Who would’ve thought that a simple roadside stall in Chinatown more than 60 years ago could be a successful online seafood retailer today? Despite the traditionally offline practice of shopping for seafood, 9s Seafood (“nice seafood”) has successfully brought the wet market experience online, sans the smell, wetness, and noise.
The 3rd generation business offers a large variety of both fresh and frozen seafood (such as fish, lobsters, and sashimi-grade items) as well as complementary staples and condiments that can be coupled with their seafood to cook up a hearty meal in the comfort of your home.
Understanding how challenging it can be for customers to buy seafood online by only relying on pictures, 9s Seafood works to build trust through the quality of their products and their dedicated and personalised customer service.
On choosing quality seafood
To ensure that they only bring in seafood of the best quality, the crew personally chooses them every night at the fishery port. Eddie Seetho, the founder of 9s Seafood, shares that the three-hour-long process is typically handled by two teams that will arrive early to ensure they get the freshest catch from their trusted suppliers whom they have spent decades building relationships with.
In addition to buying from trusted suppliers, there are some key indicators of quality seafood that the crew will look out for – its appearance, firmness, eyes, and gills. When choosing seafood, its original patterns and colours should be obvious, bright, and not faded. This is especially so for fishes like Groupers and shellfish like Flower Crabs, both of which have very distinct spots and colours. The flesh should also be firm and springy to touch, not soft and sunken in. For fish, their eyes should be bright, not dull and cloudy, and their gills should be bright red. However, Eddie mentions, the appearance of fish eyes and gills can be manipulated and hence should not be regarded as lone indicators of freshness. At the fishery port, the crew will perform basic quality checks and if the products are not up to their standards, they will not be sold to 9s Seafood customers. The crew also performs basic cleaning of the products before they are sent to the wet markets and warehouse for further processing.
Perishables are not always easy to handle, especially when it comes to seafood. However, 9s Seafood has it well under control with their careful management of packaging and temperature throughout their entire purchasing and delivery process. To ensure the products are kept fresh throughout the whole process from sourcing to delivery, they are vacuum-sealed immediately after processing, stored in freezer rooms, and kept and transported in lots of ice. In addition, all processing areas are kept at an optimal temperature to preserve the freshness of their products.
Going above and beyond
The team at 9s Seafood prides themselves on delivering exceptional customer service at every step of the way. From the preparation and packaging of these ingredients, to the delivery and post-delivery experience of customers.
Not only do they patiently reply to customers’ queries regarding their products, they also establish relationships with their customers by remembering the preferences of regular customers, and ensuring that they are satisfied with the quality of the products ordered.
Hours of hard work go into the final product that is delivered to customers’ doorsteps as the team meticulously processes each item from 3am to 8am daily. Not only do they clean the fish thoroughly by gutting and descaling, but what sets them apart from other seafood companies is the kinds of cuts they offer.
Customers can choose from a wide range of cuts and the crew is able to customise to individual requests. Here are the different cuts that 9s Seafood offers:
Instead of just stacking the fish on top of one another, 9s Seafood takes the extra step to arrange their fish neatly side by side before vacuum-packing them. This prevents the slices from sticking together and thus makes them easier to separate when frozen. Other products are also packed individually in a well-protected manner. For instance, their boxed and canned products are wrapped separately to keep them dry and prevent denting.
To ensure a high standard of cleanliness at all times, the team also washes the processing room frequently during their daily processing. This significantly cuts down on the “fishy” smell lingering on their packaging, which means customers need not worry about their purchases stinking up their refrigerator.
With customer convenience and satisfaction in mind, 9s Seafood takes steps to keep their customers informed at every point of their order. The team will send customers a reminder via Whatsapp before their scheduled delivery and check in on their satisfaction regarding the products after delivery.
The 9s choice
With their conscientiousness in sourcing the freshest seafood to their exceptional customer service, it is no wonder that 9s Seafood can maintain their perfect five-star ratings, with reviews singing praises of their products and service. From their family favourites – Sea Bass and Fresh Prawns, to their gourmet luxuries – sashimi grade Oysters and Swordfish, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye.