This idea just struck me today evening. This is in close heels to the IoT usage with the gas cylinder post that I had done a few weeks ago.
Problem to be solved: Get an accurate state of groceries that is stocked in the kitchen and potentially order them (online?). This is a very common task that is done on a fairly regular basis in most households (typically on the day when ‘monthly shopping’ is done,
All grocery items to be stocked in identical pre-calibrated clear jars.
Item stored in the jar is bar-coded.
Threshold for ordering is to be set initially – by a sticker or using marker pens.
User invokes a smart phone app.
Snaps a picture of the shelf with the stacked clear containers.
App automatically figures out the jars with groceries lesser than the threshold set by the user.
The details of what is stored in the jar is obtained from the bar code.
User either adds the list of items to buy to his to-do list (Google keep? Wunderlist?) – or – directly adds it to his grocery list on the Bigbasket app.
I have been a big fan of BigBasket.com for quite a while now. While I love walking by the supermarket aisles and ‘discovering’ new products, bigbasket has taken away the stress of monthly grocery shopping for the family. To be fair, I should also disclose the fact that, we alternate buying weekly vegetables from bigbasket and our local HOPCOMS vegetable store (walking distance).
I had been thinking of a few things that bigbasket could introduce to make it even better. Having been a program manager (in a previous live at Microsoft), the first thing you do is to write a feature set / requirement spec. Here goes!
Weekly vegetable delivery. This is something similar to Amazon Fresh in select areas of the US. Most of India shops for veggies once a week, for a week. There is usually a preference on vegetables in most households. The vegetables could be a randomized set. (This is a common pain point when you buy veggies – what veggies did you buy last week – no one wants a repeat, leave alone several repeats). Ofcourse, no one minds repeats of favourite veggies (um, potato?). Send an email on Friday or Saturday listing a proposed selection of vegetables that would be delivered on Sunday. This would let the user to potentially tweak the order set. Guarantee freshness delivered at your door step, every weekend morning. I am sure you will get a bunch of customers asap.
Grocery is something that is fairly predictable too. Pulses, masalas, and other house hold goods are typically purchased at a roughly similar frequency. There is some infra that is already available with bigbasket for this – in the form of smart basket. I got this idea from looking at my own shopping analytics that is available at bigbasket right now. If I can see it, so can the system, and make a prediction.
Festivals and Diets: You can incorporate all kinds of smarts into this too. Suggest more ghee and sugar during festive seasons like Diwali maybe? Suggest baking accessories during Christmas maybe? How about incorporating your diet plan into this as well? If you get broccoli every week, would you throw it away? Always suggest low sodium salt?
Recipes: Hey ! You are throwing in a bunch of veggies, and you know the other groceries that you have delivered recently, why cant you put together 2 recipes per week using these ingredients. Simple pictorial ones. Easy to understand, and prepare. Even better, add one or two more exotic ingredients (for free), which in conjunction with the veggies delivered and the groceries that you recently delivered, would make a super exotic meal. This is marketing for those two exotic ingredients. If they like this recipe, now, you have a regular customer for 2 more of your offerings.
Secret box: There are a few start-ups in the US that are attempting this now. For a monthly subscription, they will deliver a monthly surprise box containing cosmetics or snacks, or other similar consumable stuff. This is a great marketing tie-up opportunity with partners. Drop in a couple of satchets of the newest flavour of Saffola Oats – carefully concealed in some secret wrapping of course (to enhance the interest) for free with your delivery. Notice the delight in the customers attitude. You can also link this line item with the previous (recipe) for even more customer delight goodness.
Delivery: What if the customer does not really want you to deliver home? Get up early on a sunday morning to a doorbell? Really? I bet the idea of bigbasket kiosks are already running the rounds inside your org now. You should, and yes, I mean, you should, introduce kiosks for ordering and taking delivery of orders. Best place for these kiosks for the yuppie crowd would be malls and IT parks.
Well to paraphrase ‘Sound of Music’, these are a few of my favourite things. I would love Big basket to come up with these features. And I would be the first one to trial these out !! And well, yeah, to be fair, thanks BigBasket for letting me do some PM stuff that I had not done in quite a while.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. I do have purchased from BigBasket a couple of times. The information contained in the post is my opinion on the way online marketing/retailing is changing.
I got an email in the morning from bigbasket.com. The email subject was to tout their latest android app. True to the subject, the first section of the email was a banner which described the arrival of their android app.
Nothing special about this. Then it went on to describe the latest deals. Nice bright pictures with their original price and the new deal price.
Again. Nothing special about this. I get atleast a couple of such emails these days.Then comes the kicker.
This seemingly innocuous note about Sona Masoori has more than what meets the eye. Firstly, it invitingly says, “A note by Subramanyam J,National Head, Staples Merchandising”. Intriguing. So I clicked on, and it took me here.
This page gives some very nice information on what is Sona Masoori rice. Where it is grown. Where the original rice comes from. What processing is done on it. And then, it also says, where BigBasket sources this rice from. It then goes on to give the quality metrics that it observes. And the yield. Yes, get that, the yeild. How much cooked rice does a cup of uncooked rice yield?
Wow. You dont get that information from ‘any’ grocer that you visit. Just not possible. This is where online retailing is headed to. And I like it.