Thursday, June 11, 2020

Opportunities in Crisis: The Post Covid Fate of e-Grocer Startups


* Startups like Crofarm and StoreSe have created a prolonged shift in the behaviour and buying patterns of the consumers  

In wake of the current outbreak, Sunil, a 60 year old Delhi resident, was facing many challenges due to the lockdown and the restrictions of not going out. He was then introduced to apps like Crofarm and StoreSe so that he could order fresh fruits, vegetables and other essentials just at a click and avoid the hassle of going out. These startups have created a shift in the buying behaviour and patterns of the consumers by providing contact less doorstep deliveries for almost everything.  

Crofarm- a farm to retail agritech startup, has entered into business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) with its platform Otipy – a community-based platform to connect consumers, resellers and farmers for bringing fresh produce to doorstep at reasonable prices. The new product works on a social commerce model, which delivers the products to resellers, who handle the last-mile delivery and eliminate middlemen.

Similarly, another player StoreSe - a recently launched 24 hrs delivery online grocery delivery platform is connecting the consumers with their trusted local offline stores. The startup has partnered with offline retail brands such as Vishal MegaMart, Modern Bazaar, Metro Cash & Carry, MORE and leading cab aggregators like Ola and Meru for quick 24 hours delivery service so that the consumers can avoid the hassle of going out. It has witnessed its sales growing 20% on a weekly basis since its launch in March 2020, and is also planning to scale up to 100 plus cities in next six months.

The purchasing habits of the consumers are changing rapidly and the bigger question is will this become the regular habit of people once lockdown is over and the industry is faced by the new normal. This is because it's highly unlikely that consumption patterns will go back to normal as the pandemic has made an indelible mark on the way we approach buying. With the virus around for a longer period of time and there's lack of clarity when vaccines will actually arrive, new behavioural patterns are expected to be strongly set. 

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