Amazon’s grocery offerings Pantry and Fresh will now operate as a single service, the company said on Friday. To begin with, customers in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mysore will be able to avail the benefits of the integrated store. So far, Pantry and Fresh operated as separate stores within the broader marketplace.
The strategy is to offer consumers the convenience of Fresh’s swift delivery and Pantry’s better product deals at one go. Pantry fulfils non-perishable grocery orders while Fresh delivers perishables and other regular grocery items to users. “Customers love the 2-hour convenience of Fresh for daily grocery and unmatched Pantry savings when they shop for dry grocery. We are excited to integrate these services in a single online grocery store thus allowing customers to enjoy unmatched convenience and value,” said Siddharth Nambiar, director, category management at Amazon India.
The development comes amid the Covid-led growth in online grocery. Households that typically subscribed to neighbourhood kirana stores for grocery shopping signed up for e-grocery services during the pandemic. There was an expected 1.5 to 1.6 times increase in households that made online grocery purchases in May 2020 compared to the beginning of the year, analysts at consulting firm RedSeer said.
Rival Grofers claims to have acquired 18 lakh new customers during the lockdown and managed to retain more than 70% of those who used the platform in the first month of the pandemic. New customers for BigBasket increased by as much as 84% compared to the pre-Covid levels.
Given that the reach of online grocery is still nascent, analysts reckon there is enough room to grow. Not surprisingly, companies are rolling out consumer-friendly business propositions to attract new users.
Amazon said that in the coming months, the integrated service will be rolled out in all other cities where Fresh is available. Fresh is present in nine cities currently. In the remaining locations, customers will continue subscribing to Pantry. Customers can choose from a selection of a wide range of categories in the combined store including fruits and vegetables, frozen and chilled products, dry grocery items, beauty, baby, personal care and pet products, while having the convenience of two hour delivery slots from 6 am to midnight, the company said in a statement.
RedSeer estimates the size (in terms of GMV) of the e-grocery market to jump manifold to $18.2 billion by 2024 from $1.9 billion in 2019.