HYPERLOCAL AND DIGITIZATION DURING COVID-19: IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO
Entrepreneur magazine|October 2020
The pandemic has changed the way millions of Indians live, the way they work, the way they shop and even the things they shop

The pandemic has changed the way millions of Indians live, the way they work, the way they shop and even the things they shop. As people hibernated indoors, online stockpiling of essentials skyrocketed and the demand for fast and safe home deliveries increased tremendously. At the same time, to avoid crowded supermarkets, people are going for contactless shopping alternatives such as Zomato, Swiggy, Grofers, BigBasket and Dunzo. Hyperlocal delivery is emerging as a growing trend in the Indian market, as more and more storekeepers are now adopting multichannel strategies to cater to customer demands.

CONVENIENCE OVER COST

Hyperlocal groups come in a huge variety of sizes, leadership styles, and goal-orientations, but they all share one crucial trait: they exist to create value and return value back to their local communities. They collaborate to access resources together, such as group purchases of groceries to limit individual exposure to health risks. To respond to the current crisis and meet future ones, food retailers need to use technology in new and different ways to scale up their e-commerce establishments and their capacity for home delivery. They can do so by expanding shifts in existing warehouses and converting a few retail locations into convenient stores. They can also use technology to enable their business and support consumers, not only by increasing their self-checkouts but also by looking end to end and considering how technology can make things safer for customers. Both e-commerce improvements and tech enablement will require new capabilities and talent possibly from other industries or an investment in retraining current employees.

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