Can Mom and Pop Kirana stores coexist and co-work with E-commerce marketplace giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Reliance (Jiomart) or Tata Digital?
For Mrs. Desai, who lives in Ahmedabad, Vraj parlour – a kirana store in her neighbourhood was her saviour and the most trusted store. She could get all daily use items from there. Even during Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, the store did not ditch Mrs. Desai, though the wait time increased owing to long queues. As the fear rose with the second wave, she switched to digital mode and ordered her favourite stuff from the store through Swiggy Genie this time, for a delivery charge of Rs.25, as Vraj parlour would only deliver free for a minimum order size of Rs.500. She would order milk, fruits and vegetables from BBdaily (an app from Big Basket, now part of Tata Digital) and household care items from Flipkart. The story of Mrs. Desai is similar to many of us going ‘phygital’ and using omni channel for our need for essentials.
E-commerce Marketplaces giants like Amazon, Grofers, Flipkart, Jio-mart and Tata Digital have the power of AI enabled technology and can offer deep discounts and huge variety and are therefore, giving tough challenge to brick and mortar stores. However, with more than around 13 million kirana stores, accounting for 88 percent1 of the physical stores, the power of humble kirana store is unimaginable in terms of reach and accessibility. Not to forget their expertise in customer intimacy, simple business set-up, capability of servicing small orders and local market knowledge.
CAIT with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)has built a swadeshi e- commerce marketplace– Bharat-e- market, with traders across India building a substantial pressure on giants. Coupled with all these issues, e-commerce giants have been facing issues of warehousing costs, employees cost and competition from other big players.
Kirana stores are technology challenged and don’t have deep pockets. Insufficient manpower and providing safe shopping for customers during pandemic are some of the challenges faced by them.
On the other hand, e-commerce giants are stepping forward to shake hands with kirana stores. Amazon, Flipkart and Jiomart are trying to reap the power of local kirana store by partnering and bringing them into the supply chain. Bringing kirana stores onboard will let the biggies reach hyper local and allow them to penetrate deeper in the market. Amazon has tied up with 50,000 offline stores under its ‘local shop program’ (as per Amazon’s local shop website). Similarly, Flipkart and Jiomart are going big on collaborating with kirana stores. It will help kirana stores to leverage their power as well. With last mile delivery business flourishing in India, start-ups like Zypp electric and others like Swiggy Genie etc. can help offloading the delivery load from local stores.
Conclusion: Partnership riding the wave of distribution
Management education provides a variety of insights to push your boundaries further; managing a family business and/or operating an e-commerce platform included. Online MBA program from IFHE sets the right pitch to grow and succeed in the career. Various eLearning and flexible learning methodologies support this. Check out @ https://online.ifheindia.org/