Nasana Bajracharya

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Published On: October 19, 2017 08:24 AM NPT By: Nasana Bajracharya



KATHMANDU, Oct 19: Though online shopping of groceries is a comparatively new concept in our country, the best part about the facility is that the items get delivered at your doorstep, so you don’t have to worry about the traffic and the burden of your grocery bags. 

The town is all hustle and bustle as everyone is busy preparing for the festival of lights and flowers, Tihar. Some are busy buying lights and decorations, while others are busy buying groceries to celebrate the festival. The streets are filled with swarms of people, all negotiating the jam-packed narrow streets to pick the best of offers. 

Also it’s common for people to go shopping at places near to them. But lately, technology has expanded the horizon and has made it possible for people from all walks of life and regardless of where they reside to shop online from a single platform. The idea is a better alternative for non-festive times too and also for those who have a tight work schedule.

Moreover, though online shopping of groceries is a comparatively new concept in our country, the best part about the facility is that the items get delivered at your doorstep, so you don’t have to worry about the traffic and the burden of your grocery bags. Thus, it saves you time and energy.
There are a few online platforms in Nepal that sell groceries and one such platforms is Kathmandu Organics. Kathmandu Organics, since December 2016, has been operating from Panipokhari and catering its customers by making grocery shopping easy and hassle free. 

Groceries available at Kathmandu Organics are all organic produce and of highest quality. They have categorized the items into three main categories; local, certified and home-made. Apart from branded items, they also have local products imported from different parts of Nepal like millet (Kaguno, Chino), buckwheat and pulses from Jumla as well as different types of rice (Jeera Masino, Basmati) from Kavre and Pokhara. 

In addition, Kathmandu Organics has also been a platform for some local homemakers to sell their home-made products like jam, honey and spices, which are sold in higher quantity during the festive season.

Meanwhile, Metro Tarkari is another such online platform that has been working since December 2012. Customers can use the web or their mobile app to order groceries from Metro Tarkari. “We see significant growth and we deliver maximum of orders during the festive season. We also have various special packages and offers for the customers,” said CEO/Founder of Metro Tarkari, Anil Basnet. 

Moreover, Metro Tarkari also has an intricate network working with farmers and local shops from Kathmandu to offer dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables to their customers. The online platform also sells ghee, honey, apples and walnuts imported from outside the valley.

Metro Tarkari has been providing an easy platform for customers and sellers alike as local farmers and dealers from remote areas of the country get a chance to collaborate with the core and urban market. It also provides the local farmers exposure to an open and diverse market with much potential. 

People have been going online for many reasons now. Where platforms to buy clothes, appliances, gadgets and beauty products are common, online platforms for groceries are limited. The limited numbers of such platforms show less investment and more possibility to approach this niche market.

Kathmandu Organics had their own farm and were working on cultivating organic food products since 2012. They did their market research before putting their hands on the idea on online shop and finally shifted from producing to selling only last year. 

Both the platforms maintain quality by grading their items and guarantee from supply chains for better products. They also take care of the products on hand with proper storage system, cold room and warehouse. If any product exceeds the expiry date, they dispose them and also follow a return policy, where the damaged items on delivery can be exchanged.

This prospect of business is on the rise in Nepal as there is an increasing use of online platforms and they have shown great potential to flourish the business here. Such platforms are also holding many food-tasting and promotional events to increase customer flow and increase their awareness on how they can make their lives easier. 

The prospect seems even better as these businesses are able help differently-abled people to get their daily chores done with the help of technology. Sagar Prasai, project coordinator at National Federation of Disabled and a regular customer of Kathmandu Organics, said, “Since I’m wheel-chair bound, going grocery shopping is not an easy job for me. After discovering it on Facebook, Kathmandu Organics has eased my life as all the groceries I need come to my doorstep and they are all organic. Such platforms can be helpful for people like me and even for those who have busy schedules.”

There is only a niche population that have gotten used to online grocery shopping while others still doubt the quality and credibility of such platforms and since have been reluctant to adapt the new way of shopping. “There is definitely hope. Similar existing platforms need to work together and come as one to instill the habit of shopping online and that too for groceries. There is no point in competing now,” Gautam Gurung, one of the four co-founders of Kathmandu Organics, said. 

All change is not bad, online grocery shopping can be a reliable option and is worth the try. But customers also need to be aware and keep track of where their food items are being imported from. Based on the place from where the grocery items are imported, the taste differs. So, customers need to be aware of various things before buying things online. 

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