Around two years ago, while we were waiting for our flight in the Columbo airport, we ordered vegetables and groceries from Big Basket to be delivered to our doorstep by the time we arrived home in Bangalore. We snarled in disbelief as my parents discussed how they’d go to the Yeshwantpur santhe two days later to pick up groceries once they reached Bangalore and didn’t want to buy into our new found convenience. To me, it seemed like a trade-off between effort and money at the point, although my mum argued it was a trade off between freshness and fuelling our laziness. It was not until two years after this incident i.e recently, that I actually gave a moment’s thought to rationalise our online grocery shopping fetish.
We had just polished off a delicious breakfast (Sambar Dippu and Masala Dose) at MLTR and were returning home, when we decided to stop over at the Gandhi Bazaar market to pick up leafy greens (since you don’t get fresh stock online). A stop at the soppu (leafy greens) lady, somehow continued much further and we ended up buying two bags full of vegetables and fruits, costing us a total of around Rs.300. Now, surely Gandhi Bazaar market is not the cheapest place on Earth but everything we laid our eyes on was “in stock”, available immediately, could be handpicked by us, fresh as f**k and guess what, we didn’t have to spend several minutes on trying to push the billing amount upto Rs.1000 for a free delivery or even figure out a convenient delivery time. I didn’t even have to deal with the hassle of having to be surprised that something I ordered never turned up (which has happened every single time in the recent past) or spend time talking to customer service to register appropriate feedback on quality, delivery, etc.
Sure, not everybody has access to fresh markets around home like we do and it probably makes more sense to get someone to deliver at the cost of freshness or a few extra bucks, but if you remotely have the chance to eat fresher, I think we all should atleast try. All this new found faith in offline fresh purchase comes from the sweetcorn I bought at the Gandhi Bazaar market two weeks ago and by far, it has been the yummiest I have ever eaten. So, the price I need to pay for freshness is to quit procrastinating and moving my ass to walk up and down a physical market atleast once a week without pretending like I’ve no time for such menial jobs an app can take care of. Additional benefits from this, of course include not having to deal with all the packaging waste, which I’ve already written enough about!
Note to e-commerce firms – No, I don’t want to be that person who you are trying to build a one stop shop for where you are busy overselling convenience. I’d rather have the joy of handpicking my fresh produce even if I am not cool enough to grow my own stuff because I fall into your trap, after a few years, nothing would function in my body apart from my fingertips! 😉 Although before I go offline completely, I will be sure to try all available online services for grocery delivery, just to give them all benefit of doubt!