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Big Basket and the art of shopping groceries easily

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

/ by Srikanth Eswaran
From a long time I wanted to try my hand at shopping groceries sitting at the comfort of my home. Just imagine driving your car to a mall, climbing few floors using escalators, pushing around huge carts, with annoying kids tugging at you, and ending up in that serpentine billing queue. The headache you have at the end of the day was expected!

The first time I ever tried grocery shopping was via **Fabmart**, which later went onto become Fabmall under retail, which was then became IndiaPlaza.in after which K Vaitheeswaran considered as the forefathers of online shopping and commerce decide to sell it to Aditya Birla Group which has renamed the brand as More and the legacy goes on.

After nearly about 15 years since then, a formidable shopping experience has begun via BigBasket.com. This website basically ships its supplies from its warehouses in each city sometimes as far as about 40-50 kms from your location or even more. The whole experience of buying from BigBasket involves few important things

* Online shopping experience in terms of product selection and choices
* Payment mechanisms and their ease of use
* Linking the online ordering to actual supply chain management
* Delivery of goods at the soonest possible
* Quality of deliverables
* Discounts and customer retention policies
* Word of mouth promotion due to positive shopping experience

All this of course starts with the page you goto online to shop - www.bigbasket.com

The entire website has been designed around one important principle of shopping - enabling customers to see product choices wherever their focus is and without even pointing the mouse elsewhere be able to add/increase quantities of their choices and get it into the shopping cart.




The obvious part of having the ability to filter the search results by different type of categories or pricing is always available here as well. One of the other things which is of importance to the shopper is to have a list of things he regularly shops for which is also preserved on BigBasket. Sometimes as per the recipe I may need a few select ingridients time and again, that is stored as a list and I always have it at my disposal to reorder the items again.



For some items like vegetables which need to be fresh during delivery, BigBasket has hit upon the idea of time slots per day for delivery. Currently they divide the day into four slots when you are most likely okay to have the order delivered. This not only maintains the vegetables fresh, but also provides both you and them an opportunity to upfront agree on when you are fine to have your order delivered.



The rest is of course upto the backend supply chain. I had my order promptly delivered as per stipulated time. Further due to the uneven weight of vegetables, they also say that if the weight increase results in costs going up by more than 5% they will revise the bill, else they will not change the bill which is quite a fair argument.



Furthermore, as soon as I paid for my order, I got a call from an executive who confirmed my order and double confirmed by when it would be available. Its reassuring when someone calls you and lets you know that things are fine. This is not an absolute must but quite useful sometimes when you are unsure what you ordered or whether you ordered all the items you needed. I did not have an opportunity to change or cancel my order but then I guess due to the time slot thing, it must be quite possible to do this easily.



BigBasket ensures that customers are happy from the start until the products are delivered to your doorstep. To take it one step further each time you place your order they share a PIN number with you using which you can rate the delivery when it happens without the person who delivers coming to know of your opinion. Small steps like this will help organizations to improve on a continual basis slowly but steadily.

My recommendation about BigBasket is that I get a feeling of complete control on their website, their customer service is outstanding, and useful details are shared all along the way (including an SMS on my phone) to let me know how they are doing on my order. Last but not least, I am happy with the products ordered and delivered. I will likely shop with them many more times.

The only flipside of the experience if I must quote that is sometimes some products are not available with them and just like any other grocery store I must come back later. They must have a way of understanding what customers are looking for with what they search for. If they do the analysis on the search terms, it will give them more data to keep their inventory stocked adequately.

Happy Shopping!

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