Close

Online shopping or home delivery services

What are the major online shopping websites or home delivery services for grocery in Mauritius .

hi
Their's one online store here but vegetables only
tantebazar.com

another one deal with alcohol etc
thewinestore.mu

HI Mike, Thanks for the info

I tried thewinestore.mu website, it seems it has some technical problems, we cannot view any products on their page.

As for tantebazar, it's annoying they only deliver in some regions. Info taken, I've just been told they have limited products on offer and they are quite expensive.  I'm better off going to the local market it seems.

It is so frustrating to see almost no proper internet shopping sites and no home delivery services offered in Mauritius.  None of the major supermarket chains have online stores.

It's crazy and makes no business sense for a country deemed to be a cyberisland..!!!

Welcome to Mauritius!The cyberisland thing is just a big joke, the connection is really annoying (when you consider how much we pay for that snail connection!) and so is the rest.

Online shopping will have to wait for a while, unless we suggest them to start doing it!

So, Mauritius a CyberIsland or Internet Desert ..!?

FWIW , on-line shopping does not depend ONLY on the connections offered by the service providers but also on the business owners- whether they are grocery stores or other shopping "chains" (sic) . All come down to ROI and may be their mkt studies ( if they do them) do not show it is worthwhile

I do not totally agree with the latest comment. I've been involved with the FMGC (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) overseas for number of years now and a quick analysis shows that service providers in this country suffers from a lack of understanding strategies such as TECHNOLOGY PUSH vs MARKET PULL  or simply unwilling to implementing these strategies.

I believe no Market studies have been ever been carried out in Mauritius regarding e-commerce opportunities.  but even in Mauritian terms, how much do you weight the operating cost of having super/hyper-market in a shopping mall v/s operating an online store.  The monthly Labour costs or electricity bill in a real world hypermarket alone will be more than paying a online hosting service for 10 years.

I think, we do not need market studies to understand that most people do not like waiting for hours queuing up in lines to pay for goods or even their bills for that matter.

I was recently amazed to see fast the Loto was implemented in Mauritius.  I don't believe there was a particular demand for such a thing in mauritius, yet, the terminal used is a simple cash register which is hooked up with a telephone line. In countries like australia, similar terminals are used to pay bills, insurances, parking fines, etc.. Why isn't such simple technology used to make people life a bit easier here. 

There's also a clear lack of entrepreneurship and Risk taking from all service providers in all sectors of the economy. How does a country that labels itself to be a cyberisland to the outside world does not provide any or very little web services in it's own country. ??? This continues to amaze me.

nantube :

I think, we do not need market studies to understand that most people do not like waiting for hours queuing up in lines to pay for goods or even their bills for that matter.
.

So what is the % of the island population according to you?

All of a sudden, you moved the goal posts. Back to the on-line shopping for groceries.......
How many people can afford to shop on-line  w/o considering the expats and locals with  mullah?
What is the cost of stocking the warehouses (or dedicated picking centres), manpower to manage inventory for in-store picking, drop-ship or delivery and transport?  It is not only the cost of an e-commerce website, technologies and apps that one has to consider but the operating costs including wastages, overhead  and logistics of running such a business also.
So it is only a niche market as far as those grocers are concerned - people who can afford to pay for convenience in a small community. In a previous post, you proved that point by complaining  about delivery and the costs of hard-to get items being expensive that  you would rather go to the local market.
BTW: I  am not a gaming expert but lottery PoS terminals are far from being just a

a simple cash register which is hooked up with a telephone line

One of the reasons is because Mauritians are afraid to buy online!
When you get a credit card from the bank they make you sign so many papers regarding online shopping and practically scare you off.

Sleeping Cookie :

One of the reasons is because Mauritians are afraid to buy online!
When you get a credit card from the bank they make you sign so many papers regarding online shopping and practically scare you off.

I guess the solution is Payment on Delivery !
I do agree, rules and procedures to get a Credit Card are indeed cumbersome.

On the other note about viable market, If the big supermarket chains (like Way, Spar, etc) which have a lot of branches, Set up an online portal, it will aid their business a whole deal. As nantube mentioned, it doesnt cost much to have and maintain a portal, and even if only parts of the island ,i.e, Cities, have demand for online shopping, it would still workout.

I dont think there is much demand or many people from the villages keen to buy from the super markets as they rely on the local markets for better prices and value.

Its more so the educated and the ones with the "moolah" as External mentioned who are the target audience for super markets. Online biz and home delivery would be an extension of the same.

I think ,atleast home delivery option should be made available (maybe chargeable) for a certain amount and above. People can drop off their grocery lists, or call and give the order, ( like you have in local grocery stores) and the store could deliver and take the cash.

All that being said, maybe it's time to push the demand, in the hope that supply will follow. We may not be a big island, but if we can save these 2-3 hrs of grocery shopping per month, that would be great, and I'm sure quite a few people think like this.

Delivery can be made chargeable depending on distance, amount of items bought etc or free if you buy say Rs. 10K worth of groceries.

ask a grocer to bring veg regularly to you

in villagers, there's a small lorry carrying all veg n spices around, with door to door selling

thats where we reached, technologically speaking,
hear you guys,

islander

alisa_ram :

All that being said, maybe it's time to push the demand, in the hope that supply will follow. We may not be a big island, but if we can save these 2-3 hrs of grocery shopping per month, that would be great, and I'm sure quite a few people think like this.

Delivery can be made chargeable depending on distance, amount of items bought etc or free if you buy say Rs. 10K worth of groceries.

10k of grocery?!! Hansa,is tat for a week or month :p.. not many ppl are going to be ordering that much at one go!! Me wud say its better with say 2 or 3k worth of grocery!!
@islander, buddy,I hope t door to door can be done in the "cities"!! That's where the demand is!!

10 kilos of veg she meant :P:P

or

10k rupees? thats for dozens of meals...umm, some people eat here :), lol.

just teasing,
islander.

Wow 10 k grocery is a lot for a family. I just heard thereís one supermarket in the north that makes free home delivery for in-store (lol) shopping above 2500 rupees, but delivery is limited in the northern region.  Why do they bother giving free delivery for their customers.

Regarding Externalís view :

What is the cost of stocking the warehouses (or dedicated picking centres), manpower to manage inventory for in-store picking, drop-ship or delivery and transport?

I believe every supermarket chains have to deal with cost of stocking items in the warehouses, manpower to manage inventory.

I think you are forgetting that supermarket/ chain stores, have far more overheads compared to an online store:  maintaining very large buildings, client parking spaces, massive operating costs , labour + customer service, maintaining cash registers and deliveries + security,  costs relating to supply, display and preserving food on shopping stalls  etc.. etc..etc..

Being from the FMGC sector, I know for a fact that there are huge costs involved in the organisation/logistics needed behind of having numerous items displayed on stalls and constantly maintaining supplies in all stores of a supermarket chain around several geographical locations.   

Did you know that in some cases, the supply from a warehouse and displaying individual items on a shopping stall (esp. frozen items) on a local level cost 3-5x more than the actual manufacturing cost of the product and shipping it across the world.

Supplying items from a warehouse or distribution centre directly to the customer makes an enormous difference in cost.  I can say for a fact that the distributors make far better profit margins per item; and in general, products sold online are less expensive than in stores.  This is why I do not agree online shopping for grocery is for a niche market or product sold are more expensive.

Without going in details, did you know that the vast majority of online stores, especially for FMGC actually donít hold any stocks? Most of them apply the Just-in-time (JIT) as an inventory strategy.
   
Most products in Mauritius are imported, packaged and distributed from a single warehouse. Do we really need to have several distribution centres or drop off points? regarding delivery, online stores will charge for it, and I think itís a scandal given their profit margins for every min order. But common, we are talking about a country which is smaller than some cities in the world!

Forget delivery of vegetables, most veggies sellers donít have huge overheads selling and distributing on a local market. An online store selling veggies wonít be able to compete.

About use of credit cards, common, I see people using their cards everywhere in mauritius. The Bank's advice against using your credit card online is normal practice coz they don't want to be held accountable if something goes wrong, especially if you are buying from overseas. But what if you use your cc with a local Online Store that uses a local Bank's very own Online Merchant account and payment system.  Wouldn't the bank be able to guarantee payment made using their own servers.

Infact today, any supermarket chains can issue their own branded credit cards, loyalty schemes, pre-paid store cards etc..  if you can go about in any place to refill your mobile account, why canít you do it for any store cards.  Bpay and other POS enabled refilling/payment solutions (like the loto) have been around for ages.

FMGC Companyís like IBL (winnerís supermarket), Innodis, or other supermarket chains can afford to implement online stores in Mauritius.  They have the warehouse, the whole logistics behind them, and marketing expertise to implement it.  Creating an online store will not cost more than creating parking spaces for supermarket customers.

Niche market not so, 1/3 of the Mauritian population have access to internet today. With the promise of obtaining cheaper goods and other deals online, I bet people will quickly adopt it.

Common people, give me the reason why in Mauritius - self declared cyberisland, there are so few Online Services available.

hi again
lets compare the cost of building websites, maybe we can have a hint.

cheers,
islander

Cost of building a major online shopping platform :

Exclude costs related to marketing, training of employees, maintaining the website etc..setting up or linking to existing inventory control system or database.

Ex. If based on a tool like magento ( Open Source projet )
http://www.magentocommerce.com/ -

Cost of platform for professional use : $2,995 USD/yr about 90,000 rupees per year.

A team to build/configure the website :

Estimated time : 1 Month

3-5 Developers and 5 junior Data/Product integrators, 2 Graphics/html designers - Marketing lead, Projet team leader

Salary for each :
Developer : 25-35 K per month
junior Data entry : 8-12 K
Graphics designer : 12-15 K
Server admin : 25-35 K

Marketing Lead : 20-30 K
Projet team leader : 25-35 K

More or less between 500 K - 2 Million rupees if done via an agency for a major supermarket website.

Excluding cost of setting up a payment gateway and merchant account, but it would not be very expensive + hosting facilities with MT for instance, don't know the price, but cannot be more than 10 K per month or else you setup your own servers.


V/S

Cost of creating a parking space for a supermarket like winner's for 20 cars -> Above > 5 Million rupees (inclu cost to purchase the land ?!!!)

jeez theres too much too read in this thread...so i only read the title and my 2cents is that im thinking of opening a mr delivery type service in mru...those who know what it is..tell me if you think it would work...those who dont...ask and thy shall be educated...end
Dr Lindy. SA

i say wow!

so what may be the problem in entering virtual sales, comparing to going to smarkets? maybee we tend to grip to old tendencies...

umm, there's one clue maybe, how much we pay paypal, or verisign per transac? maybe adding it to veg cart suffucates the profits..

anyway, welcome to venturers all way,
cheers

Unfortunately, I believe in this country, individual entrepreneurs or companies outside the FMGC sector won't have the capacity to maintain Online Stores. 

It's very ironic, but only the big conglomerated companies like IBL, Innodis, Food & allied etc.. have the capability of implementing such operations.   They control the whole process chain from importing the products, manufacturing/packaging, marketing and distribution.

I think i'm starting to see why, lack of competition and no real economic democracy in this country makes it harder for individuals to become real entrepreneurs.

a couple of more things:

> paypal is not available in Mauritius (we can pay but can't receive payments)

> only MCB and SBM propose online payment platforms, and MCB's price and commissions is quite high (much higher than europe as far as I now ...)

nantube :


[b]About use of credit cards
, common, I see people using their cards everywhere in mauritius. The Bank's advice against using your credit card online is normal practice coz they don't want to be held accountable if something goes wrong, especially if you are buying from overseas. But what if you use your cc with a local Online Store that uses a local Bank's very own Online Merchant account and payment system.  Wouldn't the bank be able to guarantee payment made using their own servers.
[/b]

Yes people use their credit card in Mauritius only when they are physically present when the transaction is taking place. Most Mauritians won't agree to give their credit card details by phone to pay for an order inside Mauritius or online on a secure site.

I agree payment on delivey can be a good solution

Julien :

a couple of more things:

> paypal is not available in Mauritius (we can pay but can't receive payments)

> only MCB and SBM propose online payment platforms, and MCB's price and commissions is quite high (much higher than europe as far as I now ...)

I guess the only way to turn that around is to have a foreign bank account, this way you could receive Paypal payments

Are there any e-commerce companies based in Mauritius, who send their goods abroad?

not to my knowledge, maybe small companies exists, trading a few items only. to provide such a web service, u need to take items from different suppliers, store temporary/permanently, then export. also to take account of the customs permits. awesome for foodstuffs, differs in various countries. i know that veg here, will get difficulty driving into european markets.

even the french-based islet, reunion island, has market restrictions, in terms of foods.


a question to sleeping cookie; is it possible for a mauritian to open a foreign bk acc?

cheerio all,
islander.

ps: 24 hours rain in the central plateau: beware in some places, low bridges, or drains can bring on flooding.

I think to open a website in this country would be easy. Yahoo and Google give facilities and they have website already built. Just add a cool name and photos of products and all is done. Selling groceries is easy. You buy 24 box of Kraft Cheese, 24 boxes of other stuff. Altogether have about 30 different stuff. Then people order and pay on net and you drive and drop off the goods. It's very simple and I do not see what fuss is all about!
All those salaries for computer people and software people not necessary. All you need is cheap camera and a Van.

Btw, you have the supermarket chain called "How Hong" that does deliveries if I'm not mistaken to almost every part in Mauritius. You don't have the possibility to order online, but you can make a phone reservation.

Also, regarding credit cards, for some reason especially in Mauritius there are very high commissions on credit card transactions. I guess that the commissions are even higher when it's an internet online transaction. Because of this, you have commerces that have their own kind of credit card (not officially a credit card) - for example in gas stations. I guess this is another reason why online transactions are not that popular in Mauritius.

Regarding opening a foreign bank account, I don't know the answer to that Islander. I happen to have a second nationality and in my country you can accept Paypal payments. But I'm checking with a relative that works in a bank in Mauritius in order to help you with that.

ok ,looks simple as per storm trooper! btw who's starting this business?

i may be a first client. i lastly bought a cooking pan(shefel) from malaysia, it was delivery fine at the customs; so inland's may be cheaper :)

cheers, islander

External :

BTW: I  am not a gaming expert but lottery PoS terminals are far from being just a

nantube :

a simple cash register which is hooked up with a telephone line

Indeed.  The trouble is that you can't "see" and feel software.  People don't realise how much effort and innovation goes into making the hardware do something.

lol.. i was being (slightly) sarcastic in my remarks. Indeed Nantube is absolutely right.
Given the fact that we have all infrastructures here (warehouse full of goods, internet connections, etc) one would (naturally) assume 'natural progression' would veer towards e-commerce. Well 'one' would be absolutely right too!

Anything's possible.

Winners in Goodlands delivers :-)

islander77 :

10 kilos of veg she meant :P:P

or

10k rupees? thats for dozens of meals...umm, some people eat here :), lol.

just teasing,
islander.

When you have a family of 5, with 3 under aged kids in that, Rs. 10K isn't much. I don't know how much the "singles" or couples spend on groceries. That's from personal experience.

It isn't complicated to do the online shopping version of what we spend a couple of hours doing per month, the will isn't there. As for home deliveries,  think Kaddy Plus is offering at the moment.

If you've lived in a foreign country you could open a bank a/c there. Otherwise you need to have your company registered there to open an a/c.

The whole project is feasible; might be costly to implement, but I think the big chain of super and hyper markets can absorb that and get a ROI fairly quickly. Maybe it's time to let them know that people are interested in this type of service now.

As for hosting - it might cost around Rs.3-5K per year.

hi alisa,
just came from the market today, i spent around rs 1,500 for a family of 4, a week and a half's veg. i 've had plenty of veg, ie: tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes, chillies, carots, gourd, green beans, coconut, mangoes. we only have dinner meals though.:)

mangoes are season for the moment folks. try the "baissac" mangoes, in markets. its around Rs 20 a piece, but juicy. :lol:

ah and coconut water in litres(around Rs 60) a litre fresh. great to lower cholesterol and inflammations :cool:

cheers buds,
islander.

islander77 :

hi alisa,
just came from the market today, i spent around rs 1,500 for a family of 4, a week and a half's veg. i 've had plenty of veg, ie: tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes, chillies, carots, gourd, green beans, coconut, mangoes. we only have dinner meals though.:)

mangoes are season for the moment folks. try the "baissac" mangoes, in markets. its around Rs 20 a piece, but juicy. :lol:

ah and coconut water in litres(around Rs 60) a litre fresh. great to lower cholesterol and inflammations :cool:

cheers buds,
islander.

If you live on veggies and fruits maybe you can go about it. :)

I have most fruits in my garden. Thanks for the tips, but I think I'll stick to my diet and my monthly groceries of Rs. 10K. And yes, at my place it's 3 main course meals, kids' school meal and snacks. With non-food stuff as well.

They were talking about groceries, not electronics

I actually tried that site. I rang up looking for an HP Toner. I got a guy there, he noted my details down, said he will get back to me... zilch!

There are now ways to speed up if you want to have your own shop. There are existing plug and play solutions for both setting up an ecommerce site and accept PayPal from Mauritius (there's a workaround)... within days. Interested?

I'm also planning to launch an online shop from Mauritius. As far as groceries is concerned, it has to be different from other items sold online. There have been problems even in Europe/USA to sell groceries online. The fact that they are perishable and that people like to feel them, are some of the factors.

I think the best that can be done, is to order and pay online, but the customer comes for a check and pickup (anytime) while the seller has already put aside into a bag. It still saves you from walking in the crowd early morning to get the best vegetables. Good for people working on shifts.

Dear all

I think the postings on this thread are very interesting and would like to mention something that I don't think has been mentioned at all on the posts I have endeavoured to read.

With the advent of the IRS schemes both those being implemented and those still in proposal stage, there is a potentially important foreign market which could be serviced by an online shopping service catering specifically to foreign owners and guests who have bought villas/apartments in these schemes.

Some of these properties do not have ready access to local stores (I have a villa in Bel Ombre and need to get a taxi 30 minutes away to do any sort of shopping at the moment).

There is definitely future potential for a viable business - not only offering dry goods, fresh meat and vegetables - pre-packed tasty local meals which could be reheated, water, soft drinks and alcohol but also offering home goods/decor, sun products, childrens toys, games, clothing etc.  There are many people who own these villas and permanently live in them but at the moment they have restricted access to any form of shopping.  This is a growing market and offers excellent potential for an entrepreneurial Mauritian looking to carve out their own cutting edge business.

In the UK, there is an online grocery site called Ocado which was originally set up as a distribution business, selling another supermarket chain's products.  This has become a very successful business.

As a villa owner, I calculate that for a 2-3 week stay I would likely spend at least £500 on groceries and wine outside of what I might spend at the hotels associated with our development.  It would be fantastic to be able to pre-order on the Internet and receive delivery at the villa the day I arrive.  Payment doesn't have to be complicated - it could be on delivery.  At the very minimum it would involve somebody offering a list of products available from various Mauritian stores or local markets with a small markup or sourcing fee attached to each product and/or delivery fee built and and for that individual to source, pack and deliver.  It really doesn't have to be too high tech although the more technical the platform the easier it would be to cater for larger numbers of clients over time.  A contract could be put in place between the provider and client to account for potential problems such as cancellation etc.

I would love to see something put in place soon and would certainly utilise such a service.  I have put this email together very quickly so please forgive the rushed nature of it!

Thanks

Back again...actually another point about this foreign market is their willingness to purchase online.  Most Europeans are experienced Internet shoppers and are therefore not averse to using Internet based service providers.

La Rubia

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Mauritius

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Mauritius

Moving to Mauritius

Find tips from professionals about moving to Mauritius

Travel insurance in Mauritius

Enjoy stress-free travel to Mauritius