The Jakarta Post
The bricks and mortar grocery business may still stand strong in the hectic capital city, but some Jakartans have started to turn their eyes to online shops to save time.
When they do grocery shopping, they are no longer selecting numerous products in an aisle of a supermarket, but clicking their desired products on their smartphones or personal computer. Meat? Click. Tomato? Click. Shampoo? Click.
Yuli Rahayuningtyas, a resident of Bintaro Jaya in Tangerang, has been using the service of a new online shop to buy fresh products such as vegetables and chicken.
'Both my husband and I work, so we are very busy and have little time to shop. The online shop offers fresh products with reasonable prices and a delivery service,' she told The Jakarta Post over the phone recently.
The 40-year-old woman says she works five days a week in a telecommunication company in South Jakarta and uses her weekends to take care of her beauty salon business in Bintaro. With a minimal purchase of Rp 50,000 (US$5) and a delivery service fee of Rp 10,000 for a maximum total shopping weight of 10 kilograms, she can make an order on the online shop a day before receiving the goods.
One thing that she is less satisfied with is that the online shop still has a limited coverage area in South Jakarta and East Jakarta, so she has to receive her order at her office and store it in the office's refrigerator.
'I hope the service can expand to my housing area, so my maid can receive the groceries at home,' she said.
Hectic schedules also became the reason for Indra Bayu Permana, a journalist, to do his monthly groceries on an online shop by using his smart phone.
'There are times when I am very busy and I choose to buy groceries online. It's practical and simple. When I am free, I go to a nearby supermarket,' said the man who lives in Cibubur, West Java.
In the past two years, there has been a growing number of e-commerce offering grocery shopping services. Some of them are Sukamart.com, an online grocery shop owned by Japanese Sumitomo Corporation that has a coverage area in Indonesia, Alfaonline.com, the brain-child of minimarket chain Alfamart, and supermarkets such as Carrefour and Hypermart.
If you want fresh products, there is pasarminggu.co, which gets their products from the wholesale traditional market Pasar Induk Kramat Jati in East Jakarta and serves the East Jakarta and South Jakarta areas. Another online shop with fresh products is rumahsegar.com, which has a coverage area in the capital city or a 25 kilometer area from their office in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
Although the online businesses are still young, their customers are growing.
Alfaonline.com, for example, has recorded 300 online transactions every day since it was launched on February 18. Meanwhile, co-founder of pasarminggu.co Elqee Ervan said the online shop that was set up on March 27 now has around 30 customers every day.
'Most people who visit our website asked when we would serve their housing area,' Elqee told the Post.
Indonesia Retailers Association (Aprindo) deputy secretary-general Satria Hamid Ahmadi said his association has not recorded the value of online transactions in the country, but he believes that online services will be the next 'big trend' in the next five years.
'Consumer behavior changes quickly in Jakarta. People are busy and the streets are congested. Meanwhile, the residents need a lot of shopping, but they have limited time,' he said.
He said the government should immediately provide regulations that protect consumers when they do online transactions.
'There should be some regulation from the government that rules on various things regarding online transactions, such as if the consumers receive bad quality products. Nowadays, we can't tell which online stores really exist,' he said.
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