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Mumbai, June 25: It's time to put the spotlight back on TRUST. A sales executive dropping off the product without checking on payment - trusting the customer to pay later for his order - would more likely be a utopian concept for many! Not true if you're one of those living in 350 plus apartment complexes where iD Fresh Food is delivering its products directly to customers.
In one of the most unique initiatives, India's largest ready-to-cook fresh food brand has launched its highly-acclaimed 'Trust Shop 2.0' to cater to customers in Mumbai, especially in the Covid-19 hit areas. In coordination with representatives of over 350 Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), the initiative has been launched to make fresh and healthy products available to residents locked at home due to the current situation.
While a lot of companies are directly reaching out to customers through RWAs, they're struggling with collecting payments from hundreds and thousands of apartment residents. In fact, reconciling payments is becoming a huge bottleneck for companies and RWA members. To address this challenge, iD decided to do away with the reconciliation process, at the risk of losses that they may have to incur. Customer Trust - being the only motive driving the initiative. So if you're short of money or decide to pay later, iD will not follow-up on payment and repose complete trust in you to make the payment later.
"We got a lot of distress calls from customers in Mumbai, especially in the red zone areas, saying that they were unable to step out of their homes to buy food. We were aware that the retailers and other vendors were also struggling to navigate these uncertain times. Given the nature of the supply chain disruptions and shipping delays, we decided that it's best to reach out to our customers directly, especially those living in gated communities without a grocery store or shopping complexes. However, there were several concerns raised by members of RWAs over challenges they were facing in collecting and reconciling payments from hundreds and thousands of apartment residents. We at iD came up with an easy and simple solution - TRUST the customer to pay for the products they have taken," says Musthafa PC, Co-founder and CEO, iD Fresh Food.
The company had first launched the Trust Shop model, in 2016, wherein customers could take products from iD chillers - unmanned by sales personnel and with no CCTV cameras - installed at 37 apartments across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. iD trusted customers to drop off the money in a cash box attached to the chiller. The thought behind the campaign was - customers trusted iD to feed their family, and in return iD trusted the customers to drop off the money on their own. The response was phenomenal then with 90-95 per cent returns in some of the stores and it's no different now!
iD Trust Shop 2.0:
Currently, iD delivers its flagship Idly and Dosa batter, along with Whole Wheat Parota, Malabar Parota, Natural Paneer and Filter Coffee, to close to 9,000 households, spread across 350 apartments in Mumbai, through the Trust Shop route. Buoyed by the overwhelming response in such a short period of time, the company has expanded the initiative to Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad as well.
"Trust and the sense of community have been a huge part of our culture at iD. Based on our earlier experience with iD Trust Shop and its success, we decided to launch it on a much larger scale in over 350 apartments in Mumbai. We trust our fellow citizens. In fact, more than 90 per cent of our customers have made the payment online within a day. I believe, in these uncertain times, we need to trust each other and be there for one another as a community. We usually think 'trust' is a loss making proposition in a business. However, because we're selling goodness, I strongly feel it will always be profitable," added Musthafa.
Commenting on the response, Pavan Kumar BVS - Chief Business Officer, iD Fresh said, "While sales was a big challenge during the early days of lockdown, solutions came in the form of customer-focused technology and some disruptive and innovative approaches that iD adopted. The Trust Shop 2.0 is not just a unique initiative but also an attempt to let our customers know that we are with them in these challenging times. Our sales team has worked hard to make this happen, and we are extremely delighted with the positive feedback that we have received from our customers. This will certainly go a long way in building customer confidence in our brand and also remind us of a value that seems to be lost in today's world."
So, even if you can't get out, fret not! iD is here, at your service. Because there's nothing like a nutritious, home-cooked meal to beat the pandemic blues. Not to forget, its myriad health benefits!
How does it work?
The customers don't need to step out of their apartment complex to get hold of their much-loved iD products. The Fresh Food Buddy (co-ordinator from the apartment complex) places the order with iD and within 24-48 hrs, the delivery personnel will drop the products at the security gate of the apartment complex and leave. iD trusts the customers to make the payment via e-wallets later. There are no sales personnel or CCTV cameras to hold one accountable and absolutely zero verification on who has taken the products! The initiative works on the principle of trust begetting trust.