After almost two years of shutting down Nearby, its online grocery delivery business, Flipkart has once again launched of its grocery delivery service with new name called ‘Supermart’. Apparently, the service has been made available on its mobile app to a small set of customers in Bengaluru only.
In April, we reported how Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy at the TiE event in New Delhi revealed his company’s plans of entering the grocery market in India. He had said, “Yes we will get into grocery… 80 per cent of units bought in India is grocery… $400-600 million is grocery market, so we have to get into it.”
Confirming this soft-launch of its new service, Flipkart spokesperson said, “We have done a soft launch for grocery categories at Flipkart. Currently, it is available to select customers in Bengaluru. In line with our aim of transforming ecommerce in the country through technology, we want to make shopping for everyday essentials convenient for our customers, we intend to scale it up to all customers in Bengaluru and take it to other cities in future.”
The ‘Supermart’ app further reveals that the grocery marketplace requires a minimum order worth ₹500. To be eligible for free delivery, users need to place order worth at least ₹1,000.
Flipkart first entered the Indian online grocery market in late 2015. It had launched its separate groceries ordering app called Nearby for delivering fruits, vegetables, soaps and other staples from supermarkets to customers. Following a poor response, the app, which was operational only in certain regions of Bangalore, was shutdown within 5 months of going live.
Amazon India, the biggest rival of Flipkart in India, already has a presence in this sector. In early 2016, the company had launched Amazon Now, which as per the reports, has seen repeat purchases leading to higher customer acquisition.
For Amazon Now mobile app, the company has a tie-up with retailers such as Big Bazaar and Hypercity for grocery delivery service in select cities.
Paytm Mall, which is the e-commerce entity of payments startup Paytm is also reportedly in talks to acquire stake in BigBasket — one of the leading hyperlocal delivery startup.