The Indian e-commerce space has been buzzing with consumers favoring convenience of online shopping over neighborhood vendors. Regardless, e-commerce still forms a small part of the overall retail industry. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been wary to step out from the safety of their homes. Online retailing is set to pick up significantly as social distancing becomes the #NewNormal while traditional retail loses appeal across hitherto experience heavy categories.
Before Covid-19, working individuals used to shop online post office hours in the evenings, but grocery shopping would usually happen at their trusted neighborhood grocery store or vendors. However, since the pandemic struck, and with a large section of people working from the safety of their homes, dependence on online shopping has increased manifold. The battle of online vs offline shopping seemed like a never ending affair. Today, online shopping seems to be the undisputed way forward, the #NewNormal.
As an increasing number of people practice social distancing, they are willingly opting to order online given the convenience of doorstep delivery, the promise of quality and hygiene, and new models of contactless delivery enabled by a robust digital payment ecosystem. Many professionals have been working-from-home since the Covid-19 lockdown ensued and are trying to balance their office and home responsibilities. In these tough times, agritech apps delivering groceries and essentials have emerged as a helping hand when time is becoming a scarce commodity.
The Agri-Tech sector has been gradually attracting consumers from traditional vegetables and fruits vendors since 2018, but given the current scenario, a paradigm shift in shopping behavior is shining the light on such platforms. These startups, regardless of the challenges they’re facing, are ensuring delivery of fresh vegetables and fruits directly procured from farms to ensure quality and hygiene for their customers. Moreover, schemes and offers such as express delivery, contactless delivery, and digitally integrated payments are designed to ensure customers feel safe while transacting and consuming these products.
‘Hygiene’ and ‘safety’ are a top priority of consumers while ordering online, and this is where Agri-Tech apps delivering groceries are providing, not just the products, but also a trust-factor. With brands providing innovative and alluring offers to consumers with ‘contactless-doorstep-delivery’ and maintaining necessary safety measures — it is hard to not get influenced.
The current pandemic has made brands think outside-the-box and make their presence digitally more prominent than ever before. Consumers are increasingly opting for the convenience that online platforms offer. Today, a large number of brands have come up in the grocery space and are jostling for a share of the consumers’ wallet. Paralelly, small and middle-sized Kirana stores are also moving forward in the race to service consumers and are partnering with prominent hyper-local delivery platforms as a means to fight and survive the current scenario. Talking about the business aspect, the token size for essentials, especially groceries online has increased to over 70% during the lockdown. Another notable feature here is an increase in digital payments against the cash-on-delivery option.
Call it convenience, smart-shopping, or making-the-most-of-your time; grocery shopping through online mediums has become a preferred and viable option for those working-from-home. For as long as #WFH continues, the trend of buying groceries online, is likely to stay. We need to work towards adopting this #NewNormal and integrating it as a part of business strategy, which shall strengthen over the foreseeable future.