The service will focus on doorstep delivery of groceries across Delhi, Punjab, and Kerala. While Zomato is yet to respond to an email query on the same, the launch was confirmed by Congress MP and lawmaker Shashi Tharoor through a tweet.
However, Zomato isn’t the first to foray into the segment. Bengaluru-based hyperlocal delivery player Dunzo has been doing the same for four years now. It started as a personal task management platform in Bengaluru on WhatsApp, and is now a full-fledged automated, app-based service running in four other cities – Gurugram, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune.
Last year, Swiggy forayed into hyperlocal delivery and since then has significantly ramped up its services. Unicommerce, a company that provides software support to ecommerce companies, says the lockdown has led to a major surge in traffic for grocery websites.
It said that the previous two weeks saw a massive 70-80 percent increase in the number of orders, with order size increasing substantially by 15-20 percent. FMCG and staples are some of the most popular products ordered online.
But while the demand for groceries online is increasing, the demand for online food delivery has dropped significantly. Food delivery as a service has seen a 10-20 percent drop from the second week of March, according to a RedSeer report. This is primarily because restaurants, main points of social gathering, have been shut.
While Zomato has launched these services now to help with delivery of groceries and essentials, it is possible that the foodtech unicorn may continue to do so even after things return to normalcy.