In a pilot project, India’s biggest retailer Reliance Retail has launched an online grocery shopping platform in a few select areas of Mumbai, including Navi Mumbai, South Mumbai and Thane.
Operated by Reliance Fresh, the website www.reliancefreshdirect.com allows consumers to place orders for fresh fruits and vegetables, groceries, dairy, confectionary, packaged foods and personal care items. The purchases are then home delivered through the closest Reliance Fresh outlet in the neighbourhood. There is also a pick-at-the-store option.
The website of the new venture states: “No more hassles of sweating it out in crowded markets & grocery shops & supermarkets – now shop in comfort of your home; office or on the move & select from a wide range of 6000+ products.” Before the launch, Reliance Retail had tested the concept on its 10,000 employees at the Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai.
A few online grocers already exist in India including Big Basket, AaramShop, LocalBaniya and MyGrahak. Many traditional retailers, stung by deep discounts offered by e-tailers like Flipkart and Snapdeal, are now mulling opening ecommerce ventures of their own, following the strategy of “if you can’t beat them, join them.”