In today’s world, everyone craves for that extra little comfort one can get. With everything available online from shoes to books, today’s world has put their faith in the term – Couch Shopping. It is the smartest way to shop as you can sit in front of your home computer and navigate through a wide variety of items.
So why not groceries? It is comfortable to order your groceries online rather than going to the supermarket. That way you can avoid the bustling crowd and the long queues at the billing counter.
Online Groceries Mushrooming in India
Yes, young entrepreneurs are coming up with new ideas. Ganesh is an online grocer from Bangalore. His online portal BigBasket.com serves the Bangalore city with 25 delivery vans. He has 3 distribution points along with 120 employees. Others like Vijay Singh, 42, Aramshop’s founder and CEO is serving Delhi and Gurgaon with his efficient and prompt services.
Challenges Faced by the Online Groceries
The main challenge that online grocery stores face is that of the delivery of perishable items. Items like vegetables, milk, meat, and fish cannot be stored for a long time. So the main challenge the entrepreneurs are facing is regarding the delivery of these items. You have to take extra care as everyone out there want to impress their loyal customers. Moreover, shipping products across the country as in some cases they do not turn out to be commercially viable. Some of them are selling perishable products by procuring it only after the order is placed. By that way they keep their products fresh and green.
The challenge that the new players find difficult is to attract investment because of the existing players in the city.
Many customers still relate to the groceries available at the local grocery stores and malls. In order to be successful in e-retailing you have to educate people about how buying groceries online can be easy and beneficial than going to the local grocery shop.
A strong offline network is the key of success for any online grocer. From procuring the supplies from the wholesaler to delivering the orders on time to the customer; it is impossible if one doesn’t have the strong understanding of the retail supply chain.
Tie-ups with local vendors and smart logistics ensures growth, expansion and success of the business. Customers also start favouring them as they can have a price advantage.
Online Grocery Shopping – Time Saving Affair
The best part of shopping groceries online is that it saves a lot of time. One doesn’t need to go to the shop as everything is just one-click-away! Moreover, shopping online saves a lot of money as unnecessary expenditure can be avoided. Grocery stores are designed in such a way that one ends up buying unnecessary item.
Grocery e-tailing has a high chance of getting repeat orders. If the customer gets satisfied after placing the first order, it is for sure then you can add him to the list of your clientele.
Though sometimes online shopping becomes a bit pricey with the delivery fees and
fuel charges and inability to bargain.
The demographic graph of the India’s online grocery shop shows that women of age between 30-35 are the largest adopters of online grocery. It also shows that institutional clients make up to 29% of orders for select major retailers. It also reveals that 11% of the orders are placed between 10p.m-midnight.
Big retailers have already started entering the segment and of course the online grocers are facing challenges from the local grocery stores who are providing home delivery services. In end, online grocery market will be the next big thing in India provided if issues like taxation and infrastructure are improved properly.
Mohan Kumar, Director at Norwest Venture Partners has the view that the grocery delivery industry is an operationally intensive space, and technology being the enabler plays the key role. “The team which can manage large fleets of logistics and manage those staff will come ahead, and in the end only a couple of pure-play, on-demand logistics players will survive.”