Zalo aspires to become one app to rule them all in Vietnam

Thursday, 2018-08-16 17:39:01
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Zalo Food is still under beta testing. (Image: Brands Vietnam)
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NDO - Introduced nearly six years ago as a messaging app, Zalo is now endeavouring to become a one-in-all mobile app with the recent testing of new services such as ordering food and taxis.

Over the past week, selected users have been invited by Zalo to experiment with a crop of new services, including Zalo Food, Zalo Taxi, Zalo Travel, Zalo Bank and eGovernment.

Industry experts say that the new services are within Zalo’s ambition to integrate all of the online lifestyles of Vietnamese consumers such as communication, shopping, travel, eating and entertainment into a single app, Zalo.

Though it is still in the beta phase, Zalo Food allows users to order food from restaurants near their location. Unlike Zalo Taxi, Zalo Food has not been integrated into the Zalo app but currently exists in the form of a contact titled Official Account Zalo Food in the Zalo app’s contacts screen.

This contact will send Zalo users a message containing a link to the Zalo Food website.

The website interface is relatively straightforward with a box to enter the users’ delivery address, a search box and a list of different food stores for the users to choose from.

In the delivery address box, the app will automatically determine a user’s address if their device’s location services are turned on or the user can manually type their preferred shipping address.

To choose food, users can browse a range of stores displayed below the search box, with information such as store names and estimated delivery time. When a store is tapped, users will be able to see its menu and prices, from which they can select the dishes and quantities they want and add them to the shopping cart.

After an order is made, the order details will be sent as a Zalo message. The users will later receive a call to confirm their order. The default payment method is currently cash on delivery but in the future Zalo is certain to add its electronic wallet Zalo Pay as another payment option.

Meanwhile Zalo Taxi currently only provides information on the fares of each taxi operator. With this service, when a user’s location is determined, a list of taxi companies in the area will show up and the user can tap on an operator to look up the fares or book a ride.

For now, both Zalo Food and Zalo Taxi are under testing and only available to a handful of users. Several sources state that in this way Zalo can receive feedback from users to optimise the experience with their services and new updates to the app will be released soon.

It is reported that as of May 2018, Zalo had approximately 100 million registered users.