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NEW DELHI: More than 50% of Indian shoppers who purchase groceries online, place orders that are planned in advance, including ordering monthly or weekly with top-ups in some cases, according to survey by community platform LocalCircles.

Consumers ranked product quality followed by value for money as the top drivers of purchase on online shopping apps.

LocalCircles conducted a pan-India survey to study consumer behaviour towards online grocery platforms as well as quick service apps. The survey titled “Consumer Behaviour and Preferences for Online Grocery Shopping in India", received over 87,000 responses from households located in 254 districts. The survey was conducted between September to December 2022.

As per survey findings, 61% of online grocery consumers prefer a delivery slot (3 to 24 hours) with a delivery fee waiver. Only 3% households are willing to pay delivery fee and get their grocery delivered within 30 minutes; 11% consumers are willing to wait upto 3 hours and pay a small delivery fee.

The pandemic swung the pendulum towards greater digital adoption. This, in turn, helped with the popularity of both existing online grocery apps as well as helped push quick commerce as a concept.

Traditional online grocery platforms include Big Basket, Amazon Fresh, Flipkart Grocery and Jio Mart. Meanwhile, more recent entrants include quick commerce platforms like Swiggy Instamart, Blinkit, Dunzo, Big Basket Now and Zepto.

About 37% of those surveyed said that quality of products drives their online purchases, while for 30%, value for money is a big motivation to shop on these platforms. On an aggregate basis, 67%, or 2 out of 3 household consumers, sought value for money or high-quality produce and products as the primary reasons why they bought groceries online.

Interestingly, only 3% of those surveyed are looking to get their groceries delivered within 30 minutes and pay a platform delivery fee. This indicates that of the total online grocery consumer base, there is a very small group which is willing to pay a fee for quick grocery delivery, LocalCircles said. 

"52% of those who buy groceries online, place planned orders that are monthly or weekly with top ups in some cases; and 23% of them place their orders on an as-needed basis. Then there are 17% online grocery shoppers who do their buying online whenever they need something delivered urgently," it said.

Given that over half of the online grocery consumers still order their groceries monthly or weekly and only 17% order online due to urgent delivery, the study indicates that currently quick grocery apps may largely be getting used for incidental or last-minute purchases, LocalCircles said.

Meanwhile, LocalCircles also conducted a pilot in Noida asking consumers to rate various platforms. “Consumers rated Amazon Fresh high for service and quality, Big Basket for selection and quality, JioMart and Flipkart Grocery for value offered, and quick grocery platforms like Dunzo, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart, Blinkit and Big Basket Now for their fast deliveries. JioMart and Flipkart Grocery received low consumer ratings on delivery speed and quality and the fast delivery platforms received low ratings for value for money and customer service and some of them for quality," it said.

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