Grofers the online grocery delivery service based in Gurgaon is trying to woo new users to join the platform, albeit in a very targeted and skillful manner.
Digital services like Grofers, have been the unintended beneficiaries of the demonetisation in India. Since the day Prime Minister Modi announced that all the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in circulation are invalid tender, services like digi-wallet apps, can hiring apps, food delivery services app, and the like have seen a spike in usage and new users joining the platform. The common thread in the marketing strategy of most of these start-ups has been about ‘going cashless’. The tag ‘cashless’ has become the go-to refrain of any service that accepts payment in any mode aside from cash.
Given this scenario, the team at Grofers is one of the few companies that has made the conscious choice to avoid riding the cashless hype. The company is not offering any special perks or discounts to users because of demonetisation. Instead, Grofers is using this opportunity to launch a new feature.
Grofers has launched a creditline for corporate employees. The rationale behind this was that “many are facing the problem of withdrawing money from ATMs. And brick and mortar stores that did not accept card before November 8 still do not accept card. So consumers are stuck,” said Sharad Harjai, AVP Marketing Grofers.
Harjai explained that companies can share with Grofers a list of employees who want to be part of the scheme. These employees will receive Rs 2000 Grofers cash and the money has been spent during the month on Grofers will be directly deducted from their salary.
The enrolment page on Grofers says “As a result of the demonetization drive, we have launched a drive to provide grocery shopping credits to your Grofers wallet for employees who are having a tough time shopping for household essentials with limited access to funds.” The page lists ‘Get advance shopping credits in your Grofers wallet’, ‘Shop now, pay at the end of the month’ as the two main benefits of the initiative.
Grofers is also planning to extend a special service to local Fruit and Vegetable merchants. The service that will be launched in Delhi soon will give F&V merchants the option of buying in bulk from Grofers. “Local F&V merchants who have moved to accepting payments via e-wallets have their money locked up in the wallets. So they are finding it difficult to purchase supplies from the wholesale mandis where merchants only accept cash,” Harjai said. Grofers will accept payments via e-wallet or many other digital mode of payment from merchants, allowing them to use the money in their e-wallets.
It needs to be noted that Grofers had shut delivery operations in nine cities earlier this year because of low acceptance of its services in these areas. But with the current trend of digital services gaining momentum, Grofers may want to revisit their decision.