Amazon India To Introduce Amazon Fresh, A Food & Beverage e-Store
In his recent visit to India, Jeff Bezos unveiled a new category “Food & Beverages” department in the main e-store, all set to rock the online landscape. Just before Diwali, ie October 23rd, Amazon will host more than 100 varieties of gourmet products and beverages. Jeff Bezos who launched Amazon India in June of last year, seems so very pleased with it’s progress in the previous year that he further announced $2 billion as investment to expand Amazon India’s services and reach, in a hope that it will soon take over Flipkart- India’s biggest online grosser.
Amazon India is in talks with breakfast cereal maker Kellogg’s and Nachos manufacturer, Cornitos to provide exclusively for Amazon. Amazon is all set to launch the delivery of packaged foods and will not foray into delivering groceries yet, though many Amazon officials are hinting at it. Olympia Industries, a trusted and premium seller for Amazon is running a tight ship this festive season stocking up the new Coca Cola Zero and other products for the online retailer in Manesar.
Amazon India is the only e-commerce site to have introduced F&B in their e-store. Flipkart has made it clear that they will not tread into groceries and automobiles any sooner. Well, delivery of groceries isn’t really a new idea for Amazon which first started the delivery of F&B way back in 2007 in Seattle, their home town, expanding into California and has been enjoying their share of profits.
Would you choose an online grocer over your “down the road provision-store-wala” is a question that will be answered after Diwali (because that’s when Amazon will have a fully functional F&B delivery system). The only reason one would prefer shopping online has to do with benefits. It could be reduced/discounted price of branded articles or other shopping benefits like coupons. With the delivery of F&B, certain few concerns will arise among customers, those are;
- minimum order limit (many predict it may be Rs.200+)
- Price of articles (MRP or discounted)
- Delivery time (1-5hrs)
- Delivery cost (Rs.50+)
- Expiry date of articles ordered
- If articles are damaged, will you get a refund?
Though the service hasn’t started full throttle now but one should remember Amazon has been a successful online grocer since 2007. Amazon Fresh in the USA, offers people 3 hour delivery with a minimum order limit of $35 plus delivery charges. While placing orders on AmazonFresh.com you can easily filter items with regards to ingredients, brands, food allergies and much more, which makes choosing easy for many online buyers. AmazonFresh also introduced “Morning Delivery” wherein if you place an order for items such as eggs, sausages, juice etc at 10pm tonight, you are sure to receive the same before 7am the next morning. This seems to be working really well for Amazon which also doesn’t hesitate in refunding your money if you seem disappointed with the products delivered. Amazon has easily adopted “No-questions-asked” refund which makes the online shopping experience hassle free. With these kind of policies, Amazon has to an extent created it’s own place in US market where Peapod, Instacart, FreshDirect, Walmart To Go have made their mark.
The Bangalorean startup Big Basket might have a little competition here. Though Big Basket delivers cut fruits and vegetables and does all your groceries, Amazon has not yet ventured into groceries. That might only seem like a little margin Big Basket can cash on. Earlier this September, Big Basket raised Rs.200 crores from Helion Venture Partners, Zodius Fund II with Avendus and existing investors Ascent Capital and LionRock Capital. And we simply know Big basket is sure going to add on a lot more in their services to please customers.
However with the existing players, it would be apt for Amazon to focus on 2-tier and 3-tier cities where finding branded products is quite a tiring feat with fewer supermarkets selling the branded packaged foods. Another important thing Amazon should focus is on the price of these articles, if the overall price with the delivery is more than the supermarket, people won’t mind a mild tan.
All said and done, it’s Amazon that will have to show us how it’s going to be done. Good Luck with that, Mr Bezos!