AskMeGrocery an online grocery delivery firm ,whose parent company is Askmebazaar, is setting it’s foot into high-margin gourmet foods category. The step is taken by the company due to it’s dipping average orders on its platform. AskMeGrocery goes gourmet to boost sales.
The parent company AskmeBazaar’s product portfolio ranges across categories like home and office, grocery, medical equipment and furniture.The firm has siblings like online grocer AskmeGrocery for fresh grocery, AskmeFresh for perishable grocery,AskmeMeds for pharmacy products, and AskmePay, an online wallet, owned by the same parent company.
The company is betting big on gourmet food and expects to account for about 10 per cent of its targeted Rs 1,800 crore GMV (worth of merchandise to be sold through its platform) this year.
“Gourmet is an exciting category. There is strong demand but the supply is often not available everywhere. People may have to travel to get some of these products, especially the international brands,” AskMeGrocery Co-founder Ankit Jain told PTI. He added that the service has started with Delhi and will be expanded to “at least 25 cities” in the next three months.
The category will include pasta, sauces, tea and oats, biscuits and wafers,jam, dry fruits, pickles, olive oil and dressings,vinegar, olives, cornflakes, including those from international brands. “The margins in the category are higher. We will continue our local sourcing model. However, these products will be under the ‘Next Day Delivery’ service, which we are looking to grow,” he said. He added that the company expects the move to help its double average basket size to INR 3,000.
“We hope that about 15-20 per cent of our users will buy gourmet products, increasing their average basket size from about INR 1,400 to INR 3,000.This will also help us get new users,” he said.
According to the reports generated in May, the company’s average basket size was hovering at about INR 1,900.
“Of our targeted GMV for this year, about INR 150-200 crore should come from the gourmet category,” Jain added. Unlike it’s competitors, AskMe is still positive on growth and plans to expand across various categories.
AskMeGrocery has recently partnered with Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to expand its fresh food (perishable grocery) category. According to Ankit Jain, the fresh food category has higher instances of repeat purchase and hence has a huge scope of growth.
Grocery delivery is a capital-intensive business. According to industry analysts, hyper local delivery startups, like BigBasket and Grofers, have been feeling the heat from a slowdown in capital as they operate on wafer-thin margins and end up losing money on each delivery.
PepperTap which was backed by Kunal Bahl’s Snapdeal has already shut down its cash-burning grocery delivery operations.
The online grocery market is expected to be Rs 2.7 billion market by 2018-19, according to a report by Franchise India.