Zomato has announced that it has started delivering groceries in over 80 cities across India to help people procure essential items during ongoing coronavirus lockdown. The company initially piloted the new service under the Zomato Market branding in some parts of Kerala and Haryana late last month. Similar to Zomato, competitor Swiggy has ramped up grocery deliveries for its customers. The company notably has Swiggy Stores in place since February 2019 to deliver groceries and other home essential items from brick-and-mortar stores. Shopclues and Paytm have also started groceries deliveries through their platforms to help people stay at home due to the pandemic.

Through a blog post, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal has announced the company has started grocery delivery in India. The company has partnered with various local grocery stores, FMCG companies, and various startups to enable the new experience for its customers.

“Our delivery network in the country is only second to India Post, and we are putting in every effort to make sure that we put it to good use to serve the community,” Goyal said in the blog post.

Zomato users can avail grocery delivery through its app, by going through the Zomato Market section available on the homescreen.

In addition to the grocery deliveries, Zomato has also extended paid Zomato Gold memberships by two months at zero additional cost. The new extension is valid across India, UAE, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Lebanon, Turkey, New Zealand, Portugal, and Qatar.

The new moves by Zomato comes days after it faced hardships in serving customers due to the nationwide lockdown that the government imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in India. Several delivery associates of the Gurugram-based company weren’t able to fulfil orders as they were restricted by the authorities, despite being a part of the essential services cadre that has been allowed during the lockdown. Similar was the case with Swiggy that was also not able to fulfil food orders during the initial lockdown days in the country.

Aside from Zomato, Swiggy has also started offering a grocery delivery service in many parts of the country. The company did have Swiggy Stores earlier to deliver groceries in some cities, but it appears to have expanded the service to serve customers with grocery items alongside offering prepared food.

Gadgets 360 has reached out to both Swiggy and Zomato to get clarity on its grocery delivery operations and will update this space when the company responds.

Online grocery delivery platforms such as Big Basket and Grofers are facing challenges in terms of meeting the growing demand by Indian consumers. E-commerce giants including Amazon and Flipkart, on the other hand, are trying hard to bolster grocery and home essential shipments from their platforms.

Alongside Swiggy and Zomato, Paytm has started selling groceries through its app. Shopclues has also announced 48-hour delivery of essential items in Delhi and Gurugram to enter the race of delivering home essentials.

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