Ecommerce platform Flipkart is reportedly planning to launch a separate vertical to ramp up its hyperlocal delivery service. With this move, the Bengaluru-based firm will procure goods from stores in the vicinity or its own fulfillment centers to deliver the items in 90 minutes.
Flipkart may leverage on-demand logistics service Shadowfax for the quick delivery service which is likely to be launched by next month, said an ET report. Importantly, Flipkart has been planning to foray into the hyperlocal delivery segment for a long time now.
The Walmart-controlled firm had invested $60 million in the e-commerce and hyperlocal focused B2B logistics enabler in December last year. The role of Shadowfax is also going to be crucial given that it is one of the few logistics players that has managed to ace the hyperlocal delivery space especially through its contracts with pizza delivery companies such as Domino’s.
The report further added that Flipkart will start the hyper local delivery of groceries with Bengaluru. Going forward, the fast delivery service will be extended to other cities and it with medicine and other essentials as per the demands of customers.
It is worth noting that Flipkart, which does grocery delivery service under Supermart in five cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi NCR — has been facing issues related to fulfilling the surge in demand especially after relaxation in lockdown.
During the lockdown period, the grocery segment also saw many new entrants but handling the supply chain and delivery on time have been a challenge for them. Even the incumbents in this space such as BigBasket and Grofers have faced similar challenges.
Flipkart’s entry into super fast delivery positions it in direct competition with players such as Dunzo and Swiggy and Dunzo — which have had a strong presence in the hyperlocal delivery segment. Swiggy has been ramping up its grocery delivery and has also started dotting the cities with dark stores for quick and seamless fulfillment, as reported by Entrackr.
One of the bigger competitors here could be JioMart, which recently integrated with WhatsApp for users to order groceries from their neighborhood kirana stores.
As far as delivery from nearby stores, other players include Google Pay and OkCredit which have also entered the segment with similar features. While Google Pay has integrated hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo on its platform as a storefront, the Tiger Global-backed digital bookkeeping startup is testing a ‘nearby store’ feature and foraying into the business-to-consumer segment.