Launched about a year ago, zansaar.com is an online retailer offering a range of home, garden and world food products, sourced from India and across the globe. Its range of 500+ food products and cooking ingredients includes Thai curry pastes, Italian toppings, Moroccan spices, Chinese sauces, Japanese sushi supports and traditional Indian favourites. Nikita Bhargav, creative director, zansaar.com, in an email interaction, reveals more to Manjushree Naik. Excerpts:
According to you, zansaar is India's first online retailer offering 500+ world food products. How does this business model fare for buyers in terms of quality as people do not get to see the products beforehand?
The fact that we sell more than 500 world food products is our greatest highlight. You'll be surprised by the number of online shoppers for these products. Of course in the case of food products, the popular brands are always the best in quality, and we make these available to online shoppers. Next time you need a Jamie Oliver or your favourite brand of maple syrup, you don't have to go hunting to very specific stores. We have them all a click away, ensuring pan-Indian availability.
What about the pricing? Does buying online allow the buyer to get the same product that they get in stores, at a cheaper price?
The aim is to make these brands easily available to the customer at MRP, without having to venture from their homes, or wait for the next trip to the city.
What is more in demand - cooking ingredients or ready-to-eat foods?
We score slightly higher on cooking ingredients. We have ingredients that cover cuisines from across the world, making it amazingly easy to cook up anything from Thai, Italian or Mexican to authentic Indian recipes. Our 'Recipe Kits' and the Zansaar blog also give you recipes, suggestions and tips to cook and experiment.
Among cooking ingredients, which products are popular?
It is impossible to point out a particular product or a particular cuisine. There is equal demand for all varieties. We've discovered India is interestingly diverse in its choice of flavours as well. And you will be surprised how the Indian palette has changed and we are now experimenting with newer cuisines.
Who are your key buyers - homemakers, hospitality industry, others?
If you've browsed through our range of products you'll know we strive to cater equally to everyone from a young geek and also to someone who likes to entertain. Our products cover a span of requirements, we are stocked well on both functional and decorative products. We also have an exclusive collection of imported products, which is wide in range and impossible to find in the market.
Indians are not very comfortable with concepts like online retail. How has online retail been received in India compared to the West?
Online shopping is slowly finding its roots in India, and the shopping community has already warmed up to the concept. I believe our product and packaging quality has prompted customers to come back for more. Online shopping as a trend is on the rise, and the numbers in the next couple of years will see a phenomenal growth in this segment.
What kind of growth are you envisaging for online retail in India in the coming years?
As I said, the trend is definitely positive, and we're looking forward to immense growth in terms of numbers, both the number of online shoppers and revenue.