Swiggy has started delivering groceries and essential items in various parts of India to help people staying indoors due to the coronavirus outbreak. The new operations have been kicked off in all tier-1 and tier-2 cities, the company confirmed to Gadgets 360. In addition to the grocery delivery, Swiggy has rebranded the ‘Swiggy Go' instant pickup and drop service as ‘Swiggy Genie'. The service was originally limited to Bengaluru, but its rebranded version is set to reach various cities across India in the coming days.
To enable grocery deliveries through its app, Swiggy has a dedicated Grocery section from where customers can choose a store and purchase the essential items they want. The Bengaluru-based company has tied up with various offline retailers including Vishal Mega Mart as well as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands such as Marico.
Swiggy claims that it will deliver essential orders in two hours. Also, the new section lists nearby fruit and vegetable sellers at some locations, in addition to stores selling daily essentials such as kitchen supplies, personal and home care, and beverages and snacks.
“Basis our initial pilots, we have enabled the delivery of groceries and essentials across all tier 1 & 2 cities leveraging our extensive hyperlocal delivery fleet,” a Swiggy spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Gadgets 360. “We are also in discussion with various national and regional (FMCG) brands to scale up this offering further. One recent example is our partnership with Marico to offer their essential products like Saffola Oils, Saffola Oats and Coco Soul Virgin coconut oil through the ‘Saffola Store' on Swiggy.”
In February 2019, Swiggy launched its ‘Swiggy Stores' feature that was aimed at delivering daily essentials including groceries to customers. The initial service was, however, limited to select cities such as Bengaluru and Gurugram. Thus, the company appears to have taken the move to revamp its Stores into the Grocery section amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Grocery deliveries would help Swiggy retain its users as a large number of people aren't ordering prepared food due to the contagion fear. It is also a competitive step by the company to take on arch-rival Zomato that also recently started delivering groceries to households in over 80 cities.
Aside from grocery deliveries, Swiggy has rebranded the Swiggy Go service that was introduced in September last year to counter Google-backed Dunzo. The rebranded service, called Swiggy Genie, is designed to let users order stuff from any store that they want, not just the Swiggy partners.
Swiggy Genie provides a way to get orders from a nearby store as well as allows pickup and drop to send or receive packages from anywhere across the city. The service applies charges on the basis of total distance between the pickup and drop points. Furthermore, it involves a cancellation fee that is applicable if the store selected by the user is closed or not permitting the pickup.
Initially, Swiggy Genie is operational in cities such as Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai. Sources within the company, however, say an announcement is forthcoming.
Gadgets 360 has reached out to Swiggy to get clarity on the update and will update this space when the company responds.
The expansion of Swiggy Genie would give a tough fight to Dunzo that is popular for enabling package and order deliveries. However, the latter has also started bolstering its food deliveries in the country by partnering with companies such as Britannia.