Checklist: Shop assistants pick items from shelves after a customer orders online Image Credit: XPRESS

Dubai: Who said home delivery of groceries is only a phone call away? South Dubai residents are now getting everything they need – from milk and bread to fruits and vegetables – at their doorstep with just the click of a button.

In an emerging trend, supermarkets, even organic stores, are taking the concept of home delivery to the next level by offering online platforms from where customers can click-and-shop and get the stuff delivered at their doorstep in less than an hour.

Supermart.ae, Trolley.ae, Organic Foods and Café, RIPE – customers are turning to different online stores to fulfil their daily needs. A look at the computer screen at Supermart.ae showed that one customer from Jumeirah Village Triangle had placed 55 orders with the online store, 15 of them in the last 30 days alone.

“We are seeing a 20 per cent growth every month,” said Haider Jouyaeian, Founder of Supermart.ae, who introduced the concept of online groceries to South Dubai in June last year.

Jouyaeian, who owns the Edelweiss Supermarket in Jumeirah Lake Towers, said over 50 per cent of his orders are through the online service which covers all of New Dubai.

“Around 40 per cent of our business comprises online orders,” said Becky Balderstone of RIPE which supplies organic fruits and vegetables in Dubai.

The logic behind the online shopping is simple. Kate Kiesanowski, Marketing Manager of Organic Foods and Café which has long been home delivering products to customers across the emirates, said: “People don’t have the time to do a quality shop. They work or have a family to look after. By ordering online, you take the time to carefully select the items you want. It also saves a lot of time, energy and petrol.”

All that a customer needs to do is to register with the online grocery website, select what he needs from the displayed items and drop them into a shopping cart.

Once the order is placed, the staff handpick the items and deliver them in a committed time. The stores have a fleet of vehicles to make the home deliveries. Due care is taken to maintain the temperature of the foods.

“Customers can specify what time they want the delivery,” said Omar Awwad, CEO of Trolley.ae which has tied up with Aswaaq Supermarket for home deliveries in New Dubai.

He said everyone uses the internet for a host of daily purchases, so groceries are a natural progression. The maximum number of orders he gets are from residents of Palm Jumeirah. The size of a weekly grocery order averages at around Dh300.

While deliveries over Dh100 are free, Trolley.ae levies a Dh10 charge for orders of lower value. Those like RIPE stipulate a minimum spend of Dh80 for home delivery. At Organic Foods and Café, the delivery is free for orders over Dh250 in Dubai. Dh50 charged is added for orders less than Dh250.

“Payment is usually cash on delivery, although some regular customers request for credit card payments in which case the machine is sent to their doorstep,” said Haidar, adding that delivery at Supermart.ae is free, irrespective of the purchase value.

Customers couldn’t have had it better. J. Palmer from the UK who lives in Jumeiarh Village Triangle, said, “It’s fantastic. Just wish they would sell more items.”

Norma Thomas of Abu Dhabi who buys regularly from Organic Foods and Café, said, “I have been using the home delivery service for over two years now. So reliable and always deliver very fresh produce. If I forget to place my order on a Thursday evening, I promptly get a call to remind me, so it’s no trouble and very convenient to send in an order.”