With the pilot of the Centre’s ambitious Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) gradually picking up, small retailers in Coimbatore have already started seeing benefits of getting digitised.
For mechanical engineer-turned-small-scale-retailer Shantosh Kumar, the biggest advantage is that despite being a modest neighbourhood shopkeeper, he can still have a large customer base by on-boarding on the ONDC architecture. A larger customer base will ultimately result in higher sales.
“I have the knowledge to code and develop an app but don’t have the financial resources to launch our own app. But now, we are an online store and can also sell offline. We are getting five-ten orders daily (via the buyer app Paytm),” Kumar told Business Standard. He joined the ONDC pilot 20 days ago.
The development comes in the backdrop of the small-scale implementation of ONDC over the last two months. Government officials said the open network is gaining increasing traction from the industry in the ongoing pilot that started on April 29.
A total of seven companies — one buyer side app, five seller side apps and one logistics service provider app–have adopted ONDC protocols and built their own ONDC compatible apps.
The pilot is being conducted in five cities — Bengaluru, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore — in grocery, food and beverages segments. As many as 150 retailers are participating in the pilot.
Five seller platforms — SellerApp, GrothFalcons, Gofrugal, Digiit and eSamudaay — have on-boarded sellers and retailers on ONDC-compliant application (app), giving them visibility.
The pilot is not open for the common man yet. Currently, only select Paytm users or buyers are able to participate in the pilot and undertake transactions.
“The success achieved has ignited tremendous interest among many new companies. A large number of firms on the buyer side, seller side and logistics side are now building their own apps. They are in advanced stages of integration with ONDC,” an official statement said last week.
ONDC aims to promote open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks.