Would you buy groceries online in India?Introduction:
Ordering groceries online might not be a new concept in the West but for India it is almost as new as the policy of Delhi’s Odd-Even. Only a few online hypermarkets have taken the challenge and started with e-commerce for groceries but at the same time, there has been decline in the number of people who shop online owing to various factors.
Groceries for Indians have always been more about buying from street vendors instead of supermarket sprees, especially the perishable ones like fruits and vegetables. Not everyone picks these items from the supermarkets and rightfully so in order to make our own small contribution towards the poor vendors who work so much harder, come rain or scorching heat of summer.
While some people do prefer supermarkets over street vendors, ordering groceries online leaves most of them unconvinced too. There is always the fear of getting the wrong good or the not so fresh ones as they would get if they could touch and see the good before buying. What isn’t tangible is skeptical, no doubt, but there definitely are some advantages of buying groceries online.Yes:1. Time saver:
We are full of everything in today’s world but time. And let’s face it – grocery shopping in supermarket or street market is time killing. Making rounds for your whole list of items, checking out aisles after aisles to find your item, sellers after seller to know which one of them is offering the best price for the fresh ones, and then burning time in the billing queue is no easy breezy task. Online store for grocery comes to such a rescue where you click on the category or search for the item you want, and you are good to go within minutes.2. No impulsive junks:
Those chips packets near the billing counter, assorted confectionaries luring your sweet bud, and those impulsive purchase of junk, non-healthy food are all known drawbacks of grocery shopping sprees at the hypermarket. This is so much reduced when you are ordering food items online. You buy only what is needed and there is no impulsive lure towards chocolates and chips to be gorged upon when you reach home tired of the shopping spree. Those of you who think that a trip to the hypermarket burns your calories must calculate how much you intake with those junk food you brought home.3. Better price:
Online prices are so much lesser than the retail ones for they mostly come directly from the distributors. There are offers and coupons to make the experience even more happy and exciting. Since there will always be parallel stores at the next click, you can compare prices of items before buying. Most of the groceries items at the online stores will be delivered to you directly from the manufacturers which is good for the farmers at some level. There are online sites of organic farms where you get perishable goods at amazing prices, which is also beneficial for the farmer’s profit.4. Accessible everywhere:
In small towns and remote areas all types of gourmet food products are not available at their local stores. Since India has many such small townships that are far away from hypermarkets, people can easily order the grocery products online just like any other product they find blissfully available online. Even in a developing township it is difficult for an aspiring chef to lay hands on some gourmet products that are available only in big cities and towns.5. 24/7 service:
You can come home tired from work and still place orders for grocery without having to compromise on sleep and recreation. In the scorching heat of summer or thrilling rain or even during excessive cold, you can stay indoors and get everything you need instantly. For elderly people it is a bliss indeed if they know how to navigate through the online store. They wouldn’t have to tire their worn out feet and still have everything they need delivered at the doorstep without depending on their busy or staying afar children.No:1. Non-tangible:
There is a certain amount of satisfaction in being able to touch and see the grocery products before buying, especially when it comes it fruits and vegetables. Hand-picked groceries have their own feel of being the best you could get. Even when they assure you of sending the best quality products, you will always miss the feel of picking them up and being sure before they land on your kitchen counter.2. Not always low priced:
You might not be aware of the rising and lowering of prices at the local market and hence end up buying products at higher price at online stores. Added with delivery charges and other hidden charges, you can always end up paying more than you require to pay for groceries which will not be worth it if the product arrives late.3. Freshness compromised:
You may have ordered perishable goods which is required to reach you on the same day or the next day at the earliest but due to inconvenience, they could be late and not so fresh after all. Perishable goods like fruits and vegetables will be non-usable and a total waste if they take too much time to reach you. The quality of other goods have also known to be low in reviews at some gourmet shopping sites. As much as they assure you of good quality, someone else picking up groceries for you isn’t liked by everyone.4. You will still make those short trips to supermarkets:
Everything that you need at a particular moment will not be made available to you via the online grocery store and hence you will still make those short trips to the supermarkets once in a while and end up stocking the rest of the items too. You can’t be ordering and waiting for bread and buns to be delivered through the e-commerce order you place weekly. When you are expecting guests, which we Indians do all the time, you cannot be spared of shopping at retails.Conclusion:
Online grocery stores are successful when they are run parallel to supermarkets in India like they do in most metropolitan cities and big townships. Other than that, recent reports do show a decline towards online ordering of grocery. The online grocery market seems to be frozen in scorching heat of summer.
People differ in their opinion of online grocery shopping. Some who have time at least enough to spare some towards a shopping spree will definitely want to go to hypermarket or local market while the extremely busy lot of people would prefer and love it when their grocery comes home packed and delivered on time, obviously only when the freshness is intact and quality isn’t compromised.