Amazon India announced that it has completed the integration of its grocery stores Fresh and Pantry into a single unified store called Amazon Fresh on the Amazon App which is used by consumers in India. The new store, available across 300+ Indian cities, continues to offer customers unbeatable savings, a wide selection of products, and fast and convenient delivery options in one single online destination.
Siddharth Nambiar – Director, Category Management, Amazon India said, “We are a customer obsessed company and continue to listen to our customers to offer them enhanced shopping experiences, a wide range of selection, and the best value and convenience. In February this year, we announced the integration of the Pantry store into Fresh in select cities and customers loved the convenience of shopping for daily groceries coupled with unmatched savings. Today, we’ve completed the integration of both stores into a single online store called Amazon Fresh across 300+ cities in India. Customers will continue to enjoy super value savings, a wide selection of products, and convenient delivery options. They also get an upgraded shopping experience, with a dedicated app-in-app for grocery, and convenient features like personalized widgets and reminders to ensure that frequently shopped items aren’t forgotten during checkout.”
This is not a news that augurs well for millions of neighbourhood grocery retail outlets across India, popularly known as “Kirana Shops” who have already been facing stiff competition from Amazon’s “Fresh & Pantry” divisions. Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, the world’s largest e-commerce company and India’s largest by revenues, has become the segment leader for Q-Commerce or Quick Commerce, where by the delivery period has been shrunk to as less as 2 hours from the time of ordering. All along, consumers faced a lot of confusion when they had to order from three different stores within the Amazon App – the larger product store, Amazon Fresh & Amazon Pantry. In the larger store which stocks over 2 million items, consumers can order all product categories which are despatched from the various Amazon Warehouses across the country. If the consumer is a “Prime Member”, then the product is delivered usually within one day and in some cases, within 2 days. The much coveted Prime membership also allows the user to watch & download unlimited number of movies on the Prime OTT App as well as play Ad-Free and download millions of songs on the Prime Music App.
Amazon Fresh will offer a selection of perishable products such as fruits and vegetables, frozen and chilled products like dairy and meats, dry grocery items, beauty, baby, personal care, and pet products, across our top 14 cities (Bangalore, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Ahmedabad, Mysore, Jaipur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata), Amazon Fresh will offer a selection of perishable products such as fruits and vegetables, frozen and chilled products like dairy and meats, dry grocery items, beauty, baby, personal care, and pet products. Customers in these cities will also be able to enjoy two-hour delivery slots starting 6 AM to midnight. For the remaining cities, customers can shop for dry groceries across staples, cooking essentials, snacks, beverages, packaged food, household supplies, personal care, skin care, pet food, baby products such as diapers and baby food, and lots more, with delivery within 1-3 days.
Amazon conducted a trial a few years ago of tying up with neighbourhood stores as collection points by providing digital lockers where the customer’s orders were placed. This drove footfalls to the shop and Amazon was fulfilling products to houses which were locked or if the customer was unavailable to receive the goods. However, the tie-up with the Kirana shops didn’t go as planned, primarily because the Kirana shop owner makes very less margins which couldn’t be shared with Amazon, thereby making Amazon to rethink the idea. Thus, the Fresh store was first experimented in Bangalore, followed by Mumbai and a few other cities where the company delivered the items in 3-4 hour window, but by way of slots which the customer could choose. The Pantry was part of the local warehouses, from where the delivery would happen, mostly for dry provisions and household items.
With this integration, Amazon seems to have found the model well. By getting closer to the customer and by offering shortest possible delivery schedules, the company (which doesn’t disclose its profitability at a unit level for e-commerce) is sure to make a dent in the much anticipated race towards Quick Commerce.