Zomato taps into grocery spurt amid Covid-19 lockdown; competes with BigBasket, Grofers, Swiggy, others

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Updated: April 2, 2020 2:29:01 PM

To make the best out of the current lockdown due to the Coronavirus, Zomato has tapped into the sudden spurt in online grocery deliveries in the country by piggybacking its existing delivery strength.

Zomato market will now compete with Swiggy Stores launched last year along with BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon Pantry, and Flipkart Supermart.

To make the best out of the current lockdown due to the Coronavirus, Zomato has tapped into the sudden spurt in online grocery deliveries in the country by piggybacking its existing delivery strength. The company has launched its new service – Zomato market on its app to deliver groceries from outlets in customer vicinity. Zomato market will now compete with Swiggy Stores launched last year along with BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon Pantry, and Flipkart Supermart.

“It absolutely makes sense. It is a positive move. The grocery industry is also struggling to get goods into the stores. The segment really needs any player who has a hyperlocal supply chain right now and will definitely benefit from it,” Anurag Mathur, Partner and Leader – Retail & Consumer, PwC India told Financial Express Online. While Zomato is yet to make the move official, based on the customer queries on social media, Zomato market, seemingly a pilot, is currently available in limited cities including Delhi, Gurugram, Chennai, Kochi etc. The service is not available in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune etc. as of now.

Also read: Snapdeal enlists local grocers to make quick, intra-city deliveries; now serving 96 cities

“It will help the industry as well as benefit from the need of the consumer. Other e-commerce players don’t have hyperlocal chains. So given the current situation and what we will see potentially in 12-18 months, it is a smart thing,” Mathur added. However, the availability of new service by Zomato in select cities is also depending on the local regulations. For instance, in Chennai, Zomato market is operational only for four hours in a 24-hour window.  “Zomato Market in Chennai is operational from 7 to 9 AM in the morning and 12 to 2 PM in the afternoon as per state government regulations,” the company tweeted in response to a customer query.

The 21-day lockdown has disrupted the services businesses in the country with logistical including delivery challenges on the ground that were reported by multiple online brands including Grofers, BigBasket, Flipkart, Milkbasket, Medlife and more even after the government had exempted essential e-commerce deliveries to function during the lockdown. “There’s already a manpower shortage for e-commerce firms to deliver goods on time which include your delivery personnel while online food orders have also declined during the lockdown due to multiple restaurants shutting down temporarily. So to use existing delivery strength to also fulfil grocery orders will help these companies in the current situation,” an e-commerce expert told Financial Express Online.

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