Reliance enters ecommerce sooner than predicted with online grocery

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So another retail biggie entering the ecommerce space is nothing new now. The names change by the day, with more and more wanting to enter the space, but all of them want to make their solid space in the ecommerce industry.

Last month, we heard of Reliance Retail’s intentions to make their entry into online retail with their own marketplace model (speculated) to take on the existing industry biggies head-on. A person close to the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail group said that a team was already working on analyzing and building the most feasible model for entry and operations.

“If the marketplace model makes sense, we will do it. We are evaluating all possibilities. We will adopt multi-channels to retail, which has been made clear in presentation to analysts during the latest quarterly results,” the person, who did not wish to be named, said. “Companies are still discovering the best model in this space.”

But this was expected to happen in 6-8 months.

Reliance enter ecommerce sooner

India’s most powerful public company is making its ecommerce entry sooner than announced earlier with RelianceFreshDirect, online grocery service in Mumbai. Aiming to tap into households and offices in the city who wish to order grocery items at the click of a button, their site reflects this intent with the message, “No more hassles of sweating it out in crowded markets & grocery shops & supermarkets – now shop in comfort of your home; office or on the move & select from a wide range of 6000+ products.”

reliance fresh direct

Although only certain items are sold through the portal now, including fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, dal, oil. Bakery, household cleaning items, frozen and pet food, packaged foods etc. – eventually all the items sold through Reliance Fresh and Reliance Mart will be sold on its online platform.

One spokesperson for the company released a statement: “The launch of RelianceFreshDirect.com adds the ‘direct delivery’ channel to our network, besides convenience and choice to our valued customers. Over time we will certainly augment the direct delivery model.”

Is Reliance in a hurry?

We can’t help wondering if Reliance has jumped on the bandwagon sooner because of the industry heating up by the day and the entry of newer players too by the day.  It is hard to ignore the potential and growth of the industry with the billion dollar fundings pouring in. And coupled with that is global ecommerce giant Amazon’s pledge to invest millions further in India.

The potential for online grocery is also seen to be increasing by the day with existing players like BigBasket and Localbaniya doing well in the space. How will the ecommerce space change now with all these big names in the picture – Ratan Tata, Aditya Birla and now, Reliance?

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