In the glimpse of dotcom bubble memory, I still remembered there once an online supermarket store established by Lippo Group. Named as Lippo Shop, it served Jabotabek area by delivering our usual groceries. It was in 2000. The Internet connection was pretty much slow and so was the mood of online business. Many people in Indonesia didn’t even knew what Internet is all about, while I didn’t even understand how people pay its transaction using archaic payment system. Historically, it failed badly because of mismanagement and the inability to deliver customers’ orders. At that time, Lippo hasn’t even created its own hypermarket retail chains.
The year is 2012. A big retail chain is about to reinvent the wheel. Hypermarket giant Carrefour Indonesia, originated from France, is soon to open online store to sell products from its Small Medium Enterprise (SME) partners. In Spain, online grocery store from the local Carrefour (and also in other European countries) is common, but it’s definitely something new for Indonesian chain. The current online presence of Carrefour Indonesia only tell about catalogs and some other promotions.
According to the chairman, Chairul Tanjung as cited from Kontan [in Indonesian], the new online store will be affiliated to Indonesia’s biggest portal Detik. Both Carrefour Indonesia and Detik are owned by CT Group. Unfortunately it won’t come sooner than Eid (al Fitr).
Today’s infrastructure in Indonesia sees better Internet connection, better logistic distribution and more accountable payment system. People become familiar with online commerce environment. It comes to our logic sense that Carrefour-Detik partnership will learn from Lippo Shop’s mistake. Yet the problem arise eventually is not only about the system. It may come from the customers themselves.
Having an online grocery store feels like telling other people to go to supermarket and buying the goods on the list for us. While it may save our time to do something else, the level of satisfaction may not be as high when we’re picking the goods ourselves. Grocery is about buying stuffs we eventually need, not just wanted substances. The feeling is totally different and may lead to hesitation on trying the online service.
We are pretty sure it won’t replace the regular grocery habit anytime soon. Nonetheless, it will give new perception on how online commerce help common people getting through the daily life.