You may have heard of neighbourhood grocers delivering goods to your home on a phone call. They are now going the e-commerce way.
"Grocery shopping used to be a chore but not anymore. I have an option to order groceries online and get them delivered at no extra cost," said Abhishek Chauhan, 30, a Gurgaon-based executive of a private company said .
Groceryshop.in, mygrahak.com easyration.com, ecityindia.com, aaramshop.com and other online kirana stores are already delivering groceries, blending old-fashioned mom-and-pop spirit with e-commerce.
"Most of the new online grocery stores have opened in the last two quarters. From the consumer standpoint there is a lot of convenience involved and makes much economic sense," said Sushant Junnarkar, founder, atmydoorsteps.com.
Junnurkar's online supermarket in Bangalore, which now wants to expand to other towns, works on a minimum inventory model based on daily orders from retail consumers and weekly shipments from wholesalers.
Aaramshop.com is giving kirana shop owners a hybrid retail platform where they can connect with their consumers and then take their orders online. "We are building a scale and eventually we'll deliver analytics (market research) beyond the counter. Retailers too are kicked about it" said Vijay Singh, CEO.
It can be a tricky business. Hindustan Unilever gave up after a test drive for six years in Mumbai.
"Most initiatives are competing with local kirana stores and modern retail stores. A combination of competitive pricing and good service matters," said Davinder Goyal, who is trying a second time with groceryshop.in around the NCR after an unsuccessful first try in Mumbai.