Nearly four-and-a-half years after Walmart-owned Flipkart shut its hyperlocal service Nearby, the company on Tuesday announced another effort to tap into the market that has players including Dunzo, Swiggy Genie, etc. Flipkart’s new hyperlocal service called Flipkart Quick will “tap new consumers” by enabling them to order goods from “Flipkart hubs in their location, ensuring quick delivery,” the company said as it looked to leverage its existing supply chain strength. To begin with, Quick will offer over 2,000 products in categories including grocery, dairy, meat, mobiles, electronics accessories, stationery items, and home accessories in the first phase.
Flipkart will deliver orders in 90 minutes from the time it is placed or consumers can book a 2-hour slot for their order delivery between 6 am to midnight. Flipkart will charge Rs 29 as a minimum delivery fee.
“While we start with our dark store (no walk-in) model, wherein we enable sellers to store inventory close to the consumer; this model has the potential of encouraging local entrepreneurship and enabling new business strategies and partnerships,” said Sandeep Karwa, Vice-President, Flipkart. The hyperlocal model of connecting consumers with stores and shops located nearby has allowed e-commerce companies to bring them on a digital platform wherein consumers are happy to purchase goods with the same level of trust and familial bonding that they always had in buying goods from these shops physically.
Flipkart has debuted Quick in Bengaluru in select locations such as Whitefield, Panathur, HSR Layout, BTM Layout, Banashankari, KR Puram, and Indiranagar. Instead of a pin-code-based system to track the last-mile location of a consumer, which “span across a larger area”, Flipkart will use “advanced technology for location mapping” to more accurately identify the delivery location and speed up the process while “avoiding chances of mismatch or re-attempts,” the company said.
Hyperlocal has significant traction ever since Covid struck followed by the lockdown as consumers thronged such platforms to buy items for immediate consumption such as medicines, vegetables, fruits, meat, milk, and other dairy products and more. Grocery players including BigBasket, Grofers, and Amazon Pantry have been the biggest winners in the Covid crisis. Importantly, Flipkart operates its grocery vertical Supermart that delivers orders within 24 hours to seven days depending upon the availability of the slots for deliveries.
The hyperlocal category, known for being a convenience for many, has now emerged to be a long-term essential service for the country. It has led to a significant change in consumer psyche and expectations with the CAGR expected to be considerable, with the Indian hyperlocal market potentially exceeding Rs 2,306 crore by 2020 (pre-Covid industry estimates), the company added.
The launch comes days after Flipkart acquired Walmart India’s business including 28 Best Price cash and carry wholesale stores to tap into small sellers and kirana stores. The buyout is likely to boost Flipkart’s grocery business particularly with Walmart India’s strengths in the segment even as the former has not been able to scale its Supermart service to the level of other existing players.