According to various analysts and industry executives, India’s online grocery market could top $3 billion in sales this year, a 76% increase over last year, as the spike in demand for home delivery of fresh produce and staples seen during the nationwide lockdown is expected to sustain through the rest of the year.
The $1.3 billion in additional sales could also drive overall e-commerce sales higher by $2 billion in 2020, Forrester Research said. India’s e-commerce industry is pegged to grow by 6%, equating to about $35.5 billion this year.
“While the demand seen over the last six weeks may not sustain, a lot of households have tried ordering groceries online and that should remain in the longer term,” said Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research. A similar trend is unfolding in the United States and other global markets, he added.
BigBasket and Grofers reported a five-fold increase in demand during the initial phase of lockdown but the numbers have fallen from their peaks, although order volumes continue to be high. BigBasket continues to fulfil over 300,000 orders a day, compared to 150,000 orders before the crisis, Hari Menon, CEO of BigBasket told ET.
“Demand continues to be very strong. In May, we are growing by around 35% over April. We have scaled up on our people availability because of which, in most cities, slots are available,” Menon said.
“We continue to see a surge in demand with a daily gross merchandise value (GMV) that is 60% higher than pre-Covid-19 levels. This is lower than the 2X jump that we witnessed in the first week of the lockdown as consumers are now buying what they really need, instead of stocking up excessively,” said Albinder Dhindsa, CEO and cofounder of Grofers.
“Our grocery delivery volumes have grown by a few hundred percent in the last two months, but we had a very small base to begin with,” said an executive of a large e-commerce marketplace. “We will be able to sustain this and grow it further only if we can make available a full basket of products for consumers, and work for this is already on right now.”