Amazon denies plans of shutting down the Prime Now grocery delivery app in India
Online grocery may not be the easiest of businesses as most Indian startups in the space have realised over time. But, for ecommerce giant Amazon, it could be a different tale. Or, so it claims.
After reports emerged that Amazon India was planning to shut down the Prime Now app, its two-hour grocery delivery service for Prime members, the company has denied them, claiming that the grocery app is, in fact, its "fastest growing channel with the highest customer shopping frequency".
In a statement to YourStory, an Amazon spokesperson said,
"Prime Now, available to customers in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Mumbai, is currently the fastest growing channel with the highest customer shopping frequency. We continue to be humbled by the customer adoption across Grocery and Amazon Bestsellers on Prime Now. As Prime Day approaches, Prime members can use the Prime Now app to discover the best deals and enjoy ultra-fast, two-hour delivery of everyday essentials, and more.”
Prime Now, earlier known as Amazon Now, launched in India in 2016, to deliver groceries, fruits and vegetables, household essentials, electronic items, etc. to all Amazon customers free of cost. Last year, at the time of rebranding, the service was restricted to Amazon Prime subscribers (10 million in India) only.
In a recent interaction with YourStory, Amazon India Head Amit Agarwal explained,
"There is an existing opportunity in every single subcategory that we are in, where customers want us to add more selection, even though we are India's largest store. There are opportunities that we are going after in a much more systematic way, and grocery is one of them. We have built a set of services that allows us to serve customers all grocery needs... We are in four cities; it's doing very well and customers love it."
He went on to speak about the "pockets of consumption" in grocery that Amazon intends to focus on "in a systematic manner".
"So, if you are a customer who's originally from Chennai but now living in Mumbai, and you were looking for this sambar masala that your grandmother used to use, I guarantee that it will be on Amazon; so, you don't really have to feel homesick."
In India, Prime Now competes with Bigbasket, Grofers, and some others in the online grocery segment, and the likes of Dunzo and Swiggy Stores in the hyperlocal delivery space.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)