Hyperlocal grocery became a buzzword in the media as 2015 saw some major developments in the online grocery market in India. While some companies, like Ola and Flipkart, took a U-turn, other companies, like BigBasket, worked towards strengthening its foothold in the market.
The online grocery market is divided into two models – inventory-led and hyperlocal-delivery. Overall, the market is valued at $200 Mn annually. Bangalore-based online grocer, BigBasket, has gone one step ahead by merging the two models. It plans to cover the entire grocery needs of consumers, by launching its marketplace business, reports ET.
The company’s statement said that it will be delivering orders with hyperlocal speciality stores, such as bakeries and meat shops, in less than an hour. For the initial phase, BigBasket plans to launch this service in Bangalore, with about 400 stores, handling logistics only for stores within a 6 km radius.
Hari Menon, CEO of Big-Basket, said in a statement, “No matter how much you shop online, 5% of your grocery is bought from speciality stores within the locality that you trust and love. The marketplace model will offer popular neighbourhood delights from bakeries, flower shops, meat speciality stores and pet outlets.”
Experimenting with the market, BigBasket has entered the hyperlocal segment, which is crowded by startups like Grofers, Peppertap and ZopNow. Recently, Grofers and Peppertap had to shut down operation in few cities due to unavailability of appropriate demand and no scope for scalability, as cited by them. Whereas, players like Flipkart, Paytm and Ola have reportedly closed their grocery segment as part of focusing on their core business.
Experts have started believing that it is tough to crack the food and beverage ecommerce segment due to problems related to supply chain, last-mile logistics and procurement. Despite all these apprehensions, Amazon is betting heavily on expanding its ‘Kirana Now’ service to masses.