Taxi-hailing service Ola has reportedly launched a pilot project called Ola Store to deliver groceries. The company, which initiated the Ola Café service into its smartphone app in April, has emailed select customers to try out the new grocery app.
“As a premium Ola customer, we are inviting you for a sneak preview of Ola Store, our brand new service with which you can shop for all your grocery needs,” the email read. Customers will also get 50% discount on their first order, the email said.
Orders above Rs 300 will be free while others will attract a delivery fee of Rs 50, according to a report in Yourstory, which first reported the news last week.
If the project develops into a full-fledged grocery delivery model, Ola will be joining a sector increasingly popular with online startups and investors. Among the most visible names in the e-grocery sector currently are BigBasket, LocalBanya, Grofers, ZopNow and Peppertap, amongst a host of smaller aspirants, who operate through both hyperlocal and marketplace models. It is not clear yet which of the two Ola will be operating through.
Amongst the e-commerce majors, Flipkart is reportedly planning to start selling groceries, while Amazon’s Kirana Now hyperlocal project is piloting in Bangalore, though the e-tail giant also sells gourmet and select grocery products directly from its website.
Brick-and-mortar chains, including Godrej Nature’s Basket and Reliance Fresh, among others, too have already rolled out omni-channel initiatives, with the launch of online ordering models.