India’s fastest growing ecommerce firm, Flipkart, has finally started testing waters in the grocery vertical too. The online marketplace is testing a programme for its hyperlocal grocery business called ‘f Qck’ (read F-Quick), for which it has tied up with the neighbourhood merchants, ET reports.
For this, Flipkart has also tied up with Bangalore-based B2B online platform and service provider for hyperlocal logistics services, Roadrunnr and is in talks with on-demand shipping startup Parcelled to handle deliveries, especially anticipating additional demand during the acme of Diwali season.
The industry experts, now, no more see the online grocery market as nascent. With burgeoning startups in the segment, India presently ranks sixth amongst the largest grocery market in the world. The retail market in India is estimated to hit $725 Bn (about INR 43 lakh Cr.) by 2017 and according to Retail consultancy, Technopak, the online grocery business is suppose to grow at a rate of 25-30 per cent in major cities of India.
Flipkart had earlier reported that the company is doing a ton of stuff in the hyperlocal segment but did not make clear as to what was on its menu.
Flipkart’s entry in the segment could be marked delayed as its rivals have already taken the market in sway. Mcommerce platform, Paytm marked its entry into the online grocery market just a few months back with its Paytm-Zip app to connect users to both local offline as well as online grocers, however, the app was pulled from the app store recently. Vijay Shekhar Sharma told us that, “We hadn’t launched it officially. It was a beta app and will be back with few more updates”.
It is to be noted that amongst the ecommerce marketplaces, Snapdeal is the oldest player occupying the grocery etailing with Godrej Group’s food retail arm Godrej Nature’s Basket on board. Amazon too launched its express delivery platform for grocery by the name KiranaNow earlier in the year.
The challenge of selling groceries online however, is not confined to these ecommerce marketplaces alone. The new entrants like Bigbasket, PepperTap, ZopNow have used combination of different business models and technology to mark its presence in the sector.
Apart from hyperlocal grocery, Flipkart has been in reports for quite a few other reasons as well. The marketplace is making waves with its new Bangalore office and its supreme work culture for its employees.
This news comes in at the time when Flipkart’s new funding round of $700 Mn has sufficed in media.