Amazon India is allowing customers to pick up their online food orders from more retail locations. This comes as Tata’s BigBasket, Walmart’s Flipkart, Grofers, and Reliance Industries’ JioMart all compete for a greater portion of the e-grocery market.
In India, the US-based e-commerce business is replicating its success with Whole Foods in the US, where customers can purchase Amazon Fresh online and pick it up at a Whole Foods shop in certain locations.
Whole Foods was purchased by Amazon in 2017 for about $13 billion.
In Bengaluru, Amazon Fresh online food orders may now be picked up in two to three hours from the nearest More shop. The service is now available in several of the city’s pin codes. Cash-on-delivery is not yet available for these items, unlike other e-commerce deliveries.
In 2019, Amazon purchased the More retail chain from the Aditya Birla Group in collaboration with private equity company Samara Capital.
According to industry leaders and experts, Amazon’s free store pick-up for online grocery purchases is adding to the hyperlocal play for e-grocery orders and delivery.
“Some companies are exploring various models, and this seems to be another hyperlocal model being tried out. This is also tailor-made for someone like Reliance Industries,” said Arpit Mathur, partner at management consultancy Kearney. “We will have to wait and see how this plays out in India compared to the US which is a different market.”
It remains to be seen how Indian consumers value doorstep delivery over placing purchases and then picking them up. He said. “India also has one of the highest grocery store penetrations in the world,” Mathur added.
“We are committed to ensuring a smooth and seamless experience for customers across the country and have continued to significantly invest in our operational capabilities to enable faster deliveries,” a spokesperson for Amazon India said, without commenting on ET’s specific queries.
Customers may pick two-hour delivery or a handy two-hour window from 6:00 am to midnight on Amazon Fresh. On orders exceeding Rs 600, all clients receive free scheduled two-hour delivery. Orders under this level would incur a shipping cost of Rs 29, and there is no minimum order value to shop from Amazon Fresh merchants, according to the spokesman.
Bangalore has free fresh store picks from Amazon, for now.
It was reported last week that for the Whole Food deliveries, prime users have to pay the fee. Consumers may have to wait longer for basics on e-commerce platforms that offer online groceries, as more people are looking for them online, leading to lengthier delivery times.
In February, Amazon combined its two food offerings, Pantry (big grocery buy) and Fresh (small grocery purchase), in cities where it previously offered them separately. Wherever Fresh is not yet available in India, it continues to offer Pantry.
After the two companies struck a relationship, Amazon used to service some of its Pantry orders through Future Group’s BigBazaar locations. Consumers were not involved in this because it was done through the delivery fleet.