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Hari Menon, co-founder of BigBasket. (Photo: Mint)
Hari Menon, co-founder of BigBasket. (Photo: Mint)

BigBasket sees sharp spike in new customers due to covid

  • Bigbasket’s B2B business which sells fresh produce, groceries, rice, dals, etc to supermarkets and kirana shops saw a 50% increase from January to July this year

BENGALURU: Grocery e-tailer BigBasket said new customers on its delivery platform have risen 84% during a seven-month period - January to July. The startup also claimed the retention rate of customers grew 50% during the period. Bigbasket’s growth in user additions comes not long after its supply chain and logistics operations came to a standstill in April during the first phase of lockdown, even as demand saw a sharp rise.

In April, consumer staples such as flour, tea, and milk were out of stock on the BigBasket app, while rival Grofers reported a supply crunch. However, the e-grocery startup has seen slow but steady recovery since then.

On Tuesday, Bigbasket, in a study, said the total number of times a customer visited its website or app is now 55% higher than before, while the number of households ordering on the platform has gone up by 44% from January to July.

These numbers indicate that more consumers are now comfortable ordering groceries online, and some of them are also new to online grocery delivery apps.

The e-grocer's daily milk delivery app--bbdaily-- has also witnessed a revenue growth of 139% during the seven-month period, driven by customers choosing it as an option to buy their daily milk, fruits, and vegetables apart from other monthly and weekly grocery purchases.

Bigbasket also operates smart vending machines in many residential apartments in tier 1 cities like Bengaluru. The startup had pledged to invest close to $100 million to expand bbinstant after it was launched in September 2018. During January-July, bbinstant has shown a 20% increase in revenue according to the study. While the main business-to-consumer (B2C) app saw an 81% increase during the same period.

Bigbasket’s B2B business which sells fresh produce, groceries, rice, dals, etc to supermarkets and kirana shops saw a 50% increase from January to July this year.

The study also pointed out that there has been a shift in consumption pattern and categories during the lockdown period. Vitamin C containing fruits such as kiwis, oranges, and other citrus fruits saw 2 times more demand from households during the lockdown when compared to regular fruits and vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, and potatoes.

At the same time, given that customers are staying at home much more than before, indulgence categories such as chocolates, cup noodles, namkeens, and savory snacks registered 50-140% growth (in terms of orders) from January to July.

Customers have also been buying a lot more products from categories that relate to family time, hobbies, and experimentation. For example, colouring pens and crayons have seen an increase of 354% and gardening tools have seen an increase of 100% during the period.

"There has been a significant change in consumer behaviour since March. Given the unmatched convenience and safety that home delivery offers, we have experienced an 84% increase in new customers accompanied by excellent retention rates and basket sizes," Seshu Kumar Tirumala, national category head of BigBasket said.

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