Less than five months after testing it, Flipkart has decided to shut down its grocery delivery app, Nearby. The experimental app was launched by the online retail giant in October last year. Nearby was only launched in one city, Bengaluru.
Akin to Grofers and Bigbasket, Flipkart’s Nearby was an app through which customers could order fruits, vegetables, and other household staples from the comfort of their homes. The order was routed by Flipkart to nearby supermarkets, which then delivered to the customer’s home.
The move to shut down the app comes after Flipkart observed that there was poor customer demand as well as a lack of margin.
Another reason for shutting Nearby down is new CEO Binny Bansal’s resolve to cut costs and sharpen Flipkart’s focus on key strengths: electronics and fashion sales as well as logistics.
According to a report in LiveMint, the e-commerce market leader is also striving to quickly launch an online payments service, an area where it has struggled and currently lags rivals such as Snapdeal and Paytm.
Even as Flipkart powered down Nearby, Amazon India – the e-tailer with deep pockets – launched Amazon Now in Bengaluru, promising to deliver groceries and staples in less than two hours of receiving orders.
Amazon plans to deliver a majority of the orders through its own logistics service in order to ensure consistency in customer experience. It has already hired hundreds of delivery men for the initiative.