Flipkart has brought down the delivery time of its 45-60 minutes grocery delivery service (Flipkart Quick) to 30 minutes in Hyderabad and plans to soon launch the 30-minute service in Chennai.

Smrithi Ravichandran, Vice-President and Head of Grocery, Flipkart, said: “We believe that the window of 30 to 60 is the most sustainable way of delivering to customers. Our multiple research and consumer studies also show that customers are fine with a 30 to 40 minutes delivery window, as long as the quality of the products is good,” Ravichandran added. 

More sustaiable

She believes that 30-minute deliveries are more sustainable as compared to 10-15 min deliveries which its competitors have been offering. Flipkart Quick is currently present in five cities. In quick grocery delivery business, fresh produce makes up more than 50 per cent of orders. 

Flipkart and Walmart have invested in an agritech startup Ninjacart which is a seller with Flipkart Quick. Ninjacart has its own fulfillment centers, where they bring fresh produce from the collection centers of the farmers and then give it directly to the Flipkart quick dark stores. Fresh produce does not come to Flipkart grocery’s fulfillment centers, unlike other grocery products. 

Dark store network

Flipkart Quick’s dark store network is not limited to grocery deliveries. The Walmart-owned company does quick deliveries of other product categories such as mobile phones and basic T-shirts, fashion, and some general merchandise. Hence, Flipkart’s dark stores are typically 3,000 sq ft in size and are temperature-controlled zones to store the products. 

Almost 70-80 per cent of Flipkart’s dark store revenue comes from non-grocery deliveries and the rest from grocery deliveries. “The strategy of adding non-grocery products helps to make our quick commerce operations a bit more sustainable as compared to anybody else. We have a large mobiles business actually going out of dark stores, customers are willing to pay that extra ₹100  as well for faster deliveries of mobiles,” said Ravichandran. 

Flipkart wants to deliver a lot more than just grocery through the quick network. Even in some cities where quick grocery deliveries are not available, Flipkart has started the quick delivery of non-grocery products. However, these deliveries take about two to four hours. 

Grocery fulfillment network

Flipkart Grocery currently serves more than 1,800 cities and 10,000 pincodes across all 28 Indian States. The grocery business has ramped up operations in the past two years by setting up 23 fulfillment centers which are spread over an area of 27.5 lakh square feet. Flipkart Grocery offers over 7,000 products ranging from daily household supplies, staples, snacks and beverages, confectionery, personal care, fresh fruits & vegetables and more. 

Flipkart’s largest grocery fulfillment center in Nelamangala, Bengaluru

Flipkart’s largest grocery fulfillment center in Nelamangala, Bengaluru

As independent grocery density goes up, Flipkart will expand its grocery FC footprint. “We are serving 10,000 pincodes today and our ambition is to go to 20,000 pincodes. Whether this will happen in one year, two years or more — we cannot comment on that,” Ravichandran said.

She added that grocery delivery is a business that Flipkart needs to get into Tier-2, Tier-3 India homes. As one goes deeper into India, the share of grocery in the household spending becomes very high.  “Without having a decisive play in grocery, we will not be able to continue being the leaders of e-commerce. Grocery is a business that customers would transact every month and not just once in six months or a year. Our grocery business in non-metros is currently equal to the metro business,” she added.

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