Shop online, but pay cash on delivery

Jun 03, 2012, 11:08 IST | Aviva Dharmaraj

The 'local' banya goes on the web.

Shopping for supplies is a chore. You know it. We know it. Your local banya knows it.

It’s the assumption that the people behind the new online supermarket, localbanya[.com] are pegging their business on.

The idea is that you needn’t worry about parking, traffic, pollution, lugging bulky grocery bags, or missing your favourite TV show. Fair enough. Except, could they have missed out on the fact that the ‘real’ local banyas are already savvy to the idea of home delivery? So, why should you order online when you have the real deal, possibly, just around the corner?

Well, the big answer is that it’s cheaper. They offer discounts ranging from two to 40 per cent. Why? Because they don’t have fewer overheads to worry about and they claim to have a fast turnover. You can also shop for fruits and vegetables online, something that the local banya might not be able to offer. The flipside is that they don’t accept orders for less than Rs 500.

It’s convenient. In the sense that you don’t have to worry about having to place an order within conventional store timings, since it’s online. The flipside is that you will have to wait longer, than you might typically have to for the local banya to deliver your order —orders placed before 7 pm are delivered the next day, as per any one of four time slots of your choosing.

The site claims, however, that they are working on an express delivery (same-day delivery) service, so this might change soon.

It’s fun! You needn’t rely on a shopping list or your virtual memory of the layout of the store to figure what your requirements are. They have eleven virtual shopping aisles that are actually broad product categories for you to choose from, so you can browse through supplies.

It saves time. Once you register an account with them, they maintain a history of transactions made over a three-month period, so whenever you’re pressed for time, you can just click on the ‘My Usual’ button and re-order your shopping requirements.

It’s like your banya. Sort of. You pay on delivery and only after you approve the goods for your order.

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