Now, buy FMCG products, grocery online

New Delhi: Online shopping in India is taking a new shape beyond the usual apparel or electronics items, as FMCG firms and modern retailers attempt to reach out to consumers to sell essential items such as grocery and personal care items like soaps and shampoos through the internet.

Companies, including Dabur, Himalaya Herbal Healthcare, Neutrogena, Oriflame, Amul, Future Group, Aditya Birla Retail, REI Agro and Carrefour, are targetting Internet savvy consumers to expand their reach through the internet.

"FMCG companies and retailers have started using the online medium not only for brand promotion but also for sales. It is a difficult category to break into in terms of online sales, but many players are making aggressive efforts to do so," Wirefoot India Technology (an online retail consultancy firm) MD and CEO Ankur Dinesh Garg told PTI.

There will be a huge opportunity in a couple of years down the line, he added.

A month back, Future Group has started selling certain FMCGs such as personal care and child care items online via FutureBazaar.Com.

"We are experimenting at the moment with a limited number of FMCGs. The category offers a good opportunity in terms of consumers frequency and repeat orders online," FutureBazaar.Com President Kashyap Deorah said.

He said for this category, a cash-on-delivery model would work better unlike other categories such as electronics and other big purchase items for which the consumers make advance payments.

Similarly, REI Agro that operates a food and grocery retail chain under `6Ten` brand is also preparing to launch an online platform — `my Grahak` — to woo consumers.

"We have launched a pilot project covering a part of Delhi from April onwards. At present about 10,000 FMCG and grocery items are available for consumers to chose from. In the next couple of months, we have an aggressive ramp plan," 6Ten Retail Ltd CEO Ambuj Jhunjhunwala said.

Similarly, Aditya Birla Retail that operates retail chain under `More` brand across India is also stepping up efforts.

"By October-November this year we plan to start online sales of hard goods such as electronics and general goods. In the next phase we have a plan to start FMCG sales as well," Aditya Birla Retail CEO Thomas Varghese said.

Even Dabur had announced the launch of a separate portal to sell its Uveda range of skin care products this year.

"Besides Uveda, Dabur also sells Nutrigo health supplement online and the response has been very encouraging. The plan is to increase the product portfolio online going ahead," a Dabur spokesperson said.