, uh, the main concept, but there’s a need clear need for pickup, especially for the small, uh, retailers. We then got our, uh, dev team together. And then we decided, okay, how can we roll out this pickup feature as fast as possible, because we needed to show value to the, uh, partner. And that was an example of how we got feedback from both our early beta testers, the customers, and also a retailer. Yeah. Yeah. They said this, most people here, they actually just come to do a pickup. They they’re close by. They don’t really want to pay any fees. So, so what can you do for us?
So that’s, I just don’t want to go in the stores.
Don’t want to go in the store. They just want to stay in the car and call it and then get it delivered.
It’s so interesting how the pandemic spurred on some of these new behaviors that will continue on, right. We’ve now learned that we can do things different, a different way out of need that we had to, but that, because technology was able to shift and make, you know, accommodate those new behaviors, like they’re going to, they’re here to stay. We’re all going to shop differently from now on.
In fact there was a study that we, uh, remember James, uh, uh, we encountered, what was it like by 2025?
Oh yeah. Yeah. So around, uh, the study was around 70% of all shoppers will shop online by 2025. That is crazy. And that number is amazing. So that’s why, uh, you know, another thing that, uh, one of our, uh, shoppers said, Hey, uh, I’m not in a grocery store. What if, when are you guys going to support home improvement? So what we decide, you know, and we had this plan already. So we’re launching right now with grocery stores, but as a shopper, you’re in Michaels. You’re at Hobby Lobby. Lowe’s. Anywhere as a shopper. If you’re 7-Eleven, we’ll support you. Goodness. That’s a whole new world
To open, up to think about. Yeah. There’s days when I’ve made multiple trips to Home Depot, right? Because you just, you don’t know what you need sometimes until you’re in the project.
My wife makes me do that every time. I buy 10 bags of mulch and she’s like, I want 11. One bag of mulch.
I, yes. I know. Believe me. Did she download the app? Well, speaking of, so I’m in, I love it. I love the idea and I’m gonna invite friends and we’ll tell our, um, Lifestyle Frisco readers, obviously to sign up and we’ll target that July 4th date that everybody can use it. So are there any other final words, anything we missed that our audience needs to know before we sign off?
Well, I, I think this app really hits a home run. It’s, it’s all about, you know, helping people, helping neighbors. So if you have that mindset, I would, I would really highly recommend you go to nabodelivery.com. That’s our website. You can learn all about us, our Genesis, our idea, our vision mission, and then you can also download the app from there. So, yeah, just, just take that trip.
Yeah. And, uh, on our website, uh, nabodelivery.com, we also have, uh, put together some great tutorial videos, uh, back to your question earlier on, uh, about shoppers. So we have videos that explain how a shopper can, uh, sign up, uh, using our app and then start helping right away.
Awesome. Now, for those of you who are listening to this episode, because it rolled onto your playlist and you haven’t seen it, nabo is spelled N A B O, so, um, when we’re saying nabo delivery, that’s in N A B O delivery.com. Just wanted to make sure we said that for those who are not reading the word on the screen somewhere, so awesome. Well Charith and Jim, thank you so much for teaching us a little bit about nabo and for building it and developing this app for our community.
It was a pleasure. Thanks for having us here.
I wish I could end with the jingle, but I don’t have one. But maybe we will one day.
Yes. That’s next. After you conquer all of the home improvement stores and the craft stores and all of Texas, then you guys can get a jingle going. Well, thank you for listening to this episode of the Frisco Podcast. Remember to subscribe so you can hear us next time.