Hyperlocal — Experiences & Expectations
Hyperlocal is the latest buzz word in Bangalore (rather Bengaluru). There is a lot of hustle on the roads. You can see men on their bikes wearing their startup branded t-shirts (the reds, orange, greens) trying to deliver something or the other to lazy bumps like me. And I must tell you I am happy to sit at home and get everything delivered, well almost everything!
Lets look at the reasons for shopping for grocery online and the challenges that come with it —
Time — They help me free up my time. You don’t have to pull your car out, drive 30 mins to cover 2 Kms, you don’t have to be in the queue to pay the bill or carry your shopping bags around. This is one of the biggest motivator for me to shop for grocery online.
Convenience — Well right. It is very convenient. It is convenient to take the phone out and fire up the app, find those 10–12 things you need and place the order online and get some discount as well. But as always, not all is well. Case in point -
a. When I don’t know the English word for haldi (duhh its turmeric, but I dint remember that)
b. When I am searching for aluminium foil and I get something else
c. Data transfer is slow (even on a 3G network)
d. When the app crashes
e. Your boss calls you when you had finally figured out that haldi is turmeric
f. When you don’t get your desired delivery slot.
No doubt shopping for grocery online is convenient when I compare it to shopping offline. But if online was the only way to shop maybe their would have been an entrepreneur who would disrupt this, as brick and mortar is getting disrupted now.
The startup eco-system needs to work on the above points to make it convenient to shop in the absolute sense!!
Range — True, range is there. But on the screen you can see as many as 5–7 variants of the product that you are planning to buy. Only challenge being there are just 3 variables on the basis of which I can compare the offerings. a. Brand b. Price c. Quantity. For any other details like ingredients, composition, calorie count etc I have to rely on my previous experience with the product or maybe trust the brand.
Discounts — Let me be honest here. This is one of the biggest influence for a lot of us! But if they are charging more than the MRP (happened with me) the discounts may not compensate for it. Also, at times I have felt that the supermarkets create some really cool ‘bundles’ which help you save more.
Delivery — This is the aspect that lets me hang my boots and makes me wait for the door bell to ring. Actually the phone rings before that, (Yes, take left from CMRIT, come straight, you will see BoI ATM, take left there, come straight, after the first cross, 7th house on the left hand side and yeah first floor).
As long as discounts keep ringing in, we would keep ignoring the friction that exists in the online shopping experience!
Let me know what you think about this??