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How To Start An Online Grocery Ecommerce Business Like Instashop
Planning to start a new business like Instashop or an Ecommerce Grocery store?
In today's convenient focus and competitive world people no longer want to go to busy streets looking out for the products they want to shop. Instead they want to shop by sitting at their convenient place avoiding all the hassles. Till a few months ago people used to go out shopping for the experience but with the pandemic situation through which we are going through, they have completely shifted to online shopping, which makes entrepreneurs to be more serious about ecommerce business.
Major advantages of Ecommerce business
First and foremost people have shifted to online shopping because of the convenience it provides for the customers. Customers can sit in the comfort of their couch and bulge into the vast range of products. Also people don't have time these days to physically go for shopping, instead they are more and more leaning towards online shopping.
Gives more opportunities for marketing
Business is all about how you showcase your product and marketing is inevitable for that. Ecommerce offers you a lot of techniques alongside your website like pay per click, social media marketing.
Can broaden the range
One of the advantages for such an ecommerce site is that your customers can reach out to you at any time 24/7.With e-commerce you can add up to a wide range of products for your customers who can shop regardless of time and other constraints.
Shopping with Social Distancing
Even Though we are social beings, we are now forced to maintain social distance due to the pandemic situation of Covid 19. People are avoiding social gatherings and this has a direct effect on their shopping behavior as well. Limiting the shopping to necessary essentials has become the new normal. From a users point of view online shopping is an effective way for them to buy their essentials by maintaining the social distance.
With ecommerce you are no longer into one store business. In this digital world and access to the internet a wide range of people will get to know about your business and website There is no way one shouldn't be thinking about taking your business online.
Growth in Online Grocery Business in 2020
According to studies prior to Covid-19 spread, the e-grocery market was worth $200m in the GCC and Egypt, constituting less than 1 per cent of the e-commerce industry. Only 27 per cent of consumers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region were keen to order groceries online, 58 per cent still preferring to buy groceries at physical stores but after the covid has hit over 500% of increase in the search for online groceries, and more than 200% increase in the search for pharmaceuticals was seen making the spotlight on the online grocery industry like never before. Prior to covid people largely depended on the ecommerce sites searching for electronic gadgets and now a major change has seen in that as people have started to go for online grocery shopping more often than before . Major benefits of online grocery shopping for a customer are as below .
- Saves Time
- Saves Money
- Doorstep Delivery
- Lot of Options to choose from
- Multiple payment options
- Discounts and coupons
Revenue Model of Ecommerce Platform
For an Ecommerce business there are different kinds of revenue models like commission based, subscription based etc. Several factors affect which revenue models bring your business maximum profit like target market, size of the business, popularity of the business.
- Commission based
- Subscription based
- Service Charges
Apart from all these several Ecommerce business has a secondary stream of revenue, blogging and publishing sponsored contents, on site promotions for merchants, banner ads etc.
Business process of Instashop
Instashop is one among such online grocery stores with a successful business model. This Dubai based company is part of Jabbar Internet Group. They have around 20 categories of grocery products, ranging from everyday products like dairy, eggs, vegetables, fruits to baby care, body care products, prepaid recharge cards, etc. Along with this, their services include Pharmaceutical Products, Organic food delivery, and House cleaning. Started in 2015 they have expanded their services to 4 different countries now, Dubai, Bahrain, Lebanon and Egypt.
Instashop has a unique model of business where both the customer and vendors meet. Vendors are the retailers, supermarkets, petcare shops, pharmacies etc. At first the user will be asked to enter their location. And then pick a shop or supermarket near them and then pick a product from that shop. Instashop forwards your order to the Store you ordered from. The app shows the estimated time also for delivery.
Along with this Instashop also has rewards and referral programs for their customers. Instapoint :Through instapoints the customers will be rewarded with points which they can convert to credits and can be used for their upcoming purchases.
Instafriend :Instafriend is a referral program in which the users can earn rewards. Users can invite their friends to use this application and in return they'll receive the rewards as instapoints.
Main services provided by Instashop are :
- Pet Shops
- Fresh Produce market
- Butchery and BBQ
- Flower shop
- Organic Foods
How to create your own online grocery store business
Instashop’s success story has shown entrepreneurs the opportunities lying in the online grocery business. First you have to look for the market demands. See the current market conditions and look for the products which can provide you a larger market share. You can start with offering free delivery or promotional discounts. This will attract more customers. You should know about your targeted audience and for that you can take surveys and feedback. Understand their needs and try to fix it with your business and even look upto your competitors. Below are the few checklists you can follow to start your business.
Start with your Business Name
First things after deciding about your business is to come up with a catchy memorable business name. It's always better to make it short and simple but unique.
Register your business
Once you have decided your online grocery business you should register it with authorities. You can seek the help of any registered consultant to get all the formalities done.The authorities do not allow any random person to launch an e-commerce store and start selling products. Operating an ecommerce business does not exclude you from needing business licenses or permits.
Domain name and Website
Ideally you'll get your business name as your domain name, but if it's already taken you can look for other options too. The ecommerce website may be one of the major expenses you'll have, but you have to make sure that it's visually appealing and functional. For an ecommerce business it's always better to look for some experienced magento developers and mobile app development company who can build an outstanding online store solution for you.
You can arrange the inventory mainly in 2 ways. You can stock up the items in your warehouse or you can have business tie-ups with local grocery stores, but ensure that the suppliers can deliver. If you tie up with such local grocery stores or supermarkets this will add up to the inventory and you can offer a vast and variety of products to your customers.
Identify Delivery region
One of the major reasons for the success of Instashop is their promise of delivery within 30-45 mins. So if you are planning to start a business, you should determine the delivery regions you are serving. For example if you sell fresh groceries or vegetables the delivery area should be limited at the starting.
Marketing plays an important role in the business. You can try different marketing strategies like offering discounts and coupons to attract your customers. You can hire any digital marketing companies to consult for what is the best marketing strategy for your business.
Hire an SEO Agency
Building a website is not enough, you need to hire any SEO experts to market your website online so that it will reach out to more customers. If you hire right SEO experts they can drive more visitors to your website and more sales.
Your business needs to have a strong team who work together with a common goal i.e., the success of your business. You need to hire the right people in the right department for the ecommerce business. We can discuss a few of the core teams which are required for your online ecommerce business. Apart from the top management , You should have an operations team who looks after the contracts, partnerships, who takes the strategy decisions, and budgeting.
Team to manage the inventory who are responsible for maintaining the inventory, coordinate with the logistics for the shipping of the product. Sales/Marketing team is inevitable in all the business, you should have a marketing team to meet the vendors and make them convince your business and brand for the tieups.IT who will be responsible for utilizing the digital infrastructure properly and also data security and storage.
Digital Marketing plays an important role too, they will be responsible for bringing traffic to your website and organize campaigns, create brand awareness, so that you can reach out to maximum customers. The Content team or Designing team should be responsible for the content management of website or different social media platforms. They have to create engaging content with some great designs and exceptional marketing strategies.
Next is the Customer Care department. Unlike other industries here they don't have to have face to face interactions with customers, but they should clear the customer queries usually though chats, calls or emails, you may need to have more people for this department unlike others. Next you need to have a finance team to manage the financial matters, budgeting, P&L reporting etc. Team work allows employees to take up the greater responsibility in decision making and increase in morale. Building an effective team will foster creativity and innovation.
Few points to consider when creating the website
a) Ease of Use
Simple and hassle free experience for the customer should be your top priority. Your website should be easier for the customer to register and to search or filter the products according to their needs. If it takes too much time to load the customers wont stay for long.
b) Be Clear
Always mention all the necessary information that the customer needs to know very clearly. Be it the refund policy or product description or any limitation in delivery to any particular area. Customers should also receive information regarding his purchase, shipment, delivery or refund for that matter through email and sms.
c) Use Quality photos
This may sound silly but it's one of the major points that you should consider while presenting your website to your customers. Any low quality or pixelated image will make your product look cheap. Consider creating photo galleries for the product.
d) Include reviews
Try to include genuine reviews about products in your site. Nowadays people will first check the reviews of the products which they are planning to buy before actually buying it. So adding reviews about products or adding testimonials will increase the trust of your customers towards your brand. Customer reviews are a quick way to promote your brand.
Many of the websites try to miss this, but we feel each small detail about your website counts. In this way you can clear your customers' frequent queries like the refund policy, or exchange of the product which differs from site to site and customers always would want to know that. In this way customers will feel that you are making an effort to be transparent about your business and you genuinely care about your customer.
f) Quick and Easy checkout
Always try to make the checkout process as simple as it can be. Asking too much information during the checkout process is one the reason for the abandoned cart. Always keep an option to checkout as a guest.
g) Research about the platform
For a better ecommerce platform you should do some research on the platform which you are going to build your website. What all the features or advantages of that platform or what are your benefits from that platform in your business model etc. Since most of the people now go through these online shopping sites through mobile you should give equal importance on how it looks on mobile. Can the users easily navigate through the categories and also whether the payment method is easy to follow for the customer.
Selling the product through online is not a cakewalk. You have take care of many things. Even if a small spelling mistake or a wrong product description will leave a negative impact about you on customers mind. If a customer had any bad experience while shopping with you, he may never come back again to give you a second chance and your brand will be hold responsible for the issues even if you are not responsible for that.
These are the few points which we think that one should consider while starting an online grocery business. If you feel that we have left any other points out, please let us know by leaving a comment below. Also we feel at Royex technologies we can help you if you are planning to start your online grocery ecommerce business. With our vast experience in ecommerce website design, mobile application development ,digital marketing and SEO field we will ensure that your dream becomes a reality.
We set the client’s goals as our goals and set a timeline, and complete it on time. If we can explain in detail how an App like Instashop works, we can also develop an application like it or even better. We are a group of experienced and skilled software architects, engineers and developers who will give you the perfect solution for any of your ideas. We have worked with more than 300 clients globally since 2013.
We have developed over 50 mobile apps of all kinds so we have the skill and expertise to deliver you a quality finished product that will grow your business. We are here to give you the best and affordable prices that match your budget for your business profit. We also have an expertise team for the digital marketing and SEO services. We are one of the best Ecommerce websites and Mobile App Development Companies in Dubai. You can drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +971566027916.
About the Author
Suraj S Nair
Suraj has been working in the IT field for the past 5 years as Support Engineer under various industries like travel, hospitality, and IT. Currently working with Royex technologies as a Project Coordinator.