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Gurugram-headquartered foodtech unicorn Zomato has now added grocery delivery services amid the huge surge in demand for home deliveries for fresh produce and staples. The Zomato Market service is now live on the Zomato app and is displayed prominently before the food delivery listings.
The company is offering its contactless delivery option in line with the social distancing and hygiene protocols by the World Health Organisation. The product seems to be in soft-mode as at present only two stores could be seen, offering deliveries in an hour or two in the South Delhi area.
Zomato Market plans first came to light last week, where it was reported that the company is in the process of optimising deliveries for the grocery section, as well as tackling challenges arising for its delivery partners during the pandemic. Offline stores which work with Grofers will be listed on Zomato’s app and consumers would place an order on Zomato with deliveries fulfilled by the food delivery unicorn.
It was expected that the company will begin with a pilot in Delhi-NCR with Grofers, and BigBasket was also expected to come on board.
With many retail stores and grocery outlets shuttered in the current lockdown, the adoption and traction for online grocery delivery have risen dramatically in India. Both Grofers and BigBasket are working to ensure that they have enough delivery partners on hand and that the staff is well trained in precautionary and safety measures.
Due to the surge in demand, some grocery delivery companies had been facing difficulties in fulfilling these orders thanks to the breakdowns in the supply chain as well as lockdown restrictions put in place by the government. After multiple rounds of consultation and discussion, grocery delivery companies are finally back on track, but are focusing on fulfilling the existing bunch of delayed orders.
With many restaurants also closed in this period, Zomato is looking to make use of its existing delivery fleet, and expand beyond food deliveries.
Zomato’s arch-rival Swiggy had already been offering grocery delivery through Swiggy Stores and how had plans to ramp up operations in the light of increased demand. Hence, the market is now ripe for disruption and increased supply with demand to be fulfilled by foodtech companies coming together.