Price watch app helps homemakers decide which to buy

August 13, 2018 12:33
Handy lah's co-founders Cheung Chung-yeung (left) and Tsang Hin-tat aim to make purchasing decisions easier for local homemakers. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong-based startup Handy lah has launched an app that provides up-to-date information on prices of various grocery items. 

In an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the company's co-founders, Cheung Chung-yeung and Tsang Hin-tat, said their platform aims to make purchasing decisions easier for local homemakers.

The app shows the prices of more than 10,000 products available at supermarket chains such as ParknShop, Wellcome and Market Place, allowing users to search the product they need and compare the prices of various brands at various outlets. 

All the grocery items and other products are categorized into eight sections, such as "Frozen Asian food”, "Dried nuts, nuts and snacks", and “Carbonated drinks”. In each category, the interface will display various brands of the goods.

The latest price as well as the historical price data of the product, which is updated before 8 a.m. every day, is displayed on the app.

The platform also publishes supermarket promotions and special sale items on a daily basis.

It also allows users to add their favorite products to a tracking list. When the product is on sale, a notification will be sent to the interested users automatically.

While the app provides the price information users, it also has a "tip-off" function that allows users to inform others of the latest offers they have found. The system deploys artificial intelligence (AI) technology to screen and check whether the information received is valid.

Handy lah plans to include more supermarket chains, snack shops and pharmacies in the platform.

"We don't want the grocery market to be overly dominated by big chain stores,” the duo said, adding that they hope the platform could help small grocery stores, especially those struggling to survive.

In fact, they plan to establish a merchant version of the app, which allows grocery stores to list down their products and update their prices.

Handy lah is available for free download at Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

The duo said they have no plans to charge users for the download, although they hope advertisements within the app will provide a new income source for the company.

Tsang said advertisements will be handled with care to avoid affecting the fairness of the platform.

"Ads will be separated from our content and price information. Advertisers’ products will not appear at the top of search results if its price is not the lowest compared with others,” he added.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 13

Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal