BigBasket’s move into offline retail is intended to bridge the gap between offline and online experiences, as well as support its ambitious expansion plans amid rising competition in grocery retail, according to data and analytics firm GlobalData.
The move comes at a time when consumers in India continue to prefer offline grocery stores. According to the report, it will allow BigBasket, a digital-first retailer, to expand its customer base in the country.
Suneera Joseph, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, stated that the company intends to take a channel-agnostic approach to improve customer brand engagement, resulting in higher conversion and engagement rates.
Even though the pandemic accelerated online sales, consumers are now returning to brick-and-mortar stores.
GlobalData confirmed the trend in its Q4 2022 survey, in which 59 per cent of respondents said their spending on food and drinks at supermarkets and large retail stores was very high, up from 55 per cent in Q3 2022.
BigBasket entered the offline retail space in 2021 with tech-driven, self-service outlets in Bengaluru, and in December 2022, it piloted its large format supermarket model in Hyderabad.
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Many direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands in retail, CPG, personal care, and cosmetics are increasingly venturing into the physical store space to increase their visibility and reach an untapped consumer base that prefers a touch-and-feel shopping experience, according to Suneera Joseph.
BigBasket, on the other hand, has stated that the SKUs it carries in physical stores will be one-tenth of those in its online stores, indicating the importance of online sales despite its omnichannel focus.
According to media reports, BigBasket is also considering an IPO by 2025 after being valued at USD 3.2 billion. Vipul Parekh, the online supermarket’s Chief Financial Officer, later stated in an interview that BigBasket is open to more fundraising before being listed. BigBasket raised USD 200 million from its primary investor, Tata Digital, in December 2022.
In the online retail segment, BigBasket competes with Amazon, while Reliance competes with Amazon, Reliance, and Flipkart.