Every discussion on Zepto starts with unit economics, and then someone points out “But bro it is magical, chai banne takk biscuit aa jaata hain through Zepto. Takes 5 mins in my society.”
It is hard to create an experience that feels magical and Zepto is one of the few startups in recent times that has done it.
A few more anecdotes: “Takes Zepto lesser time to deliver stuff to my house than me getting down the stairs” “Out of 150 orders, I have had 148 delivered in less than 10 mins” “Once you start getting your delivery in 10 mins, it is behavior changing and you don’t care how much it costs”
These are all from friends.
I still think Swiggy will be the biggest player in groceries. They have an advantage as a super app, can leverage their supply. But Zepto, unless the funding climate changes, and they find it harder to raise capital because of high cost initially, will capture a meaningful share.
At least the customers have an option now to choose speed over everything else.
And I can see Zepto getting into medicine delivery soon.
I still use Swiggy Instamart mostly though. They also deliver in 30 mins for me and I find them carrying more SKUs.
The only loser in the groceries business will be Big Basket. No one will wait for 1 day delivery. That too for an unreliable service like Big Basket. I know Big Basket has Big Basket Now, but let’s be honest Zepto has won this quick commerce category whereever they are in service.
One interesting problem Swiggy will face as a super app: How to use supply more efficiently. If Instamart scales [and it already has] and your supply does not grow, do you optimize for food or groceries delivery?
I am already seeing the food delivery time getting longer.
Also, they can’t fight Zepto if their delivery times for groceries worsen.
Investors, especially public markets once/when Swiggy IPOs, would want profitability. See the hammering of growth stocks. Can’t burn on incentives to solve supply.
So how do you find the right balance?
An interesting strategy as well as marketplace optimization problem to solve.
If you are working in product/ want to work in the future, these are the kind of problem statements that should excite you.