For many of us, dragging ourselves to a noisy wet market for fresh food on the way home from a hectic day at work is a chore we could do without. Now we can.
A group of college graduates in Shanghai has launched a website where, with one quick click, shoppers can get timely deliveries of vegetables, meat, fruits and flavorings - everything needed to put together a meal.
"We've made shopping for food a breeze," said Yang Hua, one of the founders of gv123.com, a new online food store in Shanghai. "It's more than a simple convenience - it's a way of life. E-groceries are becoming part of consumers' lives."
Yang and his co-workers are betting on that trend continuing. For a 5-yuan delivery fee, buyers can wait at home for a wide variety of fresh and clean foods at discount prices compared with the wet market.
Business has proven brisk as the store now receives more than 100 orders a day, only five months after its launch. "The fast growth rate is beyond our expectation," Yang said with a big grin. "We are even running short on staff to do deliveries."
A college graduate and e-commerce lover, 28-year-old Yang started the business with his friends in November last year.
"We tried to solve real problems," said Yang. "Wet markets usually close early. So those who like cooking for themselves but get off work late find our service helpful. Supermarkets, on the other hand, may not be able to offer vegetables as fresh as ours, which are purchased from the market on the day of delivery."
He also thinks the online shop can help elders who can't get to wet markets or supermarkets. Now they can phone in their orders.
Five months into the business, Yang is devising new plans to make further inroads into the online food market.
Given that customers today have increasingly higher demands for food quality, Yang said he is considering offering branded healthy products in collaboration with reputed suppliers.
"Eco-friendly vegetables, for example, would be a great hit with the consumers, and will bring bigger profit margins to us as well."
He also has ambitions to expand the shop's portfolio to processed foods.
"It would not only cater to the needs of consumers, but also create more jobs for those in need if we want to launch such a manufacturing division," said Yang, adding that he welcomes other college graduates to join him in a business that is highly promising.
"Being a greengrocer may sound embarrassing for a college graduate, but I don't think so. It's about e-commerce, about making people's lives easier. And we could have greater opportunities ahead as long as we have new ideas to improve people's lives."
Source: China Daily