Social commerce app Meesho has launched grocery offerings to support their reseller network at a time when their core business is at a standstill due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With this move, Meesho joins companies such as Snapdeal, BharatPe and ShopClues — that have added grocery and other essentials on their platform in the last several days as demand for online grocery has seen a massive surge.
Launched last week, Meesho’s resellers can sell groceries, daily essentials and personal hygiene supplies in Bengaluru.
Confirming this development to Entrackr, Meesho’s chief executive Vidit Atrey said, “We have started with grocery and FMCG verticals in Bengaluru and will gradually expand into other cities as well. These categories may or may not work out at scale, but our focus is to give some opportunities to our resellers to make income in these hard times.”
General e-commerce operations have been disrupted from the past week but e-grocers and essential service providers are witnessing up to the 4-5X surge in the number of orders in the ongoing lockdown.
Entrackr has checked the service on Meesho’s mobile app and we have been able to order gourmet, personal hygiene, FMCG products as well as a few grocery items.
According to Atrey, grocery has been performing well without sharing any specifics. He clarifies that the addition of these categories is aligned with the company’s long term strategy and not only because of the COVID-19 crisis.
While we aren’t sure how these categories will fare up for Meesho, it could certainly be a new channel for FMCG manufacturers and direct to consumer brands (D2C) across tier II and III cities.
Grocery is certainly a new business opportunity for us, but the supply chain is completely different and has several challenges. Everything depends on demand. If it changes behaviours, we would love to keep it,” he added.
Meesho would be the second major startup to add grocery after Cure.fit. The company had recently started a grocery and gourmet category Whole.fit. Entrcakr had exclusively reported the development last month.
On the other hand, Snapdeal, BharatPe and ShopClues enabled grocery delivery to help citizens at the time of three weeks-long lockdown. The Sequoia-backed payments company let users order grocery and essential through its 2 million groceries and medicine stores network.
While Meesho has been experimenting to see whether these categories have chances to scale or not, no time will be more appropriate to do so as urban India is significantly dependent on online ordering as far as grocery and essential supplies are concerned.