Retail Revolution: Instant Apps Transforming Indian Cities, Flipkart Plans Foray

Retail Revolution: Instant Apps Transforming Indian Cities, Flipkart Plans Foray
Instant Apps Transforming Indian Cities, Flipkart Plans Foray

In Indian metro cities, the retail sector is changing fast with instant apps. Instant grocery delivery apps—Blinkit, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart, BBNow, and Dunzo Daily are leading this shift, making everyday shopping a breeze.

They are not just names; they represent the vanguard of quick commerce. These instant delivery apps are reshaping how consumers shop for everyday necessities. 

Here's a closer look at how these platforms are revolutionizing retail and what the future holds for this burgeoning industry.

Consumer-centric Convenience
Industry Disruption
Fun Facts
Key Players

Flipkart Plans Foray
Future Market Estimations
More Power to Consumers
Hurdles and Competition
Solutions and Innovation
Making Life Easy for Users
Transforming Shopping for Seniors and Mobility-Challenge

Consumer-centric Convenience

In today's fast-paced world, consumers demand convenience at their fingertips, and instant apps deliver precisely that. 

With a few taps on their smartphones, shoppers can browse through an array of products, from groceries to household essentials, and have them delivered to their doorstep within a few minutes. 

This consumer-centric approach has propelled instant apps to the forefront of the retail landscape, leaving traditional brick-and-mortar stores scrambling to keep up.

Industry Disruption

The impact of instant apps on the retail industry cannot be overstated. These platforms have disrupted conventional retail models, prompting retailers to rethink their strategies or risk becoming obsolete. 

Thanks to fast delivery and a wide range of products, consumers are rushing to instant apps, fueling a major shift towards e-commerce and quick commerce.


What is Quick Commerce? | Features of Quick Commerce
Quick commerce creates a better customer experience by helping businesses connect with their customers more quickly than the traditional methods.

Fun Facts

  • Blinkit delivered 10,000 single roses by 10 am on Valentine’s Day this year.
  • Zepto sold more than 200,000 roses during Valentine’s week.
  • Blinkit delivered 20K+ chocolates in less than 10 minutes as they peaked at 406 chocolates per minute.
  • Zepto saw a 4x jump in sales on Chocolate Day.
  • In 2023, during the India and Australia World Cup finals, Swiggy Instamart experienced a surge, with the app registering a peak of nine jersey orders per minute.
  • On New Year’s Eve, Zomato achieved a groundbreaking number of orders on its app, nearly matching the total orders from the same day across the previous six years, from 2015 to 2020. "8,422 orders were placed at 8:06 pm - that's 140 orders every second," Deepinder Goyal said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
  • Over Rs 97 lakh in tips were given to delivery partners on December 31, with more than 3,20,000 delivery partners serving customers across Zomato and its quick commerce business, Blinkit.
  • On New Year's Eve, Swiggy processed over 480,000 biryani orders, equivalent to 1,244 dish units ordered every minute.
  • On New Year's Eve 2023, Indians placed a record-breaking 6.5 million online food delivery orders, marking an 18% increase compared to the previous year.

Record-High In Orders For Swiggy, Zepto, & Blinkit; Insights From CEO Aadit Palicha & Rohit Kapoor

Key Players

As of now, these apps are providing quick commerce to consumers in major Indian cities:

Blinkit Swiggy Instamart Zepto
Started operations in January 2022 August 2020 April 2021
Revenue as of FY 2023 (in Rs crore) 724 3221 2024
Revenue as of FY 2022 (in Rs crore) 236 2036 142
Funds raised for quick commerce (in U.S.$ million)
US$ 1 mn = Rs 8.2 cr
569 700 361
Current market share (in %) 40% 37-39% 20%

Blinkit

Formerly known as Grofers, Blinkit has rebranded itself to reflect its commitment to rapid delivery. With its extensive network of local partners and warehouses, Blinkit ensures that customers receive their orders within a matter of minutes, making grocery shopping a seamless experience. The company has begun selling home appliances, chargers, headphones, smartwatches, lighting solutions, batteries, electronic accessories, and more.

Zepto

Zepto has carved a niche for itself in the instant delivery space, offering a wide range of products, including groceries, electronics, fruits, vegetables, and personal care items. Leveraging advanced logistics technology, Zepto guarantees swift delivery, catering to the on-the-go lifestyle of metro dwellers.

Swiggy Instamart

Building upon the success of its food delivery platform, Swiggy has ventured into quick commerce with Instamart. Partnering with neighborhood stores, Swiggy Instamart promises delivery in under 30 minutes, ensuring that customers never run out of essentials.

BBNow

BigBasket, a household name in online grocery shopping, has launched BBNow to tap into the burgeoning demand for instant delivery. It guarantees delivery within 15-30 minutes, and in the event of a delay, offers a 5% cashback, subject to certain terms and conditions such as extreme traffic, peak hours, and unforeseen circumstances.

Dunzo Daily

Dunzo has become synonymous with hyperlocal delivery, and its Daily service takes this a step further by guaranteeing delivery within 19 minutes. From groceries to medicines to letters to clothes from tailors, Dunzo Daily fulfills all your daily needs with lightning speed.

Amazon Fresh

Amazon’s grocery delivery app, Amazon Fresh is not into 10-minute delivery but it takes grocery orders via the Amazon Fresh website or mobile app. The company aims to deliver goods at home within 2-4 hours of placing order.

Flipkart Plans Foray

In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, eCommerce giant Flipkart is gearing up to compete with established players like Swiggy's Instamart, Zomato's Blinkit, and Zepto.

As per industry insights, Flipkart is also building its infrastructure to expand into quick commerce with the introduction of dark stores. 

Dark stores are essentially mini warehouses designed for online order fulfillment. They operate discreetly, away from regular consumers, and boast enhanced inventory storage capacity and streamlined operations.

Flipkart's decision to venture into quick commerce stems from market dynamics. The firm is aiming for rapid deliveries within 10-15 minutes in major cities like Bengaluru, Delhi (NCR), and Hyderabad, as per reports. 

"At Flipkart, customer-centricity is at the core of everything we do. We constantly work towards delivering a wide range of products to customers with speed. Over the past few months, we have made several investments to enhance our delivery capabilities, including adding same-day delivery in 20 cities. This covers mobiles, essential items, electronics, home appliances, fashion, books and lifestyle products. We are committed to meeting evolving customer expectations and delivering excellence in value, selection and speed, with more initiatives expected on this front in the coming months," said Flipkart's spokesperson on a query whether Flipkart is planning to enter the quick commerce business. 

Recent statistics indicate a notable loss in Flipkart's grocery sales to Blinkit and Instamart, attributed to their lightning-fast delivery services, often within 15 to 20 minutes. This reflects a broader consumer preference for convenience and speedy services, prompting Flipkart to adapt its strategy accordingly.

“The market is already moving this direction, with Zomato and Zepto expanding their product assortments, Amazon offering same day delivery in select Indian cities and Walmart-owned Flipkart recently announcing a similar move,” said Glade Brook Capital Founder and CIO Paul Hudson on March 6, 2024 in his LinkedIn post.

Glade Brook Capital is a US-based venture capital firm, which has invested in Zepto and Zomato.

By leveraging the efficiency of dark stores, Flipkart aims to regain market share and cater to evolving consumer preferences. The move signifies a strategic pivot aimed at aligning with market demands and providing swift, seamless delivery experiences to customers.

The Order Flow

Future Market Estimations

The future for instant apps in Indian metro cities shines brightly. 

According to Inc42 data, the quick commerce sector in India experienced a rapid surge in popularity between 2021 and 2023, raising USD 4.2 billion in funding.

According to industry projections, the quick commerce segment in India is expected to witness exponential growth, with estimates suggesting a market size of USD 5 billion by 2025

This growth trajectory is fueled by the increasing penetration of smartphones, rising internet connectivity, and changing consumer preferences. 

As technology progresses, these platforms will evolve into even more efficient and user-friendly solutions, providing personalized recommendations and seamless shopping experiences. 

“Together with Swiggy Instamart (where Glade Brook is not an investor), Zepto and Zomato-owned Blinkit have led the growth of this sector, from start-up to millions of users and tens of thousands of crores (billions of US dollars) in revenue in less than 3 years,” Hudson said in his insightful article on professional networking site LinkedIn.

Advancements in logistics, Artificial Intelligence, and machine learning will play pivotal roles in streamlining operations, leading to quicker delivery times and heightened customer satisfaction.

“India's quick commerce market is experiencing rapid growth due to increasing smartphone penetration and a young tech-savvy population. By 2028, it is anticipated that the number of users in the Quick Commerce market in India will reach 56.4 million users. The user penetration rate, which currently stands at 1.8% in 2024, is projected to rise to 3.8% by 2028,” as per the findings of data gathering online platform Statista.

Furthermore, the proliferation of smart devices, more and more innovation in the retail sector, refinement in apps, and the impending rollout of 5G technology will catalyze the expansion of instant apps' reach. 

With faster and more reliable internet connectivity, these platforms will extend their services to even the country's most remote corners, democratizing access to essential goods.

As urbanization continues unabated and the demand for convenience escalates, the potential for instant apps to capture a significant market share is immense.

More Power to Consumers

The availability of goods through instant apps can be a game-changer for the retail sector. It not only changes how one shops but also gives power to consumers. 

With instant apps, people can easily find what they need, no matter where they are. 

This means big changes in how customers buy things. In Indian metro cities, the future of instant apps looks promising. They'll keep getting better and reaching more people. 

As they improve with new technology, nationwide shopping will become quicker, simpler, and more tailored to each person's needs and thoughts.


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Hurdles and Competition

Despite their rapid growth, instant apps face several challenges and stiff competition in the market. 

One of the primary hurdles is ensuring seamless logistics and efficient last-mile delivery. 

The reliance on a network of delivery partners and the management of inventory in real-time pose significant operational challenges. 

Additionally, competition among instant apps is intense, with players vying for market share through aggressive marketing strategies and innovative offerings.

Solutions and Innovation

To overcome these hurdles, instant apps are leveraging technology and innovation to streamline operations and enhance the user experience. 

Advanced logistics algorithms optimize delivery routes, minimizing delivery times and maximizing efficiency. 

Real-time inventory management systems ensure that products are readily available, reducing the likelihood of stockouts. Moreover, partnerships with local vendors and neighborhood stores expand the product assortment, catering to diverse consumer preferences.

Making Life Easy for Users

Instant apps have transformed the lives of users in myriad ways, offering unparalleled convenience and flexibility. 

Busy professionals can now skip the hassle of visiting retail shops, grocery shopping, and household errands, they can just rely on instant apps to fulfill their daily needs within minutes. 

Based on the region, the Southern part of India captured the major market share in the India Quick Commerce market. The Q-commerce companies are expanding their presence in metro & Tier 1 cities such as Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, etc., in the Southern region.

Moreover, the major factors attributing its demand in these prime cities are the presence of the working population, large internet penetration as well as high awareness regarding the usage of technology.

"The individuals living in these cities are more tech-oriented & are more likely to refer to an online platform to purchase their day-to-day groceries due to their busy lifestyles, aging populations, and the prevalence of work from home. Hence, this leads to a lower preference to visit stores," said a report 'India Quick Commerce Market Research Report: Forecast (2023-2028)' by MarkNTel Advisors.

Parents juggling work and family responsibilities find solace in the ability to order essentials at the touch of a button, saving precious time and energy. 

Moreover, the seamless integration of payment gateways and user-friendly interfaces ensures a hassle-free shopping experience, further enhancing user satisfaction. These instant delivery apps are attractive as they provide coupon codes, discount offers, and cashback for using varied payment gateway options.

Transforming Shopping for Seniors and Mobility-Challenge

Instant apps are incredibly useful for senior citizens and people with disabilities who face challenges in visiting stores and standing in long queues. They can browse through a wide range of products and make purchases with just a few taps on their smartphones or tablets.

These apps are designed with accessibility features that cater to individuals with different disabilities. This includes features such as voice commands, screen readers, and adjustable font sizes, making it easier for them to navigate the app and complete transactions independently.

For individuals with mobility issues or chronic pain, visiting stores and standing in queues can be physically exhausting and uncomfortable. Instant apps alleviate this strain by allowing them to shop from home, avoiding the need to navigate crowded aisles or wait in long lines.

Instant apps often offer personalized recommendations based on past purchases and preferences. This tailored shopping experience can be beneficial for senior citizens and people with disabilities, ensuring that they find items that meet their specific needs and preferences without the hassle of browsing through crowded shelves.

Conclusion

The rise of instant apps in Indian metro cities marks a paradigm shift in the retail industry. 

Blinkit, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart, BBNow, and Dunzo Daily are at the forefront of this revolution, offering consumers unparalleled convenience and efficiency. As these platforms continue to innovate and evolve, they will redefine the way we shop, setting new standards for convenience, speed, and customer satisfaction. 

The future of retail is here and now.

FAQs

What is Quick Commerce?

Quick Commerce, also referred to as Q-commerce, is a type of eCommerce where the emphasis is on quick deliveries, typically in less than an hour. 

What are the best Quick Commerce companies in India?

Swiggy, Dunzo Now, Blinkit, Big Basket, and Zepto are the major companies operating in the Indian Q-Commerce Market.

What is the projected user expansion in the Quick Commerce sector within the Indian market in the future?

By 2028, it is anticipated that the number of users in the Quick Commerce market in India will reach 56.4 million users.

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