Category: Business

The Success Behind Jipan’s E-store: The Artisanal Japanese Cuisine

Every company knows that the F&B Industry is very competitive, fast-paced, and busy. One needs grit, passion, and the right attitude to be able to thrive and think on their feet to make their business run long-term. Jipan is known as the home of artisanal Japanese Cuisine. Famous for its deliciously baked pastries and well-loved goodies, it’s no mystery that it’s part of what brought success to their name in the business. Read further to learn more! 

Jipan’s Beginnings:  

Steph Brimo, the owner of the sensational Jipan- has over a decade of experience in the Food and Beverage Industry. Her passion in her business led her to step up their marketing efforts especially during the pandemic. She partnered with ZAP to set up their online store for Jipan in hopes that it will help their business cater to customers who wanted to purchase without them leaving their homes due to the current situation brought by the pandemic. She saw great potential in the seamless transactions they could offer to her customers with ZAP. In 2021, Jipan gained a 66% increase in their total sales by opening an additional sales channel to cater to more customers in their E-store! 

Creative Marketing Strategies:

In a webinar called November Holiday Season Sales, Steph Brimo shared that when Jipan’s e-store was created they began making their marketing strategies more creative in order to engage customers and reel them in through activities like online shopping “It helped spread the word of our brand and help customers buy bread without having to go to the store.” She shared. Strategizing production, ingredients, testing, thinking of items that are “stay at home” themed and DIY packaging for gifting it are just some of the things that they thought to incorporate with their products. In order to communicate better with their customers, Jipan, along with ZAP Team’s services utilizes Shopify’s email blast and sms blast, tailoring it to their offers to the customers.  

Customer- Centric

Jipan also shared that they are continuously building relationships with customers with their products and services through being active online with their pages and website. Flyers with a code directing customers to their estore are also included in all their packaging in-store,  so that their customers will be reminded about their estore.

Jipan with ZAP E-store

Jipan along with more than 2,000 merchants have trusted the ZAP Team to help them thrive and set up their online success by offering e-store platforms , ZAP Fetch, and Loyalty Programs to make the best out of their marketing efforts. ZAP will equip you to accept, fulfill, and deliver orders to customers with ease with your very own branded eCommerce website. Give customers an easy-to-use online ordering platform for instant or scheduled pick up or delivery. Interested? Contact us

ZAP’s Loyalty Food and Beverage Merchants: A Testimony

If you’re in the Food and Beverage Industry in 2022, transitioning into digitized service to make a more efficient and effective marketing approach is the game to serve your food and drinks better. 

Here’s a closer look at how digitalization has helped restaurants bounce back. Hear from our Loyalty Merchants! 

The Rise of Digitalization on The Food and Beverage Industry: 

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), expects six percent sales growth in the Philippine Food and Beverage Industry. It’s because of the rise and transition of businesses being able to make their products and services available online and implementing loyalty programs for their customers. 

Digitalization has aided restaurants in operating more efficiently with the implementation of self-ordering kiosks, which is ideal for collecting relevant customer data, reducing the time and money spent on manual errors, and cutting down on labor costs.

The rise of digital technology have helped restaurants provide more than dine-in offerings. It has allowed customers to enjoy their food without leaving the house. Contactless payments, delivery services, online and in-app ordering options, loyalty and rewards programs, drive-thru, and curbside pickup are some examples of innovations restaurants are trying to adopt.

Testimonies of ZAP’s Loyalty Merchants:

ZAP’s Loyalty Program: Even Beyond Covid-19

Launching a membership program can be daunting as it is something new to your marketing strategy. With the ZAP team, we make your life easier by offering premium account management services. We will guide you through the creation of the program, launch and in-store training.

ZAP’s Loyalty Program enables merchant’s to recruit loyal customers and make their membership and shopping experience exciting! With the Philippines’ growing Food and Beverage Industry, sustaining your company’s edge in the marketplace is a must. Discuss your business with us!

E-Store: Is It The Right Medium for My Business? 

In the last five years, there has been explosive growth in numerous industries, and online shopping is only one example. In 2022, the global e-commerce sector is expected to reach a staggering $5.55 trillion, in fact, it is anticipated to increase even higher in the coming years. There’s no denying that the growth of e-commerce has changed the way people shop, and it challenges entrepreneurs to meet the demand of the consumers.

In the world of e-commerce, numerous technologies allow for fast responses and round-the-clock service, both of which greatly benefit the satisfaction of customers. With a fast-paced society and a very competitive industry, beginning an online store may be the best option. Given that an online store can operate without the overhead costs and limited space of a physical shop, it’s simple to see why so many business owners are drawn to this innovation. Read on to know more about well-known shops that have shifted to becoming E-stores and how it helped them thrive and stay in the market!

This is My Food Type Industry: Is E-store still for me? 

We can all see how both fast food joints and even fancy restaurants are  embracing technology to improve their customers’ dining experiences. Many businesses are making the transition to either switch or add online retail as a sales channel because it allows them to reach a larger customer base with fewer resources than are necessary for brick-and-mortar locations, but is it applicable to any type of industry? 

Below are some of the well-known businesses in the Food and Beverage Industry with different types of product offerings that utilize E-stores:


Vikings is one of the best buffet experiences in the country, featuring a variety of flavours that can’t be found elsewhere. However, is there a need to shift to an E-store with this kind of industry? Vikings seemed to think it would be beneficial. Currently,  they have utilised different E-commerce approaches like loyalty programs, promos & discounts, and creating a website that allows customers to read blogs and reviews and be notified of current exciting deals! Their decision to add an E-store as another sales channel has made the buffet resto unlock new opportunities making Vikings more flexible with the different demands of customers- be it in physical stores or online! 

Macao Imperial Tea   

Macao Imperial Tea is best known for its Espresso line that offers ice-blended drinks and many other varieties of beverage that caters especially to sweet-tooth consumers. However, the milk tea industry has been emerging with more competitors making the market a tough sector to survive at. Competition in the milk tea market has heated up significantly over the years providing customers with a wider selection. Businesses risk losing customers if they don’t modify their strategies to accommodate the changing demands. Fortunately, Macao Imperial Tea has proactively decided to jump into the transition in establishing an E-store and has now adopted cashback points that entice customers to keep coming back! Currently, Macao is still one of the leading players in the market.

Jipan Cafe & Bakeshop  

On-the-spot bakery goods, including pastries, bread, and cakes, have made Jipan Cafe famous. Besides pastries, they also offer a variety of traditional Japanese dishes. But as we all know, baked goods and sushis are perishable inventory so if they aren’t sold today, they will most likely end up in the bin. By establishing an online presence, Jipan Cafe & Bakeshop has created another sales channel that would lessen the risk of having inventory go to waste.  Being an E-store has also helped the bakeshop garner more customers through their loyalty programs and by adding pick-up or delivery services that can be accessed online. 

Food and Ecommerce Industry with ZAP E-store

For well over two years, nearly all of us have relied on online shopping and delivery services to satisfy what we want. To meet this demand, many companies are outsourcing development teams to create custom apps for marketing efforts.

But with ZAP Group,  building an online presence couldn’t be easier! ZAP connects consumers to different food and beverage businesses through e-store services that power online order fulfilment and build a relationship with customers that makes them want to come back. 

Businesses don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars for expensive website developers. Simply contact the ZAP team, and they’ll provide you with just about everything you need for a fully functional and effective online store!

‘More than just discounts’: with Zap Affiliate Circle, we help you earn

Ever wondered how your favorite celebrities, personalities, and influencers get to give discounts on their favorite brands via special links and promo codes? Well, if you have, those promotions are part of an advertising strategy called affiliate marketing. 

Affiliate marketing is when brands allow themselves to be marketed by other entities (called “affiliates”) so that their products get recommended to the affiliates’ audience. These are frequently in exchange for a commission from successful purchases. These recommendations can often be seen on blogs, websites, or social media platforms. Think of it as the spirit of word-of-mouth advertising but transferred onto the digital space.

Earlier, we did say that this practice is most common with celebrities, influencers, and generally people with me substantial clout, but what if we told you that you can now do the same to your organic network? That is just one of the beauties of Zap’s Affiliate Circle.

The Zap Affiliate Circle 

You can think of Zap’s affiliate marketing program, called the Zap Affiliate Circle, as a merging of their past and present. Zap started as a company focused on being a loyalty and rewards programs provider to F&B businesses before growing its scope to include its E-Store service to help restaurants manage orders and deliveries online amidst the pandemic.

Now, with the Zap Affiliate Circle, we see the restaurant discounts we’ve grown to love from Zap front and center once again. However, Zap takes the concept further and mixes it with the idea of commissions via affiliate marketing.

When you sign up to the Zap Affiliate Circle, you get to register to as many restaurant affiliate programs that you want to be part of, and you get 5% from each successful purchase using your assigned link and promo code. And when we say “as many,” we mean there is no limit to the number of programs you can sign up for!

How does it work?

There are 4 simple steps to joining the Zap Affiliate Circle:

  1. Go to this website and register as an affiliate with any of the programs available – Go over the list of Zap’s affiliate merchants; we’re sure you’ll find some of your favorites! There is Macao Imperial Milk Tea, NYFD, and Sugarhouse, to name a few. Pick the brands you love and want to support, and press the register button below their name.
  2. Fill up the registration form per affiliate program – There’s no limit to how many affiliate programs you want to be part of! If you wish to register with all merchants, be our guest. Just don’t forget to put your name, social media accounts, and bank details.
  3. Be the influencer you want to be. Promote your discount promos! – Onto the exciting part! Once you’ve successfully registered, you will receive custom links via email. This takes about a week, at the latest. Share these links on your personal platforms – whether it’s your blog, a Youtube video, or your social media accounts. Encourage people to click the link and use the discount promo codes.
  4. Watch the money come in – Sit back, relax, and witness the magic of commissions. You will earn a 5% commission every time a customer purchases from a Zap E-Store merchant partner through your link. You can literally make money as you sleep!

Need more convincing?

We know affiliate marketing is relatively new in the Philippines, and some of you might feel alienated diving into this technology. However, just like how Zap guided numerous F&B businesses through the pandemic with our E-Store, we also want to ease your adoption of this innovation. We have designed our platform to be easy for you to choose your brands and generate affiliate links – that you can use instantly!

Beyond that, as a Filipino company, Zap has made it its advocacy to support local businesses. And now, we want to give our users the same opportunity. You can choose from various local businesses and become an affiliate of the brand you want to support.

And lastly, if you’re in the business of community management and engagement, what better way to grow your following and make your community feel special than with special promos exclusive to them?

So what are you waiting for? Be part of the Zap Affiliate Circle today! Learn more by clicking here.

Is your restaurant ready for our new hybrid reality?

Photo by Bluerhinomedia

As our world begins to open up again and we start to realize that the leisures we indulged in before, like dining out, are finally here to stay (hopefully!), restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs are faced with a new question. How will they integrate the new way of life they built during the pandemic with the fulfilling dine-in experience they will be returning to?

Two years in, we all know how the pandemic taught F&B businesses the importance of going online. It was an “evolve or perish” scenario where all had to embrace digital in one form or another. Whether that be merely accepting online payments to setting up their own websites and e-commerce platforms. However, full hybridization – where equal priority is given to creating a fulfilling experience both online and on-ground for your restaurant – presents a new set of challenges.

For example, how do you bring the loyal online customers you’ve cultivated over the pandemic to your store and vice-versa? Is there a way to apply the customer programs you’ve built over the pandemic to in-store dining? And most importantly, how do you still keep your online store appealing?

Innovate and differentiate

Photo by Sam Lion

Just as COVID-19 forced many restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs to pivot, so should this “return to normal.” Think of it as the final stage of your business’ transformation – from in-store to online to a total merging of the two. 

What were the best experiences customers garnered dining in-store that you couldn’t replicate online? What were the best practices that made your business thrive amidst the pandemic? Can these things go together?

Designing restaurant operations in this new hybrid reality doesn’t necessarily mean a uniform experience covering online and in-store. Hybridization also entails customizability and applying channel-specific best practices; it is about complementing rather than being identical.

For example, over the pandemic, a business created take-home kits and frozen trays for their best-selling dishes so that patrons could experience these products from the comforts of their homes. Just because the in-store dining is as lively as it once was, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these new pandemic-born products have to be offered in-store too.

Plan for variety. Create products offerings that are exclusively online. Create special discounts for products purchased in-store. Think of ideas that encourage people to explore your channels.

A digital platform like Zap E-store can help you with inventory management, lessening the burden of manually organizing online and in-store offerings. As the pandemic taught us, use digital tools to streamline processes. The less time spent on procedures, the more time for creativity and innovation.

Incentivize, online and in-store

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

A service like Zap E-Store allows you to directly see which customers keep coming back to your F&B business without the stress of exorbitant commission fees. Use this to your advantage in growing closer to your audience.

Ideally, your online and in-store presence complement each other, and this forms a nice loop in the customer journey. Using a rewards program gives you the power to not just solely incentivize online and in-store purchases; it allows you to encourage both.

For example, online deliveries and purchases can lead to discounts or freebies that can be availed on the customer’s next dine-in. Likewise, dine-in patronage can also lead to delivery discounts, promos, and other deals.

Having an E-store powered by Zap allows you to own your food business. Your store, your customers, YOUR control.

Customer service translates

Photo by Mentatdgt

Lastly, all these efforts to assure that customer experience is a priority amount to something greater: they tell your audience that you care for them and that you are willing to go through multiple pivots to put their needs front and center.

Excellent service translates to customer loyalty. By streamlining your online workflow and removing manual processes like inventory management and delivery coordination, you get to have more time to get to know your customers. Interacting with them, thinking of promos and products for their benefit, rewarding them for continued patronage. 

This online interaction has the same heft as that built through conventional in-store means pre-pandemic. Your customers knowing that you put the effort for them encourages them to believe that you would do the same for their in-store dining experience. There is already trust on which to build a long-standing relationship.

Be creative and innovate, play around with what you can offer online and in-store, incentivize loyalty, and, most importantly, whatever the channel, keep customer service as the top priority. These are the values that will keep your restaurant ready for our new hybrid reality.

Building Your Community of Customers

How creating a community of customers helps your business

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels

Whether you’re a business owner or a customer in the Philippines, you will have heard the term “suki” at least once in your life. Translated, a “suki” is what those in the business world often call a repeat customer. These are the groups and individuals who swear by a brand or product and will, as the name suggests, come back for more. Repeat customers are more likely to repurchase a particular product or even venture further into what a business has to offer because of the existing rapport that has been established between brand and customer.  

Such customers come in all shapes and sizes and each individual will have their own reasons for staying loyal to a brand or product. Whether their loyalty is due to product satisfaction or even sentimental reasons, these people are essential to the growth and success of any business. They are also most likely to promote the brand to their own circles and communities on their own account, which allows the brand’s following to grow with minimal effort or expense in advertising and marketing. 

Creating the community

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

But how can you turn your one-time customers into repeat customers? There are many ways, and we’ve summarised some best business practices that might help you turn your next customer into your next “suki.” 

  1. Keep the conversation going. One example of keeping in touch with your customers is through SMS marketing. In this day of Ecommerce websites and online shopping platforms, establishing a relationship with your customers may seem more complicated. You may think that the lack of person-to-person contact is a hindrance to community creation, but it’s not! Using SMS gives businesses a direct and personal line to their market, allowing them to offer and remind people of ongoing promotions or even informing them of new products available.
  1. Reward loyalty. There are many variations of how loyalty to a brand can be rewarded. Some of them are through loyalty cards that allow customers to accumulate points in exchange for their in-person or online purchases. Others have more elaborate customer loyalty programs that offer a whole catalogue of rewards. Whatever program a business chooses, it’s important that the customer feels their loyalty is being appreciated. 
  1. Build a database. An added benefit of the ever-growing Ecommerce platform is the ease of creating a hub of customer profiles. Because their purchases are done online, a business gets invaluable information on who their customers are and what they’re buying. That way, you can easily craft marketing campaigns or even new products with the needs and wants of your customers at the forefront. What better way to make sure they come back for more! 

How can ZAP help? 

Zap’s loyalty program, available both for physical and e-commerce stores, can be adapted to the needs of any business. Through this tool, you can collect data on your customers and create targeted SMS campaigns just for them. Customers simply have to register through whichever option is most convenient to them – by entering their mobile number via the in-store merchant tablet or by purchasing on the Zap E-Store platform. 

Other than that, Zap also offers various automations to complement its SMS blast system – from time-based automations to customized or targeted texts, this ensures that a company is able to stay in touch with its clientele, thus increasing its chances of creating a community of repeat customers. 

Photo by nappy from Pexels

Once a member is registered, their information becomes key to a brand or business’s engagement with them. The more we know about our community, the better we can serve their needs. It’s really that simple! 

One of Zap’s partner companies – Nature Republic – a Korean skincare brand that’s all the rage in many parts of Asia and beyond, makes use of Zap’s many loyalty program features to engage with their clients. Through the data collected by Zap, Nature Republic is able to offer its customers specific rewards, such as birthday coupons, and promotions that are specifically targeted to their needs, such as skin care products for varying skin types.
Ready to take the next step in building your business’s community? Check out for physical stores and for Ecommerce platforms for more information on how you can partner with Zap!

#UnpopularOpinion: Your Favorite Small Business Might Not Be Making Money

Photo credits: Photo by

and here’s why:

Supporting local businesses has been a widespread movement for Filipinos since the pandemic started, with #LoveLocal and #SupportLocal hashtags trending on most platforms. However, despite the support, a significant portion of the revenue generated for these small businesses don’t actually go to the business itself! 

Small food businesses lose 20-30% of their revenue to third party platforms

When the pandemic hit, a lot of food businesses were faced with a giant problem: Hhow can they sell on a digital space without losing a chunk of their revenue to third party platforms like GrabFood or Foodpanda?

When a local or small food business joins a third party platform, chances are they’ll need to pay commission fees amounting to 20-30% of their profits, with most micro businesses on the higher end. Why? Because only larger merchants are given the advantage of negotiating these fees down, in exchange for bringing in a certain volume of orders to the platform in question.

Kaloka, ‘di ba? Let’s run the numbers.

Our sample merchant, Alfredo Bakery, is a small home-based business. They wanted to scale up and opted to sell on Foodpanda. The commission fee they were given was 25%. That means, for an order worth P500, Foodpanda immediately gets a commission of P125, leaving the business with only P375.

However, there are other costs to take into account: food cost, which can be anywhere from 30-50% of revenue, staff salary, and location rent, to name the major operational expenses. If Alfredo Bakery had a monthly revenue of P100,000, a total of P25,000 would be lost to platform fees alone.

Alfredo Bakery’s Monthly Profit Margins & Operational Expenses

Despite the increase in food delivery orders, can a small business actually survive with these costs?

The solution most small business owners turned to was to start with accepting orders using Facebook or Instagram. Other business owners set up their own ordering website on easy-to-use platforms like Shopify. 

Unfortunately, the accessibility and user-friendly interface of the Grab app or Foodpanda still have customers turning to them first before ordering directly from the business, leaving them with tighter margins.

Photo credits: Photo by Hanako

As compared to sales on platforms with high commission fees, sales from direct channels (even with promos) give merchants higher margins. To encourage ordering directly from merchants businesses opt to run these win-win campaigns to promote such channels. As Abi Dinaya, Hanako’s Marketing Associate shares, We try to match the discounts offered on 3rd party platforms on our own [direct] channels [and] another inevitable tactic was to mark-up our prices on [third party] platforms and match their low delivery rates.”

Thankfully, Abi says that Hanako’s sales are growing by the month, with the help of their consistent promotions. Check out for exclusive website promos!

As a consumer, how can I effectively support small local food businesses?

The answer is simple: spare a quick minute to search for your favorite local food businesses’ direct selling channels – be it on Facebook, Instagram. e-commerce ordering websites, like Shopify, also provide a more convenient experience for both customers and business owners, since products and their prices are immediately displayed, and payment can be done online as well without manual processing.

“As a local brand, we appreciate [your] continuous patronage for a local Japanese restaurant like ours! We look forward to [continuing] to satisfy [your] authentic cravings. 💚”

– Abi Dinaya, Hanako
Photo credits: Photo by Hanako

Many small businesses are trying their best to survive and push past the many hurdles from the pandemic; however, small mindful changes in our buying habits may just give them a fighting chance to thrive.

Do you have a food business, but don’t have the time to set up an ecommerce store on your own? Let ZAP help you! Visit our website at!