Grocery shopping can be quite tedious, heading out to your local Bazaar on a lazy Sunday morning and waiting in long queues with heavy bags and all the travelling can squeeze out the fun of the monthly shopping ritual. The online buying spree is at its peak with consumers ordering their entire needs online. Buying grocery online is fast catching up and to cater to this growing need, entrepreneur Sushant Junnarkar setup ‘atmydoorsteps.com’, an online grocery store that offers a wide variety of grocery and consumer products. You can find everything from groceries, household cleaning products, health and beauty supplies, baby products, pet food and much more at discounted prices and delivered right at your doorstep.
Talking about how he got started with the venture, Sushant says “It was our monthly ritual of shopping for the household requirements at supermarkets and hypermarkets that got me thinking about this. Though initially it was a family affair, very soon the initial novelty of shopping experience gave way to an experience which seemed like a hassle. The thought always went to why not grocery shopping on the internet. The element of “touch and feel” can be taken care of by having pre-packed branded products. A branded pack of toothpaste or cornflakes is precisely that, who ever touches it or feels it,”
He adds, “Also empirical data shows that most of the customers buy almost 70-90% same items month on month and majority of these items are branded. The above pointers and the idea of providing a convenient service to the consumer prompted this venture. This combined with the changing lifestyle of people (working couples and less time on hand), increased comfort of customers to transact on the net, increased broadband penetration etc. makes one bullish about the idea,”
As of now atmydoorsteps.com operates only in South Bangalore and plans to expand in the next quarter. There are over 1,200 products listed on the website and it is constantly updated with new products and offers. Consumers can order groceries and other utilities through the website or through the phone or they can send an SMS after which the representatives from the company will call back to take down the order. “We source all our products from Metro-Cash and Carry and we do not have any big warehouse or outlets at prime locations. And the costs savings are used to provide door-steps delivery as well as providing discounts to the customers. The orders received before 10 A.M are delivered on the same day and orders received after that takes atleast a day’s time,” says Sushant, who wanted to start his own entrepreneurial venture since he passed out from IIM-Ahmedabad.
Another interesting aspect is that consumers can pay on delivery, either through cash or cash vouchers. They have also introduced hand-held wireless credit card swipe machines which the delivery executives carry with them for payment purposes. Also Sushant thinks Bangalore has a more conducive eco-system for getting started up “For atmydoorsteps.com, Bangalore is the best place to test it out. The tech culture and exposure of people to markets abroad (during their project stays and travel) makes this city an acid test for a venture like this,”
There are other websites offering the similar services, but the biggest challenge is to change the customer shopping behaviour. So talking about competition, he says, “The competition is primarily the current shopping formats: modern shopping formats- supermarkets and hyper markets and neighbourhood kirana stores. The venture endeavours to provide the advantage of home delivery provided by local kirana and the range of products and the (virtual) shopping experience of modern retail formats,” And as for the future, the company plans to expand geographically and also expand the product suite to include more products to bring all the requirements for the customer at their doorsteps. Emerald Group Publishing Limited|...