Flipkart ups the ante in grocery battle with Amazon; unveils Supermart

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Walmart-owned e-commerce firm Flipkart on Wednesday unveiled Flipkart Supermart, its online grocery store, in Mumbai. The launch guarantees customers access to high quality products and offers, and convenient delivery options in grocery shopping, the company said. 

Flipkart Supermart is already live in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. It competes with Amazon and other online grocers such as Bigbasket, Grofers, Swiggy and Google-backed Dunzo, which are all in a fierce battle with each other to dominate this space. Of the entire retail market in the country, grocery comprises 60 per cent. Analysts estimate its size would be anywhere between $400 billion and $600 billion. It has the potential to cross $700 billion by 2022. 

“With Flipkart Supermart, we see tremendous potential for us to leverage our expertise in logistics and technology to give customers the maximum savings, convenience, quality, and breadth of selection,” said Manish Kumar, head of grocery at Flipkart. “Our grocery business has grown phenomenally over the past year, making this the right time for us to bring our seamless shopping experience to Mumbaikers,” said Kumar.

Currently, the platform’s groceries portfolio spans fast-moving consumer goods and dairy products, with a private label offering that also offers staples. At present, Flipkart delivers in 91 pincodes in Mumbai, which represents 75 per cent of the city’s serviceable pincodes, covering western and central suburbs and Navi Mumbai. With the launch of Supermart in western India, Flipkart said it expected to collaborate with farmers, producer organisations and local micro, small and medium enterprises to create a sustainable ecosystem and add jobs.

The company has set up a separate supply chain for groceries in Mumbai, which includes fulfillment centres and a last-mile delivery network that are custom-designed to solve for some of the unique challenges the city poses. As part of the launch, the firm said Flipkart Supermart promised free delivery on orders above ~600 and also ~1 deals — a concept pioneered by Flipkart. 

Built from scratch to cater for grocery-specific needs, the firm said Flipkart Supermart offered goods delivery at doorstep at a preferred time slot. 

The products come with ‘best before date’, which is present for each item on the display page. 

According to the company, it provides a grocery shopping experience that is customised for enabling users to buy multiple items and get direct access to offers, quick buys and top deals. Select customers have access to an offering where they can keep on buying groceries and pay by the 10th of next month. 

The platform also allows customers to verify products at the time of delivery and can return individual products. The category can be accessed through Flipkart's Android and iOS mobile apps as well as its desktop and mobile websites.

In February, food-delivery start-up Swiggy announced it would deliver groceries through its new service, Swiggy Stores. The Naspers-backed firm had raised $1 billion last December. Swiggy, which was already piloting the initiative in Gurugram, and had tied up with 3,500 local stores and merchants to launch the service across all major cities in the country.

  • Flipkart Supermart already live in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi.
  • In the grocery space, Flipkart competes with Amazon, Bigbasket, Grofers, Swiggy, Dunzo 
  • Grocery segment has the potential to cross $700 billion by 2022. 

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