With the onset of Covid era, the world has been opting for every alternative available to create a safe and secure environment for itself. Digital spaces have been the biggest relief during this time as it ensures contactless activity. Online grocery stores have observed a surge in the userbase in past two months. This increase has been mostly observed from the smaller cities as they have been ordering groceries online for higher-basket value.

The trend has been observed by at least 6 firms in the sector. The shift is majorly due to fear of contracting Covid-19, closure of physical stores and non-availability of required items in local stores. Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Indore, Trichy, Salem and several other Tier II and Tier III cities are a part of this trend.

Hari Menon of BigBasket stated that they observed a 56% growth in Tier II cities in April as compared to March while big cities only grew by 35%. He clarified that this increase was not because of a lower base but because of the availability of personnel and built-in infrastructure capacity of these cities.

Albinder Dhindsa of Grofers said that they have been able to retain 62% of users it procured in March post lockdown and expects to keep at least 50% of the new users in future. “Today, the adoption of online grocery is happening via environmental forces, and we believe that this trend is going to stay as a large number of consumers who shopped during the lockdown have already transitioned towards online grocery shopping,” he added.

The similar trend has been observed by other e-grocers like Swiggy, Zomato, Shopkirana, Dealshare and Shopmatic among others. Swiggy, which started its grocery services post lockdown and has reached 300 cities within two months also told that order value from small towns is about 7-10% higher than metros. The other firms have also collaborated with the government giving them wider audience.

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