afaqs!

Now buy grocery items on Facebook

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 16, 2011
Vijay Singh, former chief executive officer and managing director of 141 Sercon, has started a site named Aaramshop.com, which will enable consumers to use Facebook to order and purchase grocery items from nearby retail outlets.

Aaramshop.com, the recently-launched online retail store, will enable internet users to use Facebook to order and purchase grocery items from their nearby grocery outlets (kirana store), without placing the order on phone, or visiting the outlet physically.

To be precise, the retail company has launched a Facebook page titled 'AaramShop' (available at On.fb.me/aaramshop), where it will make available an application (app) to showcase various grocery products across categories. Users can use the app to select the products and nearby grocery outlet -- which has a tie-up with Aaramshop.com -- to place the order. The user can also specify the time when they want the order to be delivered at their place. The user will be required to pay cash on the delivery of products.

Other than using Facebook to buy grocery items, users can directly access Aaramshop.com to order items from nearby grocery stores, clarifies, Vijay Singh, founder, chief executive officer and managing director of Aaramshop.com. For the same, the user will be first required to create a user identity, or become a member of Aaramshop.com. The user can either use his Facebook account (ID), or create a fresh identity on the retail site, by filling in the required details, and then select the products and nearby retailer, and place the order.

Once ordered -- either via Facebook or Aaramshop.com directly -- an SMS and e-mail notification of order details will be delivered to the grocery store manager, who will then deliver the products to the consumer at the specified time.

In the initial phase, the company intends to rope in shopkeepers who are technology-savvy, and who use the smartphone or the computer. "For retailers, who are not very technology-savvy, we may install a printer --connected with the internet via a SIM card -- at the shop, which will print the order placed by the consumer," says Singh. It implies that once the consumer confirms the order, a printout of the order will be generated at the shopkeeper's end, similar to the way the fax machine works.

Singh points out that the retail company will target its service towards consumers who are internet-savvy, and lies in the age range of 25-45.

On the business model, Singh indicates that they will use advertising on Aaramshop.com and leverage analytical data to earn revenue. The retail company has plans to share shopping trends with brand owners. Singh clarifies that they will protect the privacy of the site user and will not share personal details like address and phone number of users with anyone.

"In the future, we may also search other revenue streams. For instance, we may explore the way to earn revenue via placement of brands in the product catalogue," mentions Singh. He explains, "Initially, the products of various brands will be listed, based on demand among consumers. Later, if brands will like to place themselves on the top of the list, we may charge money for it as well."

Initially, Aaramshop.com will offer its services in the Delhi-NCR region, but will later extend its service to 12 cities, including Chandigarh, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The company has created a sales force of six people, which will tie-up with retailers. It has already tied up with 34 retailers in the Delhi NCR region.

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