Online vegetables shopping is catching on


Snowwhiteimages | Dreamstime.com

Snowwhiteimages | Dreamstime.com

For busy working individuals or those balancing a hectic family life, finding the time or enthusiasm to head out to the vegetable market can be difficult. Emerging online fruit and vegetables retailers are hoping to provide a solution, and it looks like online vegetables shopping is a trend that is picking up in India.

According to Times of India, 40-50% of one online vendor’s orders each day in 2012 included fruit and vegetables. Today, that percentage has risen to 80%, which in actual numbers is about 7,000-8,000 orders a day.

The same growth pattern in fresh produce sales holds for other brands too. Another retailer that launched in 2012 had that 10-15% of its orders for fruits and vegetables then. Now, that figure stands at 60%, resulting in over 500 out of the 800-900 orders each day consisting of fresh produce.

These figures show that the Indian consumer may be evolving and becoming less wary of purchasing goods online. The commonly held notion is that people of India like to physically handle the merchandise before committing to purchase, but it looks like we are becoming increasingly comfortable with blindly clicking items into a virtual shopping basket. One reason for that may be the zero commitment-to-buy that comes from the continuing practice of a cash on delivery option that permits buyers to refuse produce.

“We have a no-questions-asked return policy. Customers have the right to reject any item at the door if they’re not happy with it,” said a co-founder of one online retailer.

Winning customers is all about trust, retailers say. This is more so for online sales. However, once a customer has a good experience with an online shopping website, the convenience of it all becomes too tempting to turn away from.

“We have found that those who have been shopping with us for three to four months become regular customers,” said one of the founders of a different online merchant.

What’s great for customers is that retailers keep looking to differentiate themselves, either with the range of available products or by finding ways to increase customer satisfaction with offers and deals. “We’re looking to import the likes of artichokes, rambutan and mangosteen,” said the second co-founder.

In an age where e-commerce websites are aggressively competing with physical stores to offer the best deals on electronics and consumer goods, it’s no wonder that vegetables shopping too has jumped the online bandwagon.

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