Homegrown e-commerce site Flipkart has said that it is planning to offer 90-minute deliveries for groceries and home accessories. Hyperlocal service Flipkart Quick would also sell mobile phones and stationery items. This would put Flipkart's service a step beyond Amazon's quick-delivery service that currently offers just groceries. It would also take on Alibaba-backed BigBasket and RIL's JioMart.
Flipkart Quick will debut in select locations in Bengaluru including Whitefield, Panathur, HSR Layout, BTM Layout, Banashankari, KR Puram and Indiranagar. However, the launch date has not been specified yet. A pilot is in place currently where consumers can opt to order in 90 minutes or book a 2-hour slot with a minimum delivery fee of Rs 29. Flipkart Quick is offering 2,000 products in categories varying from grocery, fresh, dairy, meat, mobiles, electronics accessories, stationery items and home accessories. Customers can order from 6 am till midnight. "Flipkart Quick will adopt a latitude and longitude approach that will not only narrow down the location to be more precise but will also result in sharper delivery time," it said.
The delivery partner would be Shadowfax. The company has plans to move to a hybrid model that would leverage kirana stores to fulfill orders. It could also rope in its logistics arm Ekart for the purpose.
"Halfway through the year of the pandemic, supply chains have transformed drastically. The hyperlocal category, known for being a convenience for many, has now emerged to be a long-term essential service for the country," said Flipkart.
"This is a great model for India as households of all sizes are already used to their neighbourhood Kirana stores. In fact, Indian families are so comfortable with what we call the 'hyperlocal context', that there is a tendency to develop deep, familial ties with vendors, shopkeepers and service providers - now with the convenience of e-commerce," said Sandeep Karwa, Vice President of Flipkart.
Flipkart, which is raising $1.2 billion in Walmart-led funding, recently acquired Walmart's local cash-and-carry business to strengthen its wholesale offerings to mom-and-pop-stores.
Google-backed Dunzo and Naspers-backed Swiggy also offer hyperlocal deliveries in India, including for groceries.
The pandemic has pushed the demand for hyperlocal services. Jio Platforms is expected to roll out an online service for Indian grocers and small businesses, while Amazon is adding small Indian shops as sellers on its platform to provide them broader online exposure. Mom-and-pop have become the next battleground for India's e-commerce firms that has spurred more Indians to shop online.