Moms beat the heat with online grocery shopping

Online buyers cite pricing as an issue but convenience wins the day

Tired of spending an hour in the supermarket and then driving home from the store? Online grocery shopping could come handy.

Groceries at the click of a mouse is making life simple for many who run on a tight schedule and hate being in the queue to pay their bills.

Websites such as www.trolley.ae, www.supermart.ae and www.earlybird.ae offer customers the convenience of online grocery shopping and then deliver it to the doorstep.

“I’m a working mother and can’t afford to run to the store every two days while going back home.

“I would order some essential items from the nearby Choithram on the phone and they delivered it but online shopping is much better. I can see different prices of different products under the same category and order whatever suits me the most.

“I find it a bit pricey, if we compare with big names like Carrefour, Lulu or Union Co-operative, but then I save on time and avoid the hassle of going to a hypermarket.

“It saves me energy and time that I can spend with my kids,” said a regular online shopper in The Springs area.

Online grocery shopping is small in the country but is picking up.

“In our business, convenience is a major [factor] and quality assurance is core to developing the complete customer experience,” Omar Awwad, CEO, www.trolley.ae told Emirates 24|7.

However, customers often complain that products are priced higher than what they would find in the big store.

“They are pricey and the price of many items is not per kg but per 500gms. That is dicey but it’s hassle-free,” said a German national living in New Dubai.

However, online supermarkets counter the claims and say their prices remain competitive.

“We aim at providing a wide variety of grocery items at competitive prices. To do that, we have agreements with suppliers that enable us to compete in different categories.

“In our line of business, there is no set margin as prices are market driven.

“People are more conscious about their spending and do compare prices between online and traditional chains as well as between traditional grocery stores.

“Key drivers behind the appeal of online grocery shopping include convenience and cost control, as online supermarkets help constrain consumers' grocery spending.

“The market dynamics will always push business to compete on prices and quality, which we take into consideration and review our prices on a daily basis,” explained Awwad.

With options now opening up, residents in the country are warming up to the idea of ordering groceries online.

“Online grocery shopping is changing [the way] consumers buy their groceries in many countries.

“In the UAE, [this] service is gaining wide acceptance. Demographics influence online grocery shopping [to a large extent].

“We receive requests daily to expand to new areas and other cities within the country.

“Many people in the UAE [lead] a [busy] life and [online shopping] saves the hassle and time [spent in] conventional shopping,” he added.

Commenting on the number of shoppers the website gets daily, Awwad said: “The number varies depending on [the] day of the week. Numbers tend to be higher on days prior to the start of the working week (Saturdays and public holidays).

[Our shoppers have] been growing consistently by 15-20 per cent per month  - [this translates into approximately] 50 orders per day.

“We see [huge] growth [potential] in [this] business. Online grocery purchases are estimated to increase as more people [become] aware [of such] services,” he added.

Image from shutterstock

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