Grofers CEO and Co-Founder Albinder Dhindsa tweeted last night to reveal that more than 600,000 carts were created on the platform and waiting to checkout as people feared another lockdown in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made an address to the nation on Tuesday at 8:45pm but to the relief of many, did not announce a lockdown and instead urged state governments to consider a lockdown only as their last resort to fight with the ongoing COVID crisis.
Dhindsa tweeted to highlight the number of carts being created on Grofers as PM Modi’s over 19 minutes speech was going on virtually. The executive also shared a screenshot of the company’s internal analytics that suggests a significant spike particularly at 8:45pm IST — the time when the speech was started.
600,000+ Number of carts on @Grofers created and waiting to check out if a lockdown was announced by the PM.
— Albinder Dhindsa (@albinder) April 20, 2021
Dhindsa, however, did not mention many of these orders were actually placed, after the PM did not announce a lockdown.
Online grocery delivery in India has come into limelight since the last national lockdown that was imposed in March 2020. The online groceries business in the country penetrates less than one percent of its total grocery sales. But nonetheless, the pandemic has pushed many new customers towards online grocery platforms including Grofers and Tata Group-owned Big Basket.
Companies such as Amazon and Flipkart are in the online groceries business for some time. However, last year’s lockdown brought Swiggy and Zomato to grocery deliveries. Both, though, stopped their online marketplaces for groceries months after their launch due to difficulties in engaging with offline retailers.
Experts believe that despite low penetration and challenges in bringing consumers as well as merchants online, there is a huge opportunity to grow in the online groceries business specifically in the urban parts of the country.
According to a recent report by consulting firm RedSeer, the online grocery market in India could touch $24 billion (roughly Rs. 1,81,200 crores) gross merchandise value (GMV) by 2025. The arrival of players including Reliance Industries’ JioMart is also likely to help expand the market.
Having said that, keeping grocery deliveries has become distinctly important for e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart as both have started facing restrictions in delivering non-essential items such as electronic goods and furniture.
The national lockdown last year impacted the businesses of Amazon and Flipkart to a large extent as they were not able to deliver non-essential orders for several weeks. The same situation has made a comeback for both companies as they recently limited their deliveries to essential items only in Maharashtra and Delhi — due to state restrictions.
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