Tata Group-owned BigBasket, an online grocery platform recently forayed into offline retail to expand its retail footprint in India.
According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, with this move, the company aims to bridge the gap between the offline and online experiences, as well as support its ambitious expansion plans amid rising competition in the grocery retail space. This move comes at a time when consumers in India continue to opt for offline stores for their grocery needs and will allow the digital-first retailer to expand its customer base in the country.
Suneera Joseph, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, commented, “Competing with e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart in the online grocery space, the Bengaluru-based BigBasket has now set up its first full-fledged supermarket in Hyderabad. The digitally-native grocer intends to follow a channel-agnostic approach to improve its customer brand engagement, thus spurring higher conversion and engagement rates.”
He further added, “With competition heating up, many direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands across retail, CPG, personal care, and cosmetics industries are increasingly venturing into the physical store space to increase their visibility and reach an untapped consumer base that continues to prefer a touch-and-feel shopping experience. However, BigBasket has specified that the stock keeping units (SKUs) it carries in the physical stores will be a tenth of its online stores, signifying the importance of online sales despite its omnichannel focus.”
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic change in consumer shopping habits during the lockdown periods, accelerating online sales. However, consumers returned to offline shopping following the easing of mobility restrictions.
According to BigBasket, its full-fledged supermarts will be technology-driven with self-billing counters integrated with video AI tools to support a seamless and convenient shopping experience for its customers.
Joseph concluded, “With digital-first retailers looking to scale and capture a share in the dominant offline segment, they are betting on technology and a wider range of product offerings to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive retail environment.”