e-Grocers extend delivery time as demand surges

Updated - December 02, 2016 04:04 pm IST

Published - November 17, 2016 11:59 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Given the rush for buying fruits and vegetables online through cards and m-wallets, customers may not get deliveries as and when required for at least another 10 days as e-grocers try to deal with the sudden demand surge post-demonetisation.

Bigbasket, which has an inventory-led model, said it is trying to ramp up the number of delivery vans as well as hire more manpower as vegetable and fruit deliveries were taking several days or being put on hold.

“We are seeing a 10-15 per cent jump in orders over the last few days. This could have been higher, say 30-35 per cent if we were able to deliver all our orders,” Vipul Parekh, Co-Founder, Chief Finance Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Bigbasket said in an email interview.

Mr. Parekh added that there has been a jump of between 25 per cent and 30 per cent in online transactions. “We have also initiated new hiring to cater to the surge in demand, however, we will take about 10 - 15 days to completely normalise all our deliveries,” he said.

Convenient slot

Asked about delays in deliveries, if any, he replied: “Due to the sudden surge in demand, we are actively building our logistics and manpower to deliver all the orders. Till such time that we complete training etc, customers may not find a convenient slot of their choice.”

Meanwhile, Grofers, which runs on a marketplace model, said they have not only seen a spike of around 60 per cent in new customer additions, but also an increase of about 10-15 per cent in average ticket size of existing customers.

While Grofers did face some logistical issues due to sudden surge in demand for a couple of days post the announcement, Albinder Dhinsa, co-founders at Grofers said the operations are now “almost back to normal.” “Overall, we have seen an increase of 50 per cent in our sales. For deliveries it’s a combination of sale day and next day, depending on the vendor. We have added processing capacity and hired new people,” Mr. Dhinsa said.

He said while digital payments have gone up to almost 90 per cent of all payments from 75 per cent earlier.

On consumption patterns, Mr. Dhinsa pointed out that people were stocking up on the essential items expecting a spike on demand for pulses, flour, sugar and other items.

“Also, we have seen an increase in orders for vegetables and fruits. Earlier, there were apprehensions about quality for ordering of veggies and fruits…now people are willing to try,” he said.

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