Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart on Tuesday launched a 90-minute hyperlocal delivery service for groceries and electronic products, among other items, in a challenge to Amazon Fresh, which offers two-hour delivery of groceries.
The Flipkart Quick service has started in parts of Bengaluru, and will be expanded to 4-5 major cities in the coming months, a company executive said. For a minimum delivery fee of ₹29, consumers can get deliveries in 90 minutes, or book a two-hour slot for deliveries later.
The model aims to tap new consumers by expanding access to products and enabling them to order from nearby Flipkart hubs. Flipkart has partnered with logistics firm Shadowfax and will also use its logistics arm, Ekart, to fulfil orders for Flipkart Quick.
The coronavirus lockdown has prompted more physical retailers to sign up with e-commerce platforms. E-commerce firms have stepped in with last-mile connectivity, adding hyperlocal capabilities. Last week, Flipkart said it has acquired parent Walmart’s Indian operations, including its cash-and-carry business, Best Price, and will launch its wholesale unit, which is in pilot mode, in August. Flipkart’s venture into hyperlocal instant deliveries comes at a time when Reliance JioMart has entered online commerce.
Sandeep Karwa, vice-president of Flipkart, said many customers started shopping for groceries online for the first time during the lockdown.
“The hyperlocal delivery model helps us to build capabilities where we can access stores in the vicinity of the customers," Karwa said.
Till now, online firms typically understood customers at a zipcode level, but the new model takes it a step further and helps Flipkart serve them on the basis of a ‘geohash location level’, he added.
The new business will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, launched on Tuesday, Flipkart will source directly from sellers and deliver to customers. In the next phase, Flipkart will enable or leverage the kirana ecosystem and onboard them, along with their infrastructure, where the latter can also deliver to customers.
E-commerce firm Paytm Mall is also planning to start same-day hyperlocal deliveries in groceries, electronics (including smartphones) and wellness products to diversify its offerings to customers, according to two people aware of the discussions, Mint reported in June.
Amazon India offers two-hour delivery services in Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
It started the service, which was then called Kirana Now, in 2015. The service was renamed Prime Now in 2018 as it got integrated into the Prime programme and has now evolved into Amazon Fresh, the company said.