700 kirana stores to assist Flipkart’s Ekart in last mile delivery

Editor | Sep 29, 2020

Flipkart has taken it upon itself to improve its delivery accuracy rate after reports revealed that they have the slowest delivery time out of the three ecommerce leaders. IOS had reported how in order to accelerate delivery & reduce logistics costs, the company decided to use mapping technology.

Now, the homegrown etailer’s logistics company Ekart has roped in 700 kirana & local stores across 28 cities to handle last-mile deliveries. The stores will distribute shipments to buyers directly in exchange of a fee.

Neeraj Aggarwal, VP- Operations at Flipkart shared,

“The current tie-up with small corner stores, photocopy centres, mobile stores and internet cafes gives us greater scalability to serve towns, which give small volumes of 25 to 30 orders per day and helps the corner stores augment their income at a small premium.”

Improve the delivery attempts rate by 10%

Flipkart aims to refine their delivery efficiency and reduce return rates with the help of corner stores. Failed or multiple attempts to deliver COD orders add up to the logistics cost significantly. The etailer hopes that tie-up with kirana stores will help them to cut down failed deliveries.

This move would improve last-mile efficiency by 10-15%. We started the programme late last year as a pilot but the results have prompted us to scale it up now. We are already doing 6-7% of alternate delivery channel volumes via kirana stores now. We are working on enhancing this network to 3000 stores by end of year to fulfil more deliveries via this channel,” explained Aggarwal.

As of now, nearly 15,000 orders per day are fulfilled through corner stores. The etailer plans to fulfil 35% of Ekart’s overall capacity via alternate delivery model by March 2017.

Flipkart’s alternate delivery model

The ecommerce biggie has been trying various alternatives to overcome last mile delivery challenges.

It rolled out pick-up and collection centres in small cities & towns early last year. In March this year, Flipkart roped in 300 Apollo Pharmacies as logistics partners. Their partnership with dabbawallas is working well too. Late last year, the company also invested in parcel delivery locker service QikPod.

Flipkart’s experimentation with various delivery methods might help to reduce returns, which has been troubling online sellers a lot. Will these experiments work? Is it worth the time? Sellers, let us know through your comments.

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Editor team is specialized in introducing the marketplace content targeting the Indian online sellers. They plan and coordinate to bring the appealing content for the small businesses on how to partner with the e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart and strategies for improving their online business. 

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