India’s Flipkart starts 90-Min Delivery to pivot towards offline channels

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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India’s e-commerce platform, Flipkart announced its plans to provide 90-minute delivery for grocery and home products today, as the Walmart-owned online retailer engages in head-on competition with in a major e-commerce growth sector.

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Flipkart Quick, the hyperlocal service would also sell mobile phones and stationery products. This keeps them a step further than Amazon’s fast delivery service, which primarily provides only grocery stores.

Drawing on its technology capabilities and supply chain infrastructure, Flipkart’s hyperlocal delivery model will provide customers with a handpicked range of over 2,000 products in categories ranging from food, dairy and meat products, mobile phones, electronic devices, stationery items and home accessories in the first stage.

Along with Amazon, Flipkart is also facing rivalry from upstart grocery delivery company JioMart, owned by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani and Alibaba-owned e-commerce company BigBasket.

Both the grocery segment and small grocery stores (termed as mom-and-pop stores) have become the next battleground for India’s e-commerce firms, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted more Indians to shop online.

In a company statement, Flipkart said that “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.”

Amazon is likely to add small Indian shops as vendors on its platform to provide them with wider online visibility while Ambani’s Jio Platforms is expected to launch an online service for Indian grocers and small businesses.

Flipkart, which is raising $1.2 billion in Walmart-led capital, recently acquired Walmart’s local cash-and-carry business to boost its wholesale offerings.