Friday, December 28, 2007

Buy Groceries Online in India



Its been sometime since Indian customers have had access to online shopping like indiaplaza.com etc, but there has never been a website that offers groceries online. In the US , peapod.com has had success in creating a niche market for online grocery customers. Now http://www.storrz.com/ is attempting to provide Indian customers with a way to buy groceries online

What is Storrz?

"Storrz.Com provides a complete ecosystem where real world retailers can interact with consumers on line and trade their produce. The Marketplace has been designed with the best features of a traditional mall and the latest on on-line shopping. Storrz.Com is a marketplace not a online store. This brings you larger number of customers than your traditional online store. This also reduces your cost of marketing. Every visitor to the shopping mall can reach your store and this increases you foot falls."

To me Storrz is attempting an ebay in India accept that it is trying to bring existing online retailers under one roof and streamline the distribution and delivery process. Ebay started as an individual marketplace and in the process created retailers.

Can Storrz be successful in the long run ?

  1. Storrz has some good online merchants on its list of customers like Perdigree -Pet foods ,Roots Music and Industree Crafts. But to me the biggest driver of customers shopping on its website will be the Namdharis- Fresh and Value Mart which are grocery stores. The metros has a considerably large population of customers who would buy Groceries online now .
  2. Storrz has the first mover advantage in this space but doesnt appear that there are any barriers to entry for others. Storrz needs to act fast to add many retailers as its customers especially the big ones or else we will see a lot of other such websites spring up and create a competetive environment putting pressure on their margins.
  3. Distribution and delivery will always be a challenge in India and claiming to distribute fresh perishable items only magnifies the challenges.
  4. Indians are extremely price sensitive customers and for any company to be successful in India the focus has to be to on volume. Storrz would need to strike a balance between these price sensitive customers on one side and retailers on the other

Storrz definitely has the potential to be successful but faces significant challenges in doing business in India. Only time will tell if Storrz can deliver groceries online all over India every time!