Renovating your home? Just add to cart

Home improvement need not be stressful. In fact, it can be as simple as tapping the “add to cart” button.  

Renovating your home space? Order your construction materials online. No need to visit the hardware store. Download and select the materials to be delivered. 

Konstruk links users with the nearest hardware suppliers

Konstruk is an e-commerce platform that provides solutions to construction needs. With one click, the canvassing app can help you find the materials you need, check the prices from the different suppliers and arrange immediate delivery. 

Founder Rommel Bulalacao describes it as the “Shopee” and “Lazada” of building materials. Konstruk is unique because it directly links users to the nearest supplier in the area for easy delivery. “For example, you can buy  a bag of cement from Lazada worth P70, but the delivery price can go as high as P1000, depending on the location.” The app is equipped with a system that consolidates all purchases, so buyers are not burdened with high delivery fees.  

Mr. Bulalacao has been actively part of the construction industry for 31 years. A civil engineer by profession, prior to the e-commerce app he worked for Philsteel for 16 years. With the growing popularity of big depots and construction warehouses, he cannot help but feel sad for neighborhood hardware stores, as consumers opt for the convenience offered by big stores. 

“Brick and mortar hardware stores were getting smaller because they were being eaten by depots like Wilcon and Ace Hardware,” he said.

Apart from the massive structure which allows buyers to leisurely explore the variety of products available, big supply stores offer the convenience of credit card payments. 

“Our industry is still 90 percent traditional. Most of the businesses still follow the mom-and-pop style, like accepting only cash payments,” he said.

And for contractors, credit card purchases allow cash flow control, hence the preference for established depots. 

The lockdown proved to be a challenge for neighborhood hardware stores as there were hardly any building activities that required construction supplies. With everyone at home, frequent online purchases brought tremendous growth to internet shopping sites. 

Studying the business landscape during the lockdown Mr. Bulalacao knew that an e-commerce platform can give the industry its much-needed push. “It can digitalize the commercial trade with payment gateway and logistics support.”

With the success of internet shopping sites, he envisioned an e-commerce gateway that catered to the construction industry?  “Anything is available online. But you cannot order a truckload of cement or steel bars of different sizes from Shopee,” he said. 

With Konstruk, users are linked to the nearest supplier like neighborhood hardware stores.  These small businesses now have a chance to present their items to online users.

“The business model aims to help the community stores nationwide. If you are from Laguna, the system will direct you to the nearest store in the area for faster and cheaper delivery. It will not take you to a warehouse in Manila because delivery will be more expensive,” he said.  Their merchant list also includes wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers of construction materials.  

Konstruk also has an algorithm that determines the appropriate vehicle for the items purchased. Delivery is coursed through Transportify, Lalamove, Tokitoki, and  Ninja Van.

Rommel Bulalacao, founder and CEO of Konstruk, describes the platform as the Shopee and Lazada of building materials

The site covers nearly every item that involves home construction. Categories range from building materials, roofing materials, cement, doors, and tools, to furniture, appliance, and home insurance, and the list can go on and on. 

Just like a typical online shopping transaction, items are added to the cart, checked out, paid online via credit card or e-wallet, and delivered to your doorstep. Payment can be made via bank-to-bank transactions, credit cards, and e-wallet transactions. 

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