Here’s how BigBasket is riding on Alibaba’s offline retail strategy

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Updated: March 05, 2018 1:36 PM

With the move, BigBasket may be following the footsteps of Hema, the first digital supermarket incubated in China by Alibaba.

Here’s how BigBasket is riding on Alibaba’s offline retail strategy Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group

After raising $300 million last month, Indian online grocery startup BigBasket is entering the offline sector. The company is looking to transform its core online business to offline centres that will store daily moving consumer goods, groceries, fruits and vegetables. These offline stores will be placed in apartments and various office complexes. The Bengaluru based firm has already rolled out a new app called BB Instant. To increase offline purchases it is also planning to start subscription based services on FMCG goods.

Founded by Abhinay Choudhari, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh and VS Sudhakar in 2011, BigBasket is an online grocery company, which now is looking to exploit the brick-and-mortar space. The company recently raised $300 million in a round led by Chinese giant Alibaba, which contributed $146 million. The company has raised close to $885.7 million in total disclosed investments.

BigBasket claims to have an average of 3 orders per user every month with the average ticket size ranging from Rs 1,400-1,500. Further the company claims to have monthly sales of over Rs 200 crore.

This investment comes in at a time when Indian and foreign behemoths are heavily investing in the sector. Recently, Flipkart restarted its grocery business, with the like of Amazon planning to enter the offline stores in India.

This is not the first time Alibaba has invested in an offline strategic move. The Chinese giant has been looking into physical stores for years, now, in an effort to engage customers to its ecommerce platforms by helping to digitize traditional merchants. It has pumped billions into investments including its own grocery chain, a shopping mall group, Walmart-like chains, among others.

With the move, BigBasket may be following the footsteps of Hema, the first digital supermarket incubated in China by Alibaba. Consumers shopped using an app, either in person or remotely. Shopping options included buying food to carry out, purchasing in store and buying online with a 30-minute delivery. Similarly, BigBasket has launched a 60-120 minute express delivery through its stores.  

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