I have always wondered about the impact of e-commerce in India….even long before joining Flipkart. I mean, from a consumer’s point of view – hassle-free, comparatively better prices, more options and so on. Yesterday, something hit me when we were at a nearby park, enjoying the greenery.

Usually, on a Sunday evening, we are in a store buying vegetables and groceries for the next week. It is a chore and it needs to be done. I actually like grocery shopping, incidentally. But, like most other chores, it tends to get boring after a while. I always wished for a way to get over this drudgery and use my time better.

My wife started ordering vegetables and groceries from Big Basket early last week. Yesterday morning, when we were planning the evening shopping trip, she said she’s going to order again from Big Basket and that we will do something else with our time, in the evening!

And so, we headed to a nearby park – a park that we meant to go to, for at least an year, but haven’t, for various reasons. It was a lovely evening out with no shopping attached! We came back home to get the call from the Big Basket delivery guy and we got what we wanted for the next week too.

A word about Big Basket, here. There are quite a few e-commerce outlets to order vegetables and groceries online, at least in Bangalore. Towness is one that many of my Twitter pals swear by, but I chose to try it for the first time, with Big Basket.

I had an opinion that there are certain product categories that may not be appropriate for e-commerce – shoes and vegetables/groceries top the list. Shoes – I’d need to try it out. But many, many friends have bought shoes online and are very happy with the experience. Even for my last pair of shoes, I had an option to order online, but I chose to drive to the nearest mall and buy it the old-fashioned way. I like that, with shoes, at least.

Vegetables and groceries? There’s more than one kirana store in India, in any city, in any area. Buying them is really not a big deal because they are available so easily. Even near our house, there are 2 local departmental stores and 2 larger chain stores (Big Bazaar and Total). All these are within walking distance. So, availability is really not a problem.

But time proved to be deciding factor in my changing over to buying vegetables and groceries online. Like opportunity cost.

Why did I go with Big Basket first? It’d be the assumed trust factor, I suppose, at least for me. I have heard about the founders for quite a while since they are reasonably well-known in the IT circles. I don’t know them personally, but the fact that I have read about them and their past work for so long, in a positive way, helped me make the switch and opt for Big Basket first. Incidentally, I met up and spoke to one of the many promoters of this venture, a decade ago, for a job, at the Delhi airport 🙂

The delivery was smooth – at the promised time slot and my mother was also able to – no, not bargain for prices – remove a few vegetables from the lot since she did not find them fresh enough. The delivery guy was polite and recalculated the bill using a tablet…not bad, huh?

The initial experience has been very good and I hope to do more with the time saved, by buying more online.

PS: A minor suggestion for Big Basket. The product photos in the site could possibly be better. After all, we buy things in an impulse, in an offline store, when they looks so attractive. There’s no reason why we won’t do the same online too!