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Flipkart

Exclusive: Flipkart to take on Zepto, Blinkit with quick commerce foray

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The quick commerce sector is all set to heat up once again as India’s e-commerce giant is now eyeing the segment. Flipkart has started ramping up infrastructure for its quick commerce play, three sources aware of the details of the plan told Entrackr. 

“Flipkart will launch 10-15 minutes delivery in at least a dozen cities in the next six to eight weeks,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. “It’s building up a chain of dark stores across several cities including Bengaluru, Delhi (NCR) and Hyderabad among others.”

Flipkart’s foray into quick commerce comes at a time when experts anticipate that quick commerce would end up eating into the e-commerce pie sooner than later in India. The total addressable market for quick commerce in India is nearly worth $45 billion, according to a 2022 Redseer report. More importantly, quick commerce has proven to be surprisingly resilient in the last couple of years, with trio Zomato’s Blinkit, Swiggy’s Instamart and Zepto doing more than enough to convince investors that the concept has a future in India.

While Zepto was rewarded with a unicorn round, Blinkit’s (formerly Grofers) turnaround and Swiggy Instamart’s growth have been bright spots in terms of scaling up with improving margins for their owners. 

“If you look at Flipkart’s recent launches, it hints at the firm’s foray into quick commerce. It launched same-day delivery in 20 cities a couple of weeks ago…  the company began delivering flowers and cakes around the Valentine season (February 2024),” an analyst covering the e-commerce and quick commerce segments, requesting anonymity, told Entrackr.

Sources indicate that Flipkart will have a wider catalog than incumbents such as Zepto, Instamart and Blinkit.

“The company will have a sharp focus on FMCG, grocery and daily essentials but it would also push categories such as electronics, fashion,” added the person quoted above.

It’s worth mentioning that the current quick commerce players have also been steadily expanding and diversifying their offerings.

Responding to queries sent by Entrackr, a Flipkart spokesperson said they are working towards delivering a wide range of products with speed. “Over the past few months, we have made several investments to enhance our delivery capabilities, including adding same-day delivery in 20 cities. This covers mobiles, essential items, electronics, home appliances, fashion, books and lifestyle products,” said the spokesperson. “We are committed to meeting evolving customer expectations and delivering excellence in value, selection and speed, with more initiatives expected on this front in the coming months.”

Over the past three years, quick commerce gained quick ground in top 15 Indian cities and top three players in the segment—Blinkit, Swiggy Instamart and Zepto—managed to gain sizable scale. Sources outlined that BlinkIt does around 6 lakh orders a day while Swiggy InstaMart and Zepto’s daily volume hover around 5 lakh and 3 lakh, respectively.

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According to Entrackr sources and data available in the public domain, Blinkit has an average revenue run rate of Rs 12,000 crore in the ongoing fiscal year whereas Swiggy Instamart ARR (read as GMV) stands at around Rs 8,000-8,500 crore. Zepto’s gross merchandise value has neared Rs 7,000 crore.

Fresh from its last funding round, Zepto has been noticeably feistier — with a larger catalog and stronger marketing push.

Meanwhile, Reliance and Google-backed Dunzo lost its mojo. The firm failed to raise a new round in the past two years and reported only Rs 226 crore in revenue in FY23 with losses of Rs 1,801 crore. As per reports, Flipkart engaged in discussion regarding a potential acquisition of the Kabeer Biswas-led firm.

While all that might sound good, the fact that no one disagrees is that the market is not big enough for so many players, making this a matter of staying in power for most. Or perhaps, even newer operating models that might ensure sustainable growth. The broad direction so far, of an ever widening catalog and higher value transactions like electronics items etc, indicates the bleeding will not stop anytime soon.

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