Though Coimbatore’s retail sector is yet to tap the potential of e-commerce in a big way, more city-specific, online services are emerging.

The city’s residents can place orders for vegetables, flowers, gifts and even grocery online.

For instance, JC Traders has launched an online grocery store (www.coimbatoregrocery.com). With about 600 products available in the store, online buyers in the city need to make purchases for minimum Rs. 500 and get the products delivered at their doorstep. The buyers tend to visit the online store and place orders over phone. They make the payment when the products are delivered and it does not take more than 24 hours to deliver an order, says J. Patrick, who is part of the initiative. The website is on trial and modifications are on. The number of buyers on it is expected to increase. It saves the time of going to a shop and waiting in long lines for billing, he adds.

At the Sree Annapoorna Sree Gowrishankar Group outlet opened at the Fun Republic mall on Friday, five tables have iPads that are fitted on aluminium stands. With wi-fi connectivity at the restaurant, a specially developed application enables the diners to place orders using the iPad. About 60 varieties are available in six or seven categories. Diners can choose the food item, the quantity needed and confirm the order on the iPad and a kitchen order ticket is generated at the kitchen with the table number. The total time taken to deliver the food to the table and the number of people needed for the restaurant can be brought down with this system, say Jegan S. Damodarasamy and Vivek Srinivasan, executive directors of Sree Annapoorna Sree Gowrishankar Group. When the customers have completed dining they can ask for the bill too using the application. It is also planned to add games and music options. Though on a trial now, the system will be extended to all tables at the restaurant, they say.

S. Padmanabhan, chief executive officer of Easy Design Systems, the company that has developed the application, says that it plans to develop the app for the Windows platform too.