Wanna shop? Go online!
What’s new in the market? Online shopping! Online business is already thriving in most other parts of the world, and the trend is fast catching up in Bhutan, too.
It has made shoppers’ lives easier and more convenient. People do not have to make an effort to go to the market or a stall for shopping; instead, they just have to order the stuff online.
The online shopping center that is booming in the city is Green Mart – Bhutan’s first online store which is located at Changzamtog, near the old call center (FCB Road).
It delivers groceries at your doorsteps once you place the order online.
“It’s easier as you don’t have to walk or drive to go shopping, instead you just sit home and wait for the delivery,” said a businessman, Tshewang Penjor.
The customers of Green Mart first register on the website and then choose the items they want to be delivered. The items are then put on their shopping list, and the customers check out from the website.
At the time of the registration, the customers give the detailed information for the delivery and the payment is done during the time of delivery.
“We verify the order, activate their account and when the shopping order is done, the customer checks out and then we can see their bills with the order for delivery,” said the Owner of Green Mart, Damchey Lhendup.
The Green Mart charges between Nu 30 to Nu 70 as delivery charges. It has a two-time delivery service in a day – at 12 noon to 2 pm and from 5 to 8 pm.
“From the delivery charges on night orders, we donate Nu 2 to Youth Development Fund (YDF) for a particular program called 250 for youth,” said the owner.
Green Mart also has reward points for online customers. For every Nu 100 worth of shopping, customers receive a reward of Nu 1 which could be used to redeem discount on their bills.
The Bank of Bhutan (BoB) also recently introduced the online purchase where shopping can be done online with its Visa Debit International Card which is accepted in over a million ATMs around the world.
The USD card is activated worldwide and accepted online; when online transactions are done, Visa verifies it and the clients have their products.
“We haven’t had much people using it as of now because they are still not very aware of this new form of shopping with the USD card,” said the Card Officer of BoB, Tshering Choejur.
With the internet revolution, online business is now also evolving. The most buy and sell business taking place on line in the capital is on Facebook where people create various pages.
B-bay is one of the most happening Facebook businesses. Buying, selling and also renting offers are updated on the Facebook page by all the members for free.
“Shopping online is always easier as things are just bought by browsing for a cheaper rate and we can get anything we want online,” said a housewife, Rinzin Om.
However, with convenience comes risk. People don’t realize that they are spending a huge amount of money on web sites as they continue to increase the number and amount of products they buy online.
“I heard of online shopping but I prefer to go to the market myself as ordering online cannot ensure that I will get the right or exact product,” said a civil Servant, Tshering Yangchen.
But a trip to the mall, store or Sunday market will always remain a form of entertainment for many people as most of them are used to doing shopping that way.
“Online shopping is very convenient and it has a lot to offer,” said a shopkeeper, Dechan Wangmo, “but there are certain things you are going to want from a store.”