The question is eternal on the minds of many who have not yet plunged into the world of online shopping. Their question to the rising trend of online shopping is that beyond obvious convenience provided are there any other gains from the new shopping format.
The questions that typically come to mind
- a) Are there any cost saving or does it cost more because of the convenience provided by the online shopping websites
- b) Are there any hidden charges or cost
- c) Is the product quality as good as shown in the pictures of the websites or will it be low quality when actually delivered.
- d) If there are savings then what are the direct savings or indirect savings? Are the savings really real or just another marketing gimmick by online shopping websites to drive people to their site?
- e) Is it safe to shop online and trust with one’s debit card or credit card?
We went on the hunt to find an answer to these questions. We evaluated a large number of websites to know actually what is going on and how is it compared to the consumer’s perception or apprehensions on their mind.
In our research we found that some websites like buyise.com (online grocery kolkata), big basket (India), Askmegrocery (India) were having a huge collection of products available on their platform and it is a great option to get any of these products within a matter of hours sitting right from the comfort of the home or office, which is very hard to imagine to get this wide variety of products under one roof in an offline shopping store. One has to go hopping several stores looking and searching for these products and imagine all the time it will consume, the traffic snarls, the hustle and bustle of the streets, and all the waiting times at every point, ooh it is kind of scary compared to the easy shopping from an online store right from a mobile device or desktop at any time of the day.
To answer the typical queries of consumers who have not yet begun their grocery shopping, online the following were the revelation in our research.
We found that there were not any but many cost saving areas when purchasing from an online grocery store of good repute.
- On the websites, the products were highly discounted or there were great offers on product combos, plus there were coupons and store credit available on top of the discounts on certain amounts of purchase and we could not find such big offers in an offline supermarket or store. SO this definitely accounts for big savings throughout the year and unlike an offline supermarket or Kirana store which have promotions only once or twice in a year and that too not to the extent that the online websites offer all throughout the year. One website which stood out amongst all with their great offers amongst all was buyise.com which is currently offering their services in Kolkata(online grocery shopping Kolkata) and talking to their management we got to know that they have plans soon to roll out their services to the other parts of the country. One unique feature that we found on buyise.com was PRICE GUARANTEE where they stand guarantee for their price till 24 hours from purchase on their site and if you find the price lower than that on any other website in Kolkata they guarantee to credit the difference amount to your account on the store. We found this feature very compelling, unique and not available anywhere else.
- There are savings very obvious which are TIME and THE most precious one, especially in the current times for people or couples who are working, don’t have enough time and find it a big waste of time when going grocery shopping from a supermarket or a Kirana store and can’t give enough time to their family because of all the time it drains.
- When you go to a supermarket you end up making a lot of impulsive buys and if you take your kids along you are suddenly at the risk of their tantrums thrown at you to make that purchase which they want J However in the online shopping stores you don’t need to go through all these and you can plan your purchase before hand and do a lot of savings from unnecessary purchases through proper budget execution.
- There was a lot of savings on the fuel and parking cost as to make a purchase for the month one generally goes to a supermarket these days and the travelling cost in one’s own car or a public transport can range between Rs 100 to Rs 1000/- to and fro depending on the distance from the supermarket. However in most of the website on purchase over Rs 1000/- the delivery is free and that is another huge saving as most of an average customer’s monthly purchase is more than Rs 1000/- Also you save on the parking cost between Rs30 – Rs 120 So altogether it’s a huge saving on the Online Grocery shopping website.
- Well, we didn’t find any hidden charges on any of this site and most of this site offer free delivery till your home on a certain amount of purchase and the average amount on most of these site being Rs 1000/- when the delivery charge becomes free and below which it ranges between Rs 50-70.Even these charges seem to be very cheap compared to the fuel cost or conveyance cost one will have to bear to go and fetch the products from a super market. Also remember that even for a Purchase of Rs 1000/- the product weight can go as high as 20-30 Kgs.
There were some other charges on some of this site like packing and handling charges ranging between Rs 25-50 which we found to be fair enough as even in the offline store one has to pay about Rs 6-12 per packet to carry the goods and there the handling is done all by the customer.
So there were no charges as a shocking surprise to most of this website and most of them have their charges clearly laid out in their delivery policies.
- When we checked the product quality on some of the websites we found that not all where adhering to quality standards as one would expect from the good online website. However, we found a few really outstanding like buyise.com , bigbasket.com and askmegrocery. Their products like fruits and vegetables were Fresh and of high quality, especially from buyise.com the products were absolutely fresh and other products were of the current date and their pricing was better compared to all other.
So the product quality we could come to conclusion that only few website was delivering good quality products like buyise.com , bigbasket.com and askmegrocery.com etc
- Well as quite evident from the above findings that the much talked about savings in cost in the regular grocery shopping online is huge compared to the offline supermarkets and Kirana stores and sure the advertisements are not marketing gimmicks but a present day reality made possible by technology, better inventory and delivery management, and economies of scale.
- In current times the online security has almost become 100% secured with the advancement of technology with technologies like SSL it has become practically impossible to break into a system and as a result, the report of systems being compromised have gone down to a great extent. It has become as good as we transact in real person.
Most of the good websites have SSL technology implemented and you can know this looking at the address bar where the HTTP turns to https with green color. We found that sites serious about the security have implemented SSL on them. The remarkable ones being buyise.com , bigbasket.com
So in our conclusion, it is a great time to ride the online grocery shopping wave which has great savings built into it right from TIME, MONEY. ALL THE HASSLES to great freedom it provides.