Today, we literally have at least one mobile app for everything, or even two or three. And kirana stores in our neighbourhood, selling day-to-day groceries and other essentials, are not far behind in this race to digitalise their operations.
A nothing short of a digital revolution was witnessed during the pandemic as a majority of businesses went online. This included several kirana shops which made use of the boon of internet for making payments, fulfilling orders and managing their inventories, according to a report by SnapBizz, which helps tradition kiranas go digital.
SnapBizz, after analysing over two million consumer bills across 10 cities including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, has found that 75 per cent of stores are working towards going digital.
Already, numerous kiranas have created an web or app-based system to help retail sale, in a close competition with the ever-threatening e-commerce players, according to the report.
SnapBizz founder-CEO Prem Kumar said over a million kiranas went digital in recent months and started accepting payments, ordering supplies, and managing inventory online. “The technology cover enables them to leverage their strengths like proximity, personal touch, and flexibility further to acquire new customers effortlessly,” Livemint quoted him as saying.
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The sudden digital push came amid lockdown that necessitated minimal stepping outs and contactless shopping. Home deliveries increased last year. More than 80 per cent kiranas saw a rise in customers and banks too found them actively engaged in kirana ecosystem.
Digital payments too became popular as more kirana stores and consumers took to using payment apps.
According to the report, 20 per cent surge was witnessed in basket-size and overall spends on staples last year, and the sales were more consumption-led except for dals and pulses. Besides, it said, sales of fast-moving consumer goods has returned to pre-COVID levels.