Blinkit brings surge pricing to grocery – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/blinkit-brings-surge-pricing-to-grocery/articleshow/90159477.cms

Synopsis

In response to customer queries on social media on the newly introduced surge fee, Blinkit tweeted, “Surge charges are levied during peak demand in the area and as soon as the demand normalises, surge charges will not be levied.” The company has been charging anywhere between ₹20-50 as surge price to its customers in recent weeks.

Surge pricing‘ – a methodology often used by cab aggregators Uber and Ola to charge higher fares when demand soars – has now come to ecommerce grocery deliveries, with quick commerce startup Blinkit starting to charge “high demand surge fee” during peak demand hours.

In response to customer queries on social media on the newly introduced surge fee, Blinkit tweeted, “Surge charges are levied during peak demand in the area and as soon as the demand normalises, surge charges will not be levied.” The company has been charging anywhere between ₹20-50 as surge price to its customers in recent weeks. Blinkit India’s spokesperson did not respond to an email query till press time Friday. This is the first time surge pricing is being implemented in groceries delivery.

Food aggregator apps such as Swiggy and Zomato have charged surge fees in case of inclement weather or late night deliveries. Most others such as Bigbasket and Zepto charge delivery fees on low-quantity orders. Blinkit’s decision to charge a surge fee during peak hours is seen as part of its efforts to reduce burn rate and focus on profitability.

After Cab Aggregators

“Such moves are aimed at meeting investor expectations,” said Ankur Bisen, senior partner and head of retail at consulting firm Technopak Advisors. “Quick commerce remains a new concept in India, so different strategies are being tried out by players. But we believe consumers will not pay a premium on groceries,” he added. Blinket – which closed an additional $100 million financing earlier this week – recently shut about 40 dark (or delivery-only) stores, and is in the process of rationalising costs.

Albinder Dhindsa, chief executive and founder of Blinkit (previously Grofers), in an internal note to employees announcing the latest round of funding, said that the company would continue to focus on growth, reducing burn rate, and improving speed of execution.

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