Sri Lanka's online market is expanding at breakneck speed and everyone's jumping on the bandwagon – which is great for customers, obviously. You have the somewhat established stalwarts like kapruka
, and then the relatively newer online stores like takas.lk
and now wasi.lk.
Site & Products
Wasi set up just under a year ago and is trying to get a foothold in the market by offering discounted price on a variety of products, including consumer electronics, branded watches, sports supplements, house-hold goods and vouchers. All their products apparently hold warranties by their respective authorized agents in the island, which is a huge comfort for people wary of vague return policies and defective products.
The site itself is thankfully clutter-free and easy to manoeuvre. Finding what you want is straightforward as there are plenty of categories and sub-categories. You can also filter by price and brand for even greater specificity.
We feel that maybe a little bit of streamlining would be a good idea though.
Spreading themselves so thin category-wise means that there’s more width than depth. For example, they have stuff like vouchers for facials, sports supplements, washing machines, blenders and iPads a couple of clicks away from each other. However, they don’t have basic accessories like computer speakers or portable power banks. Maybe expanding the personal electronics and accessories section (chargers, speakers, earphones etc are always quick sellers), as well as the vouchers section (which only has cutting salon stuff at the moment) would be help.
The prices are good, on par with most other places that offer discounts and deals, and definitely cheaper than a conventional shop.
Payment & Delivery
They offer a three-pronged payment system – either online via credit/debit card through a Seylan Bank gateway, or via Dialog E-Z Cash. Alternatively, direct bank transfers or cash payments are possibly either at their office or on delivery. Cash on delivery purchases are an extra Rs. 150 but are worth it for the extra convenience.
Delivery is generally free within Colombo 1-15, and all-island delivery is available at a slight premium (you’ll have to check as you order, the price is variable to location). They also deliver within one day if you order before 2pm, which is pretty commendable. If you’re in the Borella area you could just visit their office and pay/pick up your order the next day too.
The initial ordering set-up is a fairly painless (albeit 7 step) process, as you have to create an account and enter your billing address etc. Once that’s done, ordering is really very quick.
We’re not sure how big their staff is but their service is quick and efficient. Within milliseconds of making our order (on a Friday), a confirmation email arrived. Within minutes, a service representative called me up to confirm the address directions and a convenient time. I told him I’d be okay with Monday, since I’d be gone over the weekend and he said he’d send it by today in that case. So we have to give them top points for their underpromise-overdeliver attitude.
We did some snooping on their reviews and facebook site and noticed that clearly the good service is an established thing - lots of positive feedback!
Wasi.lk has quite a few established online stores to contend with, but they have a simple and easy site, and efficient, dedicated service on their side. We do hope they can extend their products a bit more though.