How Lockdown Nurtured the Growth of Rookie Vegetable and Grocery Delivery Apps

Irrespective of living in a locked-down nation or a free world, we cannot deny the fact that we are doing whatever it takes to fill our stomach—may it be with rice cakes, paranthas, or white sauce penne pasta! Most of us are scared of imagining a world with exhausted food and essential supplies more than the spread of the deadly COVID-19 during the lockdown, aren’t we? 

As a solution to our cumulative fears, the government permitted the home delivery of groceries, vegetables, medicines, and other essentials sighing relief to many e-commerce brands and retailers. A host of new delivery apps and services surfaced during the lockdown period and delivered to every nook and corner, making it a win-win for both consumers and suppliers. Many medical store owners came forward to deliver medicines to our doorstep, considering their age-old, loyal customers. 

The delivery service came as a boon to lakhs of people across the major cities of the country. Platforms, such as Zomato, Swiggy, and Uber, started delivering grocery and essentials to their customers. Not just providing vegetables and groceries to the house, the apps also came up with the concept called ‘zero-contact delivery’ to ensure the safety of both delivery guys and customers. Though not very popular nationwide, several local apps volunteered to do the needful for the people of their city.

Consider, for example, the CoutLoot app, based in Mumbai. This offline-to-online enabler introduced the ‘essentials’ services on its app, listing several grocery stores, medical shops, and vegetable vendors. Mumbaikars, you can find the services you are looking for, within a radius of 1-3 km from the residence and place orders. You can either pick the orders from the store or get it delivered to their doorstep. This app seems to be a great idea as it benefits the consumers, the platform, as well as the local stores.

Also Read: Are You Ready to Embrace the New Normal of Social Distancing?

Association with housing societies

Though established brands, such as Bigbasket and Grofers are doing reasonably well, rookie vegetable and essentials delivering apps have also been seeing bright times. Some of these rookie apps cater specifically to apartment complexes and housing societies. Volunteers from these complexes and representatives from the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) get in touch with the delivery platform to ensure that the orders are catered to residents on time. 

Ninjacart, a fresh produce startup, delivers vegetables and fruits to apartments and housing societies. They operate in Namma Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Pune, and Mumbai, i.e. all seven metro cities. Similarly, a Bengaluru-based grocery delivery platform, StoreSe.in, has partnered with More Retail, Vishal Mega Mart, and Metro Cash and Carry chains to deliver essentials and groceries. The sales have given StoreSe the confidence to expand business in other cities.

The visitor and community management app of NoBroker.com, NoBrokerHood, has also launched grocery delivery services. If you are a resident who uses the app, you can place grocery orders on the app. Volunteers within the society can consolidate the order and get them delivered from  Bigbasket B2B and ITC. 

Support for farmers

Farmers lost hope when there were no vehicles available to send their produce to market, several volunteers tied up with farmers and delivered the fruits and vegetables directly to consumers. Farmers got returns for their effort, and investment and the yield reached the consumers on time. Kudos to the technology and the volunteers who brought farmers and consumers together.

Well, you would have got something or the other delivered to your doorstep from one such app, right? I’m sure many of you have utilised these services and supported the budding platforms in a significant way. Yes, we have religiously worshipped such apps during the lockdown. We need to wait and watch how their growth graph will be drawn with the unlocking of lockdown. What do you think? Will they survive and attract the spotlight post the COVID-19 period?

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at apoorva.n@cleartax.in

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