It is well-documented that Amazon is putting significant focus on its grocery business around the world. The multi-billion dollar acquisition of Whole Foods in the US will change a few things in grocery operations. In India too, the e-commerce giant is slowly stepping up its grocery offerings. While Amazon Now, its two-hour grocery delivery service, is not yet fully functional in India, Amazon wants to pull in customers with deep discounts on groceries during the Great Indian Festival Sale starting September 21. Also Read - Amazon School from Home store live in India: What's newAlso Read - BigBasket data breach: Phone numbers, email IDs, more details of over 2 crore Indians leak
Amazon Prime customers can sample the sale a day in advance – today. Discounts in the grocery category could be as high as 50 percent, according to reports. “The marketplace will offer promotions on fast-moving consumer goods during the festive period to win over customers,” Saurabh Srivastava, Amazon India, director, category management (FMCG), stated. Household essentials including sugar, oil and flour that are in high demand during the festive season (because they are used in the preparation of sweets) would have added offers. ALSO READ: Amazon gets more serious about grocery biz, starts selling ready-to-eat kits in the US Also Read - Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen) launched in India: It comes with Alexa integration
Amazon has been keen to ramp up its food operations in India. In July, it got the government’s nod on a proposed $500 million investment for the purpose. As per the proposal, Amazon will open a wholly-owned subsidiary in India to carry out its food business. It will stock food products, and sell them through online channels. But before that becomes operational, the festive season is a huge sales opportunity. “Amazon wants to create an impact during the festive sales in this category since consumers would buy grocery products weekly or fortnightly and hence there s a bigger opportunity for customer recall,” an Amazon executive was quoted as saying. ALSO READ: Paytm might be investing in BigBasket to take on Amazon in online grocery
Prior to this, the Seattle-based giant was in talks with India’s leading online grocery player BigBasket for a potential acquisition. It would have given Amazon ready access to BigBasket’s merchant network in major metros, and also allowed the latter to go closer to being the first unicorn in the space. However, talks fell through on grounds of undervaluation, and now Amazon rival Alibaba is likely to pick up a significant stake in BigBasket through its investee company Paytm.