Ecommerce giant Flipkart has officially announced its entry into the hyperlocal services to take on Google-backed Dunzo, which is currently the biggest player in this segment. The platform will also offer a slight edge to Flipkart over Amazon as it aims to implement the services on all major product categories.
Flipkart Quick services will leverage Flipkart’s technology capabilities and supply chain infrastructure to deliver more than 2,000 products across several categories — grocery, fresh, dairy, meat, mobiles, electronics accessories, stationery items and home accessories — in the first phase. It will also be onboarding neighbourhood or kirana stores onto its network. The service is currently available in Bengaluru, but will expand to six undisclosed cities in the coming six months.
The platform will allow customers to book a 2-hour slot as per their convenience. Customers can place orders anytime of the day, and get their orders delivered between 6am to midnight. The platform will only charge a minimum delivery fee of INR 29.
“This is a great model for India as households of all sizes are already used to their neighbourhood kirana stores… While we start with our dark store (no-walk-in) model, wherein we enable sellers to store inventory close to the consumer; this model has the potential of encouraging local entrepreneurship and enabling new business strategies and partnerships,” Flipkart vice-president’s Sandeep Karwa said.
Flipkart will move away from its traditional model of using a pincode system to identify the delivery location for the hyperlocal service. The company has assured that it will be integrating an innovative and advanced technology for location mapping. This technology promises to not only speed up the last mile process, but also bring more accuracy to the address mapping system, hence avoiding chances of mis-match or re-attempts.
Flipkart Quick will also be competing against Swiggy Genie which expanded its services to enable users to order items from local stores and send parcels to each other just like Dunzo. Meanwhile, Dunzo may take its offerings a step further with drone delivery, which are ready to go for trials in August with the help of management consulting firm Alternative Global India (AGI). It is important to note that the hyperlocal delivery sector has noted a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown.