Friday, June 14, 2024

Best Basket’s Strategies for Success in Modern Retail

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In the north-western region of Maharashtra, characterized by small towns dominated by traditional family businesses, Best Basket supermarket has transitioned from its traditional grocery shop roots to become a forward-thinking model of modern retailing.

The origins of Best Basket supermarket goes back to its humble beginnings rooted in a traditional family enterprise plying its trade in the northwest region of Maharashtra. With a keen awareness of the evolving retail landscape, this formerly modest family enterprise underwent a significant transformation, gradually establishing itself as a leader in modern retailing.

This evolution has been facilitated by a strategic approach to innovation and to prioritizing the needs and preferences of the customer. Founded by Nitin Bhusare, Best Basket began its journey as a proprietorship firm under the name DN Mart. The brand’s transition to modern retail commenced with the opening of its first store in Yeola in 2022. Yeola is a town located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. The success of their first supermarket prompted the retailer to introduce another flagship branch in the city of Nashik in 2023.

This expansion demonstrated the brand’s dedication to serving various communities and underscored its commitment to offering high-quality products and services to an expanding customer demographic. Recently, Best Basket inaugurated its third and newest branch in Kopargaon, situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. As of today, the retailer’s operations span an average retail area of 11500 sq.ft., that fetch an annual turnover of Rs. 35 crore.

Best Basket operates on the guiding principle of “Sabkuch Best in your Basket”. In line with its brand ethos, the retailer promises to provide customers with an exceptional shopping experience through a wide range of high-quality products, competitive prices, excellent service, hygiene standards, and more. “Every visit to Best Basket guarantees excellence, ensuring customers have a comprehensive and satisfying shopping experience,” says Nitin Bhusare, Founder, Best Basket.

With the aim of providing a comprehensive and satisfying experience for its valued customers, Best Basket is commited to setting the standards of excellence in every aspect of the shopping journey, from fresh produce to packaged goods and household essentials. The brand selects and curates its offerings to meet the highest quality standards and places a strong emphasis on understanding and fulfilling the needs of its customers, actively seeking feedback to tailor its offerings and services accordingly.

Location Strategy

Best Basket strategically selects premium residential areas at both the Taluka and District levels, prioritizing locations with convenient parking facilities to enhance the shopping convenience for their customers. They focus on areas with high residential density to strategically position their stores within vibrant communities. Samarth N. Bhusare, Director of Best Basket, emphasizes, “We aim for optimal residential locations at the taluka or district level for our store setups, ensuring accessible parking and a high residential density within a 2km radius.”

Product Basket

Best Basket boasts an extensive product range exceeding 15,000 items, catering to a diverse customer base. From staple groceries and cosmetics to an assortment of food and beverages, dry fruits, Indian spices, organic foods, home care essentials, and personal care products, Best Basket ensures its shelves accommodate the varied preferences and lifestyles of its clientele. While the supermarket takes pride in offering high-quality products across these categories, a substantial portion of its revenue is derived from key segments, particularly groceries and dry fruits.

These categories mirror the demand for both essential and premium offerings within the customer base, highlighting their strategic emphasis on meeting the diverse needs and preferences of discerning shoppers. By providing a comprehensive selection of products in segments such as Grocery and Dry Fruits, Best Basket aims to cater to the varying requirements of its valued clientele.

Inclusive Shopping Environment

Best Basket is dedicated to fostering an inclusive shopping environment for its diverse clientele, which includes farmers, businessmen, middle-income groups, and more. The brand enhances the shopping experience by organizing various activities aligned with special occasions and festivals, such as lucky draws and food festivals, and offering gifts during festive seasons. According to Samarth, the supermarket aims to make every customer feel valued and appreciated.

To engage with the Gen-Z demographic, Best Basket implements strategies tailored to their preferences, including attractive schemes and discounts on cosmetics and food products. Leveraging social media as a primary marketing tool, the supermarket also provides free home delivery, exceptional hospitality, and quality products to cater to the needs of the new generation. ‘‘We offer schemes and discounts on cosmetics and food products. We bring social media as our prime tool in our marketing campaigns. Free home delivery, fine hospitality, and quality products are all what the new generation needs and thus they are the serving pillars of our supermarket,’’ says Samarth.

Additionally, to accommodate their busy lifestyles, the supermarket offers niche category products and ensures a seamless shopping experience with complimentary home delivery services. Recognizing the demand for convenience among today’s youth, Best Basket has expanded its product categories to include Ready-to-Eat and Ready-to-Cook items, as well as exotic dry fruits and chocolates. By prioritizing superior hospitality and curating a selection of high quality products, the supermarket aims to elevate the shopping journey for its younger patrons, aligning with their discerning tastes and preferences.

Fostering Customer Loyalty

Apart from providing a vast basket of products to its customers, the supermarkets has implemented a comprehensive rewards program for its valued customers. ‘‘We run Point Scheme, Discount Voucher Book, and Reference Discount schemes for our customers,” says Samarth.

Under its Point Scheme, customers accumulate points with each purchase, which can later be redeemed for exciting rewards, fostering a sense of loyalty and appreciation. The Discount Voucher Book provides customers with exclusive vouchers, unlocking discounts on a range of products and enhancing their overall shopping value. Additionally, the Reference Discount initiative encourages customers to refer friends and family, rewarding both existing and new customers with special discounts

These initiatives are designed not only to express gratitude to the loyal customer base but also to create a dynamic and engaging shopping experience that goes beyond the transaction, fostering lasting connections with the brand.

Introducing New Brands and Products

In addition to serving its clientele, the retailer is dedicated to promoting emerging brands. Across its three stores, the retailer consistently endeavors to introduce new brands and products. This process is dynamic, with the retailer actively pursuing opportunities to enrich the shopping experience through innovation and the continual expansion of its offerings with these new brands.

Best Basket’s commitment lies in ensuring that every addition to their shelves not only meets customer demand but also brings tangible benefits to their overall shopping journey. ‘‘We encourage brands to boost their sales and enhance mutual success by distributing samples to customers and deploying promoters for their products. Active participation in the brand’s events is the cherry on top, creating additional opportunities for increased brand visibility and engagement,’’ says senior Bhusare.

He further adds, ‘‘There are many instances where we have partnered with brands like Gits, Suhana, Prabhat ghee, Tirumalla, among others for schemes and activities in food festivals. We have also partnered with newspapers like Lokmat where we offered lucky draw coupons,’’ thus promoting products and emerging brands.

Customer-Centric Strategy

The foundation of the retail business’s success lies in its operational framework. In line with this principle, Best Basket has implemented a margin structure model customized to the diverse product categories offered to customers. In high-demand categories such as Grocery and Oils, the margin structure is intentionally kept at a minimal and reasonable level to ensure competitive pricing and affordability.

Furthermore, Big Basket stores have introduced a Quantity Purchase Scheme (QPS) aimed at delivering added value to customers. This scheme incentivizes bulk purchases by offering special discounts and incentives to customers making larger quantity purchases.

According to Samarth, Director of Best Basket, “Our strategic approach not only prioritizes customer affordability but also rewards those who opt for bulk purchases, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with our valued patrons.”

Using Technology to Enhance Operational Efficiency

Technology serves as the cornerstone of  every successful retail enterprise. Through the strategic utilization of advanced technology and sophisticated software, Best Basket has markedly improved the efficiency of its inventory management and sales operations. The seamless integration of modern technology has enabled instant access to every store within the network, streamlining operations across the board.

The implementation of technology has enabled Big Basket stores to generate detailed reports for any location, facilitating centralized control and decision-making from a single point. Beyond inventory and sales management, technology has significantly improved the overall sales services, streamlining processes and providing real-time insights. This commitment to technological advancement ensures that the supermarket not only meets but surpasses customer expectations while maintaining operational excellence across all aspects of its business.

Packaging Strategy

Through careful observation across its store locations, the retailer has identified a notable trend in the grocery category. Customers exhibit a clear preference for private-labeled packaged groceries over loose items, which have become particularly evident in the post COVID-19 period. Recognizing the significance of packaging, the brand has recently adopted a strategic shift in its packaging strategy.

‘‘We recently changed our packaging and ventured into new categories like exotic chocolates and imported dry fruits at our stores. After COVID, customers have become more health and hygiene conscious and are looking for packaged food items,’’ says Samarth. The brand has refined its packaging strategies to address the distinct needs of each store. This tailored approach guarantees that their grocery selections align with customer preferences, thereby improving the overall shopping experience.

Roadmap for the Future

With a forward-thinking approach, Best Basket is poised for expansion in the years ahead by building upon its successful store-chain model. “We aim to open 15 new stores by 2030,” confirms Samarth. Additionally, the brand is exploring the franchise model to expand its presence even further.

To enhance operational efficiency and strengthen their infrastructure, Big Basket is strategizing to establish a centralized warehouse. This facility will function as the logistical hub for all their stores, with the primary objective of optimizing supply chain management. This initiative aims to ensure streamlined operations, efficiency, and consistency in product availability throughout their growing network.

In alignment with its commitment to innovation, the brand is also exploring opportunities for the establishment of a dedicated company for Packaged Groceries. These initiatives reflect the brand’s dedication to offering specialized and curated grocery options, adding a new dimension to its product portfolio, and strengthening its position as a strong retailer in the retail industry.

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