Leading online grocers and e-retailers have resumed their delivery services in some of the Indian cities. The 40-day lockdown has reshaped the rules of the game of doorstep delivery services by the e-retailers, food delivery services, FMCG firms, startups, and government initiatives.
The usual supply-chain network has broken, which is leading many FMCG companies to reshape the old model of depending solely on the wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, who are in turn, suffering from severe traffic or vehicular restrictions as well as a shortage of staffs.
With the lockdown (now extended to May 3, 2020), the FMCG firms, e-commerce companies, and e-retailers are forging linkages with hyperlocal apps, food aggregators, and courier firms. This arrangement will help these companies to deliver items seamlessly to the doorstep of the consumers even if the lockdown continues even after May 3.
The significant issues that these companies are trying to resolve are issues regarding labour crunch, supply chain, diversification, and the addition of more products to the list of “essentials”.
The government has permitted both e-commerce companies and delivery vehicles or personnel (having necessary permits) to move around and deliver products to the doorsteps of the consumers.
Piyush Goyal, the Commerce and Industry Minister, has also held a meeting with the CEOs of the leading logistics, cash and carry, food delivery, and e-commerce companies on April 23, 2020 (Thursday) over video conferencing to understand the issues these companies are facing. The recommendations of the ministry after discussion were sent to the home ministry for necessary action.
The video conference was attended by some of the behemoths including Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl, and Amazon India head Amit Agarwal. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of companies including Zomato, Swiggy, Metro Cash and Carry, Walmart, NetMeds, Delhivery, DHL, and many more.
Anticipating that the lockdown 2.0 will be further extended and a sizable workforce in the cities will continue working from their homes, e-commerce behemoths such as Flipkart and Amazon India are ramping up their delivery operations.
Let’s take a closer look at the services and initiatives that are facilitating the delivery of items to your doorstep during the lockdown:
Ecommerce Companies & E-Retailers
- Amazon India
Food Delivery Services
- Adani Wilmar
- Marico Limited
- Spencer’s Retail
Other Renowned Platforms
- Paytm Mall
- Indian Railways (Honorary mention)
Ecommerce Companies providing Doorstep Delivery Services in India during Lockdown:
One of the leading online grocery delivery services in India, BigBasket, has started its operations. However, the company has said that it is currently operating at just 40% capacity in selected cities.
The 19 cities where BigBasket has resumed their operations with limited slot capacities are:
- Chandigarh Tri-City
Grofers, a leading rival of BigBasket, has also resumed its services. The company has reported that during the non-operational days during the lockdown in India, they have a backlog of 5-lakh orders. To expedite the process of delivery, Grofers has succeeded in getting passes for around 50% of its workforce. They are continuing their work with the local authorities in the rest of the cities.
Currently, Grofers is providing its doorstep grocery delivery services in the following cities:
Some of the cities where Grofers is finding it difficult to resume their delivery services include:
Grofers has absorbed around 2,000 people from the workforce of the industries that were hard hit by the month-long lockdown such as textile, manufacturing, and services. In the coming 2-weeks, the company plans to hire an additional 5,000 staff for both warehouse and delivery. To expedite the delivery of groceries on-time, Grofers has partnered with other online platforms such as Zomato.
Founder of Grofers, Saurabh Kumar, has said that they have “started bulk deliveries, where we will collate all orders from societies and our vehicle will do a single drop in a single slot”.
Grofers is ensuring that they have sufficient stocks from their brand partners. To ensure a seamless supply of essential products, the grocery delivery services have also started working closely with the manufacturers. That’s why Grofers has increased the procurement capacity of its own brands by 2-times. In the coming days, they want to ramp up their procurement capacity by 5-times, if required.
#3 Amazon India
One of the leading online retailers, Amazon India, has either resumed operations or started taking orders in more than 100 cities (including Bengaluru, Gurugram, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Mysore, Noida, Pune, Raipur, and many more) in India.
Since March 24, 2020 (the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21-day pan-India lockdown), Amazon India has temporarily given more priority to the critical products for delivery to customers such as “household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety, and other high priority products”. Amazon India spokesperson has said that they are temporarily stopping to take orders and disabling those product shipments that are of lower-priority.
One of the problems they are facing from the local authorities is the required permits to reopen and operate warehouses so that they can deliver food items, medicines, and other essential items to customers.
Amazon India is now taking orders on Amazon Pantry and Amazon Grocery from various Indian cities. Their fresh fruits and vegetable store, Amazon Fresh is also taking orders in a handful of cities such as Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. The orders are being delivered within 72 hours from the time of ordering.
Flipkart has partnered with Spencers Retail for delivering groceries and essentials. As a pilot project, they have started from Hyderabad. If you want to buy anything on the Spencers store, you can order that stuff on the Flipkart app. Once you place the order through the app, the Flipkart executives will collect it from chosen sample stores and deliver it directly to the customer’s doorstep within a specified timeframe and by maintaining proper hygiene.
Under its Smartbuy’s Health+ range private brand, Flipkart has also introduced surgical masks as well as hand sanitizers in their personal care essentials category. The online delivery platforms including Flipkart are currently understaffed because of the exodus of migrant workers. That’s why Flipkart is finding it tough to keep up with the order flow.
To expedite the delivery process, they have tied up with Uber India for doubling the carriers required to deliver essential products, including personal hygiene and staples.
Walmart-owned Flipkart is gradually opening the delivery of its non-essential goods services after the Union Government of India allowed the neighbourhood and standalone shops to open at 50% strength. The major non-essentials currently delivered by Flipkart are electric fans and books for students.
Snapdeal is doing a fabulous job by delivering essentials to more than 15,000 pin codes in around 96 cities in India. They are not only catering to the metro cities but also the smaller cities such as Surat, Raipur, Patna, Nashik, Kota, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jalandhar, Dehradun, Bhopal, Agra, and many more.
To make intra-city deliveries faster, Snapdeal has tied up with many local wholesalers and grocers. In the metro cities, the e-commerce platform has tied up with Kisan Mandis to make available essentials such as cooking oil, pulses, sugar, salt, and other packaged essentials such as juices, biscuits, and others.
Shopclues has also started its grocery section in its app and website so that the customers can order their essentials. All the daily essential products are available on Shopclues and to purchase these products; a customer has to go to the separate grocery option available. The essentials that you can buy from Shopclues include groceries, medicines, packaged foods, masks, sanitizers, and personal hygiene products.
Food Delivery Services providing Doorstep Delivery Services during Lockdown 2.0:
You must have ordered delicious food from the comfort of your home or office through the popular food delivery app Zomato. But you will be surprised to know that you can now order groceries online through the Zomato app.
Zomato has expanded its grocery delivery services and is currently delivering groceries to the doorsteps of its customers during the lockdown in more than 80 cities. If you want to order groceries through Zomato, then you have to go to the Zomato Market feature in the app and order for the groceries in that area.
Zomato has partnered with:
- Grofers to deliver the orders placed on the popular e-commerce site.
- Marico and consequently launched the ‘Saffola Store’ on Zomato. Some of the essential groceries that are being delivered include a range of oats as well as cooking oils. This service is currently available only in Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR. However, they are expanding the service to other metro cities, including Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
Swiggy, another popular food delivery service, is delivering groceries in 125 cities, including smaller cities Tier-I and Tier-II cities). To avail this grocery service, you have to go to the ‘Grocery’ tab and choose grocery products from various brands including Adani Wilmers, Vishal Mega Mart, Cipla, Dabur, P&G, HUL, Marico, Godrej, and many more.
The renowned food delivery app has also collaborated with many stores to provide customers with grocery delivery. Their spokesperson has said that they are currently discussing the prospects of delivering products from various national and regional FMCG companies.
Dominos, the renowned American multinational pizza restaurant chain, has partnered with ITC Foods, a major FMCG brand) to deliver essentials to customers. They are leveraging their existing delivery infrastructure to provide essential grocery items that are offered by their partner ITC Foods.
You can order staples, spices, flour, and other essentials offered by ITC Foods through the Dominos app. This service is available in 6 leading Indian metro cities:
FMCG Firms providing Delivery Services during Lockdown 2.0:
#1 Adani Wilmar
Adani Wilmar sells many staples, including edible oil under the brand name Fortune. It has partnered with Justmyroots to deliver fruits and vegetables in 4 metro cities:
Adani Wilmar made this move after partnering with Swiggy.
#2 Marico Ltd.
Whether you have heard about Marico Limited or not, you must have heard about Saffola cooking oil. It is this company that manufactures Saffola. The company had sensed that the lockdown would hamper its traditional supply chain. It sensed that the demand for its products would remain high during the early days of the lockdown, and it needs to meet that demand through other delivery channels. That’s why they have partnered with:
- Swiggy (a food aggregator company)
- Zomato (a food aggregator company)
- Lalamove (a courier service company)
- Delhivery (a logistics firm)
- Shadowfax (a business-to-business delivery firm)
Chief Operating Officer of Marico Limited (both India sales and Bangladesh business), Sanjay Mishra, said that they have partnered with these logistic companies to utilise their vehicle network and deliver the goods to retailers.
The company has also revamped its call centres. They are currently utilising it “to address supply issues faced by retailers and rolled out a retailer-facing app”. These call centres are now capable of taking orders from the retailers and provide those orders to the companies so that the later can use the logistics companies to deliver the products to the retailers.
MyGate app services 7,000 housing societies. They started discussing a tie-up with Grofers and ITC a few weeks back. Currently, they are delivering groceries to more than 1,100 societies in metro areas.
This innovative app helps Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) to take orders of groceries and pass it on to ITC. The FMCG firm then fulfills those orders with its brand of items including Aashirvaad-branded atta, Sunfeast biscuits, Yippee noodles, spices, ghee, Vivel soap, Fiama soap, and others.
To broaden the facilities, MyGate app is currently discussing tie-ups with many other brands.
ITC has partnered with many renowned apps such as Zomato, Swiggy, and Domino’s to deliver its grocery products. They have also partnered with community-centric apps such as MyGate. ITC has forged a partnership with Dunzo delivery service provider, which allows consumers to shop online through ITC’s online store, ITCstore.in.
#5 Spencer’s Retail
To deliver its groceries and food products, Spencer’s Retail has partnered with third-party players such as Flipkart, Delhivery, Uber, and Shadowfax.
Other Platforms providing Emergency Doorstep Delivery Services during Lockdown 2.0:
PhonePe, one of the digital payments platform, has included a “Stores” section in the app so that the customers can get home deliveries of groceries and other essentials. As a user, you simply have to visit the Stores section in the PhonePe app, click the “currently operational” and “home delivery” filters, and find the stores that are operational nearest to you. A customer can use the “pay now” feature on the PhonePe app for making payments for purchases.
#2 Paytm Mall
Paytm Mall is currently helping people during lockdown 2.0 by delivering a wide range of essentials, including staples, healthcare products, personal safety products, hygiene, and many more. To facilitate the fast and seamless delivery of essential goods, Paytm Mall is partnering with more logistics and suppliers.
Milkbasket, a grocery delivery platform, is easing the quarantine blues by delivering essential items such as groceries, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and many other household essentials. To assist the senior citizens (who are generally not gadget savvy), Milkbasket has provided them with the facility of calling and placing their orders. This facility is available in selected cities:
- Bengaluru (6366683440, 7619558743)
- Gurugram (7505411433, 6305577498)
- Hyderabad (8309834392)
- Noida (9560303453, 8178738862)
StoreSe is a new grocery delivery platform that mainly provides services to the communities living in Bengaluru apartments. They deliver order essentials and groceries within 24-hours of placing the order. Some of the renowned offline retailers that have integrated with StoreSe are Metro, More, Vishal Megamart, and many more. To enable faster delivery of products, this app has partnered with cab drivers through leading cab aggregators.
NoBroker is a community management app. It has now launched its grocery delivery services. Residents in societies can place orders on the NoBrokerHood app, and the volunteers living within the society will consolidate the order by buying it from Bigbasket B2B and ITC and then delivering it to you at your doorstep.
They are currently providing services in:
They are making arrangements to make the service available in: