INDIA –  BigBasket, one of the leading Indian online grocery delivery services, has acquired the enterprise business unit of Kerala-based deep-tech startup Agrima Infotech in a bid to revolutionize offline retail.  

The Tata Group-owned retailer noted that it plans to use Agrima Infotech’s unique customer vision technology platform, Psyight, at the self-checkout counters of the former’s retail stores.  

Psyight helps identify all Indian fruits and vegetables uniquely from an image without using barcodes. 

Agrima Infotech cofounder and CEO Anoop Balakrishnan said his startup joining hands with BigBasket will redefine the offline shopping experience in the country.  

“BigBasket will use this expertise on AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) to enrich and enhance a whole lot of technological innovation in the company,” Hari Menon, CEO, BigBasket said.  

In November last year, BigBasket opened its first technology-driven self-service physical store under the brand name: Fresho in Bengaluru.  

The Bengaluru-based online grocer plans to open 200 physical outlets across the country by fiscal year 2023.  

The expansion into offline trading by  BigBasket and other major online grocers such as GoPuff underscore the importance of offline grocery shopping amid a greater push into online.  

According to the new census-balanced survey of over 2,300 consumers, the majority of grocery shopping still takes place inside grocery stores, and not online. 

Per the study, “Despite the digital shift that has taken place over the last 18 months, shopping at physical grocery stores remains prevalent, as 94 percent report shopping in stores at least some of the time.  

Consumers are nearly twice as likely to have shifted to digital channels to shop for retail products online than they are to have shifted for grocery items.” 

The importance of offline shopping explains why Big Basket is doubling down its investments in Brick and Mortor stores. 

The goal at Big Basket is to increase the number of Fresho stores to 800 by 2026 and enhancing the offline experience would be critical in attarcting tech savvy customers to its physical stores. 

Bigbasket is also committed to its e-commerce platform and recently revealed that it has expanded its online presence to now delivering in 18 new Tier 2 and 3 cities in India. 

These new cities include Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Jamshedpur, Anand, Rajkot, Ambala, Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Raipur, Bhilai, Allahabad, Kota, Kakinada, Nashik, Kolhapur, Rajahmundry, Amravati and Tumkur.  

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