The Covid-19 pandemic, which has locked down the world, has come as an opportunity of growth and consolidation for the online grocery delivery segment. Not only customers, but players across the several segments have entered the domain to keep the supply chain intact. Riding on the uptick, cab-hailing service Uber, epharmacy NetMeds, food delivery giant Zomato and digital payments platform Bharatpe have jumped in to facilitate delivery of groceries.
With supermarkets shut and kirana stores struggling to deliver, the online grocery segment is set for a phenomenal surge. US-based market research company Forrester Research noted that India’s online grocery market could make $3 Bn in sales this year, representing a whopping 76% hike compared to $1.7 Bn last year. The research firm has attributed this growth to the demand of fresh produce and staples during the nation-wide lockdown.
Despite the heavy influx in the segment, BigBasket and Grofers, who have solely focused on grocery delivery since their launch, are the biggest players in the segment. BigBasket cofounder and CEO, Hari Menon, has highlighted that the company fulfills more than 3 Lakh orders per day.
Before the lockdown, it was dealing with 1.5 Lakh orders per day. He told Economic Times that BigBasket noted a 35% increase in sales in April and has scaled up its people and slot availability.
Meanwhile, Grofers registered a 60% increase in its gross merchandise value (GMV), compared to pre-Covid-19 levels. “This is lower than the 2X jump that we witnessed in the first week of the lockdown as consumers are now buying what they really need, instead of stocking up excessively,” Albinder Dhindsa, CEO of Grofers, told Economic Times.
Forrester Research has also elaborated that the additional $1.3 Bn in online grocery sales could also be the biggest driver of the overall ecommerce sales. It also added that the ecommerce segment is expected to grow by 6%, amounting to $35.5 Bn this year. However, compared to last year, the firm would also seek a hike of $2 Bn.
Meanwhile, another market research firm Capgemini Research, in a recent report elaborated that convenience, health and safety and products/services that give a sense of purpose will see greater interest among customers.
The report also highlighted that most of the Indian consumers’ appetite for online shopping will increase from 46% in the current scenario to 64% over next 6 to 9 months. It has also noted that the grocery and food supplies will gain the most number of customers, while luxury products will be the least on the customers’ list.