Bringing more variations in superfoods and confectioneries Zain Virjee, Founder of Dryfruit Mart, an online store for dry fruits, dried fruits, healthy nuts, healthy mix, healthy seeds, dates, sweets and mints, speaks to Progressive Grocer about the opportunities and challenges of online food retailing and his plans for ramping up business through quality adherence of products and price affordability.
Tell us about your company’s business.
Our company Dryfruit Mart makes it simpler for the customers to shop for great and nutritious dried natural fruit products on the web. We offer over a 100+ items that are most appropriate for driving a dynamic and healthy life because healthy eating is the key to healthy living.
How do you see the business growing?
It’s just a year that we have been in the business of providing healthy eating to the masses. But I can say that we are growing at a healthy clip and also giving strong competition to other brands.
Which are your products across categories and which are the markets they cater to?
Our product categories include dry fruits, dried fruits, healthy nuts, healthy mix, healthy seeds, dates, sweets and mints. We provide our customers a huge variety starting from products like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds to extraordinary specialties like macadamia nuts and brazilnuts.
Who are your major clients?
It’s an honor for us that we are doing private labels for Nature’s Basket and we have HyperCITY coming in as well. Our high quality products and fast-paced services are the reasons for such renowned names showing their trust in our products.
Which are the markets/ cities that bring you maximum business?
We are proud of the fact that in such a short tenure we have expanded and are growing our business in metro cities and markets like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Uttarakhand, Pune, Kolkata, among others. We are glad that our reach is growing rapidly.
On average how many orders do you cater to on a daily basis?
We have been clocking growth and our customer base is ever increasing. We have clients who order regularly and we saw our sales shoot up significantly this festival season.
What is the average ticket size of the transaction?
The ticket size differs vastly according to the selection of products. Dry fruits usually come under the Rs 1,500-1,800 ticket size whereas it is Rs 600-1,000 for confectionery and chocolate range.
Have you been able to build a loyal customer base for your portal? What is the frequency of repeat orders that you get?
Every month, we see almost a repetition of 30 per cent orders. We usually get reviews stating that their friends referred them to us. Our quality speaks for our brand and the ever increasing number of our clientele says it all.
Why would a customer buy from your online store instead of buying it from a store where he can satisfy himself about the product’s quality?
We simply believe in the decades old mantra ‘Honesty is the best policy’. That is part of our code of ethics. If a customer is not satisfied with our products, we provide the refund. At DryFruit Mart, we believe in building customer trust and maintaining it.
What is the sourcing strategy for your products?
We are semi-importers of exclusive nuts, seeds and dried berries and usually source our stock in bulk so as to keep the prices affordable and pocket friendly. Our parent company also imports pumpkin seeds and chia seeds which helps us in maintaining the price line.
Which are the best-selling products in your portfolio?
Our best-selling products are superfoods like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, gojiberries, pecannut halves, etc. Our website is a one-stop shop for the fitness freak and health-conscious people.
What have been the consumption trends for these products and what is driving their growth?
The era we are living in is increasingly populated by the educated masses who believes in the concept of ‘health is wealth’. Also, media and social platforms are playing a fantastic role in creating awareness and encouraging people to take up healthy eating habits, which is driving the growth of health-boosting products.
What challenges do you face in retailing your products online?
The major challenge is logistics and shipping. Customers need quick service whereas there are days and circumstances when the process turns slow. Timely delivery is a challenge and our team makes constant efforts to deliver shipments on the promised date.
What have been your learnings in this business?
Every step that we take and every growth milestone that we achieve teach us something. We have learned that maintaining quality standards and keeping prices reasonable will definitely help you capture the market. Keeping the best interests of customers is our first concern.
What are the issues that you would you like to highlight, which may be important for other entrepreneurs wishing to enter this business?
Be humble and don’t gold-price your products and services. Think from the perspective of your clients. As customers are kings of market, chalk up their interests in your priority list if you aim to be successful.
What are your future plans?
We plan to come up with more variations and fusions in superfoods and confectioneries from around the globe. Meanwhile, we are about to launch into manufacturing and repacking of flavoured seeds, nuts, berries, forest honey, infusion green teas, trial mixes breakfast cereals and some other special health products soon.