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Monday, September 22, 2014

Online Grocery Shopping Creating a Buzz (Guest Post for 27Coupons)











With grocery predicted to be a US$ 11 trillion market globally by 2018 (Reference) and India poised to overtake Japan as the third largest market by 2016 (after China and USA), it hardly comes as a surprise that every investor worth his salt (or shares) want a share of this ever mushrooming pie. But even the most hardcore of shopping fans or shopoholics as we put them, would concede that shopping for grocery is only marginally better than the proverbial pain in the ass. And this is where the new age grocers or e-grocers like Bigbasket, Zopnow, Aaramshop, Ezkart, etc step in. Helped by technology like real-time monitoring and predictive data analysis, they promise to take the pain and drudgery out of shopping for groceries through online grocery shopping.
Leading the pack is Bigbasket which has a presence in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai and plans to expand its operations to Pune and Delhi within the next six months. With over 12,000 products across categories like Fruits & Vegetables, Grocery & Staples, Bread Dairy & Eggs, Beverages, Branded Foods, Personal Care, Household, Imported & Gourmet, Meat, Frozen Foods, etc, it offers a customized shopping experience by allowing one to shop from his/her previous order or an online shopping list or even a smart basket which consists of the frequently bought products for the customer. This flexibility of choices certainly helps, when one is hard pressed for time or keeps shopping for the same items/products at regular intervals. Orders below Rs 1000 attract a delivery charge of Rs 20 while above Rs 1000, the delivery is free of cost. You can use theircoupons to use some of their current offers. Also, there is no minimum order value which comes a boon for folks who are hard-pressed for time. Bigbasket offers an option of 4 time slots in a day, starting from 7 am and stretching till 10 pm. Customers can choose a slot as per their convenience. With real-time tracking in place, the customers receive regular notifications about the status of their order via SMS. Customers also have the option to return/decline a particular product if they are not satisfied with it. COD (Cash on Delivery) is also available. No doubt online grocery shopping has picked up in various cities where they are serving.
Bigbasket has a delivery model which is very logistic intensive as they are involved in every step starting from the point the order is placed to the final delivery which happens at the customer’s doorstep. ‘Till the last mile’ is how V.S. Sudhakar, one of the co-founders of Bigbasket puts it. The company has recently raised Rs 200 Cr funding from VC firms Helion and Zodius Fund II with Avendus in the second round of its capital raising. With this move the less than 3 year old company reaches a 1000 Cr plus valuation. The founders plan to use it for expansion to 10 cities by end of year 2015 and acquiring cutting edge technology solutions that will help understand/predict consumer habits and improved online grocery delivery. According to a report in the Economic Times, the company has crossed an annual revenue of Rs 250 crore and are growing at 10 percent month on month. They currently execute over 5000 orders per day and have recently reached the milestone of one million delivered orders. The shrewd use of technology and the vast domain experience of the founders (they had previously launched Fabmall, the pioneer of online shopping in India in 1999. The ensuing dot-com bust made them convert it to a chain of 200 plus offline grocery stores in South India. They were later on sold to the Aditya Birla group and re-branded as ‘More.’) ensures that every order remains profitable.
Ever since I started shopping with Bigbasket (sometime in late 2012), I have seen them introduce innovative features and products on a regular basis. They have recently introduced a recipes section on their website on a pilot basis. The ingredients used in a particular recipe are clearly mentioned and linked to the page which lists out the various varieties and brands available. Quite an useful feature as it saves one valuable time and effort that would otherwise be wasted in searching for it. Add that to the guaranteed on-time delivery and the widest selection of products, I am now a Bigbasket convert.
Note: Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

11 comments:

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    Replies
    1. Good to know that Vijetha has gone online...I used to buy groceries from their Lingampally outlet

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