Update: 45 days after we first wrote this exclusive piece on Ola Store, today (July 21), Ola has formally announced the launch of the app. The app can be downloaded here. Consumers can use code 'STORE20' and get 20% OFF on their first order.
In an almost expected but aggressive move, Ola has started beta testing its app for groceries and daily needs. A select set of users received a mail today the subject line of which read, "Introducing Ola Store!". The most interesting point to note is that 'Ola Store' is a standalone app and not a part of the Ola taxi hailing app. This is unlike the introduction of 'Ola Cafe' which is just another feature on the Ola cabs app.
The mail starts,
At Ola, we are obsessed with making life simpler; we’ve already made your travel more comfortable and easy, and now we want to introduce the same efficiency to make your grocery shopping more convenient.
Available only to a select few customers, the App store link (won't work if you haven't been invited for testing) takes you to the app only if you've invited for beta testing. The testers also get a flat 50% discount on their first order. We cannot confirm it otherwise, but the app seems to be available only to customers in Bengaluru as of now. YourStory has reached out to Ola for a statement. We'll update as soon as we hear from Ola.
We had the opportunity to take a look at the app. Delivery is free over and above order value of Rs 300 and a Rs 50 delivery charge is applicable for sub-300 order values. The catalog of products available looks extensive. Apart from the general needs like vegetables, fruits, dairy products, frozen foods, grocery and staples etc, interesting additions are sexual wellness, electrical products and health supplements and medicines.
The screenshots of the app are below:
Hyperlocal is one of the hottest trends in the Indian startup ecosystem. Besides startups, biggies are also seeing immense potential in the category. In April earlier this year, Alibaba-backed mobile marketplace Paytm forayed into the grocery delivery space with its app named Zip.
The grocery segment usually has an average transaction size of Rs 500 to Rs 800. This would mean that the average ticket size of transaction on 'Ola Store' app could be significantly higher than that on the Ola (cabs) app.
Established players like Zopnow, Bigbasket, Grofers, Localbanya and PepperTap have been at it for some time now and have the backing of VCs too. Bengaluru-based Zopnow is in advance talks to raise another round soon.
E-commerce major Flipkart has already launched the grocery store. Amazon has an express delivery platform - ‘Kirana Now’ in partnership with local retailers. Snapdeal has tied up with gourmet food retailer Godrej Nature’s Basket.
Now with the entry of another biggie Ola into the fray, consolidation in the segment is surely on the anvil. Let us know what you think about this sector.