The online grocery business is where the action is on the e-commerce front.
The online grocery business is where the action is on the e-commerce front. After witnessing a recent spurt in online grocery start-ups, e-commerce biggies are also looking at the segment more seriously. For instance, Amazon and Snapdeal, which offer a huge variety of products, have turned the spotlight on daily needs, offering various discounts and cashback offers, besides ramping up their product portfolio under this segment.
Last year, Amazon had launched the ‘Amazon Pickup’ service in the country, which allowed customers to pick their orders from the nearby kirana stores at their convenience. It also introduced the gourmet and specialty food store in October last year. Now, the e-commerce giant has taken things a notch higher with the ‘super value day’ on the 1st and 2nd of every month. The concept is simple, yet attractive. When customers shop from Amazon’s ‘Super Value Day Store’ for daily essentials —everything from grocery to household supplies — they will get cash back in the form of Amazon gift cards. For example: if one shops for R1,000, they get a gift card worth R250. Picked up stuff worth R3,000? Then a R750 gift card is heading your way. To make it more appealing, Amazon has also thrown in super saver combos, packs, ready-to-go carts and custom baskets. And there will be plenty of brands for customers to choose from as well.
“The gourmet and specialty food store on Amazon.in offers over 12,000 Indian and imported products. We have launched Amazon Super Value Days on the first two days of every month when a lot of online grocery shopping happens… The response from the customers since the launch has been quite encouraging,” said Saurabh Srivastava, category leader, FMCG, Amazon India.
“Online grocery shopping in India is very nascent and we see potential in it, particularly for niche products like gourmet, organic food and specialty products, which are not easily available, especially in smaller cities. Right now we are focused on delivering a wide and unique selection in the grocery and gourmet category,” Srivastava added.
Snapdeal, meanwhile, has introduced the ‘general store’ — which will focus on all household supplies. In another move, the company has also picked up a minority stake in online grocery service PepperTap, a Gurgaon-based start-up.
“We recently invested in PepperTap, an online hyper-local grocery marketplace. We look forward to working closely with them to make them very successful, leveraging the capabilities we have built in Snapdeal’s ecosystem,” a Snapdeal spokesperson said.
“Groceries is a very important category for us. It forms a large part of consumer spending in India. We are working towards becoming the country’s most impactful digital commerce system. This is a category of products that touches the lives of people everyday,” the spokesperson added.
Online retailers like BigBasket, ZopNow, Grofers, GrocerMax are making a big dent in the e-commerce sector and grocery is touted to be the next big thing in online retail, with e-tailers even acquiring delivery start-ups to ensure last-mile delivery to customers. Most of these start-ups deliver from neighbourhood stores for a fee and do not own any inventory. They cater to thousands of orders on a daily basis.
As per India Brand Equity Foundation, food and grocery made up 69% of India’s $490-billion retail sector in 2013, valuing it at $338 billion.
What a deal
Amazon launches ‘super value day’ on the 1st and 2nd of every month. Offers cashback in the form of gift cards, super saver combos, packs, ready-to-go carts and custom baskets.
Snapdeal introduces ‘general store’ focusing on household supplies; offers generous discounts.