E-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart are locked in a grocery war ahead of the festival season, churning out fresh deals and services for customers, especially in metros. While Amazon recently launched its Amazon Fresh stores promising two-hour delivery of groceries to customers in Bengaluru, Flipkart has been wooing buyers with its `1 grocery deals and free delivery.
Both the companies have launched grocery services such as Amazon Pantry and Flipkart Supermart, offering hyperlocal grocery delivery. Despite grocery being the single largest merchandise on Indian customers’ retail basket, many are not yet enthusiastic on purchasing them online, especially perishable food items such as dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables.
Through newly launched Amazon Fresh stores, the online marketplace promises to deliver these food items within two hours of purchase, particularly for customers who avail the Amazon Prime services.
“Amazon Fresh was announced in late August in select pin codes in Bengaluru and will soon be launching in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad,” the company told TMS in an e-mail response. “Through the Amazon Fresh stores on Amazon.in, Amazon Prime members will get exclusive access to the fastest two-hour delivery slots for `49. All customers get convenient two-hour delivery slots from 6 am to midnight with free delivery for orders above `600. Orders below `600 will be charged a fee of `29.”
On the other hand, Amazon’s closest rival Flipkart has been aggressively trying to push its sales by promotional offers such as selling common food items for `1 after the buyer makes a select minimum purchase. Flipkart started a pilot project last year in Bengaluru, setting up a supermarket through which it sold dairy and FMCG products. Since then, Flipkart online grocery services have been extended to five Indian metros as the e-commerce giant looks to invest $264 million in next three years.
“Our grocery business has grown phenomenally over the last year, making this the right time for us to bring our seamless shopping experience to Mumbaikars,” said Manish Kumar, head of grocery at Flipkart in a statement.
After the new e-commerce policy barred the firms from entering into any direct partnership with sellers, both Amazon and Flipkart are looking at the offline-online model to reach out to customers. Ever since its acquisition of a minority stake in Future Retail, Amazon has been pushing its offline offerings. Flipkart has also tied up with local grocery stores in Telangana for a pilot project to give a fillip to offline sales.