Gone are the days when we used to worry about making frequent visits to the supermarket or the grocery shop nearby for stocking up the kitchen. With so many apps and websites that offer to get your groceries home-delivered, the need to rush out on a sunny afternoon just to buy a packet of milk no longer exists.
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What’s so great about online grocery shopping?
If you love your local grocery stores, this might be the question on your mind. Here’s the answer:
- More variety
While shopping at a nearby grocery store, the desired brand for some of the products might be unavailable. Quite frustrating, isn’t it? Well, when you shop online, the chances of facing such situations reduce significantly. Most of the leading brands and even the local ones are available on these websites and apps. One click and they reach you in no time. Who doesn’t like more variety, after all!
- Timely delivery
Most of these online grocery portals or apps come with an option to choose the delivery slot. After ordering the desired products, you can just sit back and relax while the order gets delivered to you at a time you choose. You don’t have to worry about missing your favourite TV show or an important cricket match. Just choose a time slot according to your convenience and go back to doing your other chores.
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- More convenience
Getting what you want in a matter of a few clicks is like having a genie at your disposal! All you need to do is choose the desired products, place an order, choose a time slot and done. Can it get more convenient than this? Maybe it can, when advanced technology lets us download food!
- Saves time & energy
Online grocery shopping saves you a lot of time, giving you enough breather to focus on other significant things in your life. Instead of having to step out after coming back from work, you get the option to order the daily groceries from office. Now that’s a relief! How many times have you cooked instant noodles for dinner just because you were too busy (or lazy) to step out to buy vegetables and fruits? We all have done that! With online grocery shopping websites, you no longer need to consume snacks for dinner, unless you’re so lazy that you can’t even order groceries online!
Hopefully, by now you must have realised how convenient it is to shop for groceries online.
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Why is online grocery shopping so successful?
The primary reason for the popularity of these online shopping portals is the fact that our income is gradually increasing while technology is becoming more advanced and we’re becoming lazier! Another reason for their popularity is the penetration of internet in our lives. Nowadays, if we face an issue, the first thing we do is—open the web browser on our phones and search for a solution!
What are their business models like?
There are two basic types of business models used by these key players. While companies like Big Basket follow the pure-play model, others like Grofers and Peppertap use the hyperlocal delivery model.
In the pure-play model, these companies have huge warehouses and functional distribution centres all across major cities in India. They also have their own fleet of vehicles that are GPS-enabled.
The players using the hyperlocal delivery model basically take groceries from shops in the neighbourhood and deliver it to your doorstep. The local stores get the advantage of having professional logistics experts deliver their products and increase their sales. In return, these delivery experts get some commission from them. You, as a consumer, get all the products you want from your local shops, at your doorstep, without having to step out!
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Will it continue to be successful in India?
In a country like India, where people love to check things well before making a purchase, ordering things online (especially food items) could’ve been a bit tricky. A few start-ups like Grofers faced a couple of problems in some tier 2 cities, which ultimately led to a shutdown in those cities.
The concept of online grocery shopping continues to be really popular in tier 1 cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Delhi. Some of the major players in this market have been—Big Basket, Grofers, Zopnow etc. Among these, Big Basket continues to be the market leader with its presence in all the top cities.
According to a survey conducted by Technopark, a retail consultancy, online grocery market in the major cities of India is growing rapidly, at a rate of 25%-30%, year-on-year.
Given the rate at which smartphones and internet are booming in India, and our hunt for convenience, it looks like grocery shopping portals will continue to be a lucrative market segment.
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