E-grocery market gaining momentum in Kazan: ‘They will bring you biscuits while tea is brewing’

E-grocery market gaining momentum in Kazan: ‘They will bring you biscuits while tea is brewing’
Photo: Maksim Platonov

More orders in rain and quarantine

The market of online orders of foodstuffs and essentials (e-grocery) has notably grown in Russia this year. It also significantly increased in self-isolation: 20 times across the country in March and 18 times in Kazan. One of the market players — iGooods — provided Realnoe Vremya with this data. A storm of orders caught such services by surprise: there was a lack of couriers, experts state. The number of orders augmented in late June when the incidence began to decline, while the regime of restrictions started to weaken, but their quantity anyway exceeded last year’s numbers many times.

An e-grocery business depends on the season and even the weather. People go outside the city in summer, there are fewer orders. The number of orders grows, in contrast, when the weather is bad, for instance, by 30% when it rains. Specialists noted that the number of online purchases in Surgut with 30 degrees below zero triples. Demand began to recover after the season of holiday in September. It added 10% every week from the middle of September, and by early October growth in the central region reached 20% compared to August. Experts note that bananas are a number one product. The dairy, bread, chicken, water are in demand, and toilet paper, washing powder and wet paper are popular among everyday essentials.

What’s more, an upsurge has been noted again in Moscow and Petersburg amid new restriction in the last week — by 20% in Moscow for a week.

“This time we expect a similar situation like in spring, with some changes in the number of restrictive measures that will be lifted. If the mask regime tightens in Tatarstan like in Moscow, growth of online purchases will be topical for it,” interlocutors of the newspaper think.

Samokat company, which has been operating in Moscow, Saint Petersburg since 2018 and arrived in Nizhny Novgorod, launched its service on 7 October

Pechkin will bring you biscuits for tea

New e-grocery market players respond to the growing demand in Kazan. Samokat company, which has been operating in Moscow, Saint Petersburg since 2018 and arrived in Nizhny Novgorod, launched its service on 7 October. Couriers of this service deliver foodstuffs and other goods by foot, bicycle, car during 15-30 minutes. 11 dark stores will open in Kazan for express delivery in the city, by the end of the year they will total 30. The dark store is a shop with goods in fridges and special boxes but without buyers. Employees pack orders there. The company plans to hire 250 couriers first, a thousand people will be provided with a job during 2-3 months, founder of Samokat express delivery service Vyacheslav Bocharov said at a briefing on 7 October.

He explained that they would hire students and those who need a temporary job, particularly people who live near the dark store. So such a service will become a part of residential infrastructure by entering in Russians’ homes. “One doesn’t have to chop wood and carry buckets of water” so that these resources will appear in people’s flats, and there is no need to buy in bulks, Vyacheslav Bocharov is sure.

“We think that foodstuffs should appear in homes like water and heat, on request. New infrastructure enables everything we need for life, to get right now, here and now,” the speaker explained the gist of the new occurrence.

“One doesn’t have to chop wood and carry buckets of water” so that these resources will appear in people’s flats, and there is no need to buy in bulks, Vyacheslav Bocharov is sure

He noted that nobody cancelled the human factor, there might be delays. Nobody is going to punish the couriers. The company will set up convenient logistics inside the city. If the dark store is located near the client, delivery can take no more than five minutes, “they will bring you biscuits while tea is brewing”, Bocharov noted. He said that no order out of 400 was late on the opening day.

The head of the company put a bit unrelated example talking about the speed and work of the service. Parents whose little daughter went missing recently turned to the couriers in Saint Petersburg. The employees of the service who comb districts by delivering orders found the girl within 10 minutes. Moreover, Vyacheslav Bocharov compared a courier with kind Postman Pechkin who has a bicycle. The company cooperates with 34 suppliers and producers of Tatarstan, they will supply over 360 goods to warehouses’ shelves, which is up to 30% of the whole assortment. According to the head of the new retailer, Samokat plans to expand and deliver orders in other cities of the republic. Bocharov said that the company had pricing, but delivery itself is free regardless of the amount and value of an order.

The more online services the simpler it is to promote them

At the moment Vyacheslav Bocharov doesn’t see competition among other retailers in instantaneous deliver in Kazan, they rather have to compete with offline services. But he noted that he would be glad about other companies entering the market. The founder of the service considers forecasts a thankless job. He just said that last December the company delivered the first million orders in Russia during 1,5 years, today it delivers a million orders within 2 weeks. In Kazan, Samokat will try to have a thousand orders a day. The only thing Bocharov is certainly sure about is that people will buy 30% of purchases online in the next 5 years.

Indeed, two companies work by different principles, iGoоods confirmed. This service, unlike Samokat, delivers a good during 90 minutes but is aimed at bigger orders, for instance, a big sack of potatoes up to 80 kg.

“We had a case in Kazan when we delivered foodstuffs to a steamboat in transit. They ordered so many products that we carried them in six cars,” representatives of the service explained.

“At today’s stage, considering the development level of online commerce, the market is in the early stages, the market is so big that there will be enough space for everybody,” Ildar Shakirov concluded

At the same time, the Kazan office has 21 people, and about 69 orders are delivered a day. This retailer has another radius and it starts from other points, from big warehouses of Lenta, Auchan hypermarkets without transit points, unlike Samokat. Sbermarket is among the service’s rivals in Kazan. In general iGoоods accounts for about 8-10% of all orders of one hypermarket.

The retailers are expecting a “red” growth of orders by New Year. According to them, they are going to welcome the growing demand well-armed and train an army of couriers.

“Our task is that we should try to create conditions for the business. Moreover, Kazan doesn’t have such services (Editor’s Note: as Samokat). Ready food delivery services were spread more. I am sure that other companies that will promote such services will appear as well. Moreover, I think that they won’t be rivals for each other at first. At today’s stage, considering the development level of online commerce, the market is in the early stages, the market is so big that there will be enough space for everybody. But if others come, and their number is big, it will be easier to promote this culture of service for the population,” vice head of Kazan’s Executive Committee Ildar Shakirov summarised the meeting with the new retailer.

By Yekaterina Ablayeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan