Coca-Cola has launched the ‘Coke2Home’ app in the Indian Ocean atoll that facilitates consumers to order their favourite Coca-Cola beverages online.

For Ibrahim Juman, a resident of Male, a beautiful Indian Ocean atoll in the heart of Maldives, life over the past few months has become a tad easier. Gone are the days when he had to maneuver through the city’s traffic-clogged streets to frequent his preferred retail store to buy bottles of water or, for that matter, his favourite beverages.

Recalls Juman how carrying heavy cases of water on a daily basis while returning home from work formed a usual chore of his life - at least till sometime back. Not that it made life difficult as such, but it albeit was a tedious process given that the air traffic controller and master trainer stays on the third floor of an apartment with his wife and child.  Now, he simply orders online.

Juman is not the only one. Scores of people have started embracing the digital wave in Male and ordering online, thanks to the Coke2Home app that The Coca-Cola Company, or Coke, launched in Maldives in July 2017 What’s interesting is over 18 per cent of the city households are already catered through it; and given the convenience associated with the app, experts point out that the number is expected to ramp up significantly in the months to come.

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Going forward, the company plans to launch the app in Hulhumale’ and Addu in this tropical paradise, that will save the customer the pains of schleping heavy bags and cans around streets, and enable them to order at convenience.

Adds Hamdhoon, another resident and businessman living in Male says: “Order placing takes just a few seconds now and its hassle free.” Consumers can now pay online and track the delivery real-time that in turn help them cut down on their anxiety of waiting for their order and schedule their day accordingly. Earlier, I used to call nearby shops multiple times for the delivery.”

Albeit, the newly-launched Coke2Home app does away, in one fell-swoop, with many pain points in the traditional buying process that would have discouraged a customer and delayed the buying decision. For instance, there is now no need to log on to a PC to order any of the Coca-Cola beverages or water bottles. The app simply allows thirsty consumers to order their favourite beverages under the Coca-Cola umbrella anytime, anywhere on their mobile phones, and have them delivered right at their doorstep.

Nushry, who recently ordered five cases of Bonaqua water bottles, confesses that he had “never expected” the company to deliver them on the same day.” But the Sri Lankan settled in Maldives goes on to add: “They delivered it…friendly delivery staff. Great service compared to other water companies.”  For Nushry, the app has come in as a boon as he keeps very hectic hours and typically gets back home when all shops are closed.

Echoing the same sentiment, Fathmath Abdulla adds: “My address is difficult to find as it is inside a small unnamed lane off the main road. So, the delivery staff had to go through a lot of trouble to find it. Despite this, they made sure to deliver a few hours after I placed the order.”

The Click-till-Delivery Process

The Coke2Home app - a first of its kind in the beverages industry in Maldives, allows consumers to set multiple delivery locations and tag them to a single user ID.  So, they can order from anywhere, and get their drinks delivered to their home or office.

“I liked the option of managing multiple addresses from a single account,” says Mohammed Rifaz, one of the customers delighted by the new user experience. “I order to my office, home and my mom’s place.”

For Razzaq, who works as admin-in-charge at the Auditors General Office, taking care of the basic necessities of the employees is always at the core. Given that the company headcount is over 140 people, he used to often find it much difficult to get water to office. “Now with the eco-friendly option of 18.9ltr Flagon, I have found a great solution.”

Razzaq has not only registered on Coke2Home App but he also orders Flagons Jars for all his colleagues in his office.  “My biggest worry has been taken care of,” he says with a beaming smile.

For Coca-Cola, however, the all-new digital strategy is in line with its global ambition to become a digital-first business. The company recently said that it has given itself a five-year timeline to drive home a digital transformation plan across the world.

Internet penetration in Maldives, says a study, grew from a mere 6.9 per cent in 2005 to a whopping 53.6 per cent in 2016 – a rise that experts say, highlights the potential of online consumption in the beautiful island nation. It is this connected customer who is the cornerstone of Coke’s digital strategy.

Currently, 3000 consumers are registered on the Coke2Home app. The insights into consumer preferences that the app provides, the improvement in consumer connect, and the ability to promote discounts and value deals make it a valued tool for the consumers.

For Coca-Cola that currently enjoys over an 85 per cent share of the sparkling drinks market in Maldives, the app establishes a direct communication link with consumers of Male, which will be soon extended to Hulhumale and Addu Islands in the country. The island country depends heavily on bottled drinking water, and most households buy 5-litre bottles. But the app is helping Coke push under-24 hour delivery of 20 litre refillable water bottles to its consumers, thus reducing its environmental impact.

With internet penetration increasing every year and the number of smartphone users surging, it has become almost imperative for corporates today to adopt diverse strategies and transform their distribution channels and consumer touch points to accelerate digital access to customers to remain relevant and competitive.

For Coke, however, the journey in Maldives has been thirty years long and its recently-launched app is yet another ‘feather to its cap’ as the world’s largest beverage maker innovates and iterates from all its new learnings. Finally, as the saying goes, it’s all about a continuous journey with an attempt to slide into the everyday hum of its customers’ lives.