Grocery delivery has turned out to be the oxygen for technology platforms to survive the current Covid-19 crisis. Startups in fintech, real estate, social commerce and other segments have already tapped into grocery spurt.
Grocery delivery has turned out to be the oxygen for technology platforms to sustain the current Covid-19 crisis. While the existing ones including Grofers, BigBasket, Amazon Pantry, Flipkart Supermart are fulfilling a record number of orders, others in online food delivery, fintech, real estate, social commerce segments have also jumped in to tap into the online grocery surge. After the likes of Zomato, NoBroker, Perpule, Meesho, Snapdeal, ShopClues, Box8, CountLoot etc. Walmart-owned online payments company PhonePe has added grocery delivery service to its already super app of sorts. The company has added ‘Grocery’ feature under ‘Stores’ option and has listed kirana stores in the customers’ vicinity on its app.
The initiative is likely to support kirana or mom-and-pop store owners who are operating as per the government restrictions. For instance, few such store owners Financial Express Online spoke with are taking local orders for goods of daily use either on call or through WhatsApp so far. “Everyday things like milk, bread, eggs, are mostly what we are selling over calls to most of our regular customers who know us personally. Orders for monthly grocery are few as people are buying in bulk,” said a kirana store owner in Delhi. “We have been asked to shut shops by 7 pm. The purchases have largely been about dairy items. Other items like wheat flour, oil, snacks etc. are selling in lesser quantities. There is hardly any monthly grocery order. Since customers are reluctant in stepping out to buy products, we are home delivering orders we get over WhatsApp or call,” said another store owner.
PhonePe said that customers can place their orders using filters for ‘home delivery’ and ‘operational stores’ in the app with over 1 crore kirana stores listed. “We keep this information updated as the situation is changing dynamically,” said Vivek Lohcheb, VP Offline Business Development, PhonePe in a statement. Overall, the company claimed over 200 million (20 crores) registered users on its app. PhonePe also launched its Pay Now feature for customers to pay for their grocery orders without the need for scanning any QR.
Amid current scenario, there is a “three-fold increase in activity on the Stores page and a 50 per cent rise in daily traffic on its platform,” PhonePe said in a statement. While Zomato had launched its grocery service Zomato Market last week using its existing delivery fleet and last-mile logistics strength, real estate search portal NoBroker launched its grocery service through its visitor and community management app NoBrokerhood. Similarly, retail tech startup Perpule launched grocery platform StoreSe.in.