KOCHI: With Kochi on the fast track to becoming a metropolitan city, leading e-commerce players are launching their operations here. The recent entry of e-grocery websites and apps like Bigbasket has meant that Kochiites can order daily essentials with only a few clicks on their mobile phones. Bigbasket, the country's prime online supermarket which launched its operations in Kochi mid-May, has seen its sales grow three times the growth in just a couple of months.
The e-grocer is currently registering over 400 orders daily from the city's residents. “We are finding that the response from Kochi has been fantastic. The initial week recorded about 100 orders but the figure soon skyrocketed and we project the growth to continue through the year,” said Pallavi Palkar, head of tier-II city business for Bigbasket.
On the other hand, FreshToHome, the retailer which delivers fresh fish and meat to houses in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode in the state, started operations in the city in 2015. It now records close to 1,000 orders daily from Kochi which accounts to half of FreshToHome's business in Kerala.
“Our customer base in other cities combined is 40,000 households while in Kochi alone the figure is a whopping 60,000 and the proportion of our repeat customers is also very high at 80 per cent. Kochi is our biggest market,” noted Mathew Joseph, COO and co-founder of FreshToHome.
Another online fish supplier, Daily Fish averages around 300-350 orders per day. “Our registered customer base has increased to 65,000 since we started in 2016. Initially, we were delivering 200 orders a day but now we are running at full capacity in Kochi as 350 orders is the maximum we can cater to,” said Rajesh S, vice president of operations at Daily Fish. The e-platform runs two storage facilities in the city at Kadavanthra and Thoppumpady.
Both Daily Fish and FreshToHome receive their bulk of orders from their respective mobile apps. “When we started, only 35-40 per cent of our orders would be sourced from the app but now it's 80 per cent,” said Rajesh. While Bigbasket is operational in 15 tier-II cities of which Lucknow-Kanpur and Visakhapatnam occupy top spots with more than 1,500 orders every day, the company expects Kochi to take over the leading spot in a year.
“We have over 7,000 registered households as of now and by the third month, we have retained 40-50 per cent of our customers. Bigbasket now wants to concentrate on further market penetration. We have one warehouse in Kakkanad and around 50-60 delivery personnel,” added Pallavi.From among its range of products, Bigbasket has listed fruit, vegetables and meat to be the most ordered from its perishable items category.
“Interestingly, apart from perishables, we have noted that imported gourmet food merchandise is also one of the fast-flying categories among Kochiites compared to other tier-II cities. This sort of buying behaviour is quite similar to tier-I metros like Mumbai and Bengaluru,” observed Pallavi.
Experts said the potential for e-grocery business here is at the brink of a significant boom.
Bigbasket, the country's prime online supermarket which launched its operations in Kochi mid-May, has seen three times the growth in just a couple of months.
65,000is the registered customer base for Daily Fish in Kochi since they started operations in 2016
1,000 orders come on a daily basis for FreshTo Home.They started operations in in Kochi in 2015
While Bigbasket recorded three-fold increase in sales in a couple of months, FreshToHome has over 80,000
customers in the city. Online fish supplier, Daily Fish averages around 300-350 orders per day.