HomeNewsRevolutionizing Small Stores into Smart Stores

Revolutionizing Small Stores into Smart Stores



The 12 million Kirana stores in India contribute to approximately $500 billion food and grocery market which is almost 95% of the sector. But not long ago, despite their giant market share, it was projected that these stores would cease to exist with time due to increased competition from e-commerce companies.

As many Indian households gradually became dependent on quick and convenient online delivery, there indeed was a slump but short-lived. As the pandemic hit, almost all eCommerce players battled with several local constraints as India went on lockdown overnight, resulting in delayed services.

- Advertisement -

Kirana stores stepped in to bridge the demand and supply gap at the time, supplying essentials in the neighborhood much faster than the eCommerce powerhouses.

The changing technologies are revolutionizing all the sectors of the country. According to a report by FCCI-Deloitte, technology is predicted to revolutionize consumer markets through big disruptions, enhancing overall development in retail including the Kirana stores.

These stores are now on the verge of a major revamp which includes a new look and feel, technology-led stock procurement, inventory digitization, technology-enhanced CRM systems, etc.

From Offline stores to Smart Stores

- Advertisement -

A report by Accenture calls India a nation of shopkeepers, with only 12% of the country’s retail commerce organized or modern as of 2019. Small traders, retailers, and Kirana store owners constitute the remaining balance. With changing preferences of consumers, it has become necessary for traditional Kirana stores to adopt the new technologies.

So how Kirana stores are transitioning to smart stores through the wave of digitization, let us understand it better through the following perspective:

- Advertisement -

Use of real-time data:

One of the major benefits of going digital is that as a Kirana owner, you can keep track of real-time data such as purchasing patterns, the most popular categories, slow-moving items, top-performing brands, and a variety of other product-level indicators.

Such information enables store owners to efficiently organize their inventory and put out consumer-specific relevant offers by utilizing POS software. Access to real-time data can be a big game-changer for smart stores.

The online experience for customers:

A major shift in consumer behavior is the preference for online shopping including the daily grocery items whether it is last-minute basic items or some indulgent food. It is for local Kirana owners to explore the same approach to encourage their old clients and young demographics to access things via an online platform and make purchases using digital payments.

Robust home delivery services:

The surge of consumer purchases online has resulted in an increasing trend of home deliveries. Quick commerce has changed the face of on-demand delivery by reducing delivery time from a matter of a few hours to a few minutes now. Going digital entails not only online inventory and electronic payments, but also completing the buying cycle by delivering the purchase to the customer’s address directly.

Smart shopping experience:

Customers’ entire offline purchasing experience can be made easier with a completely contactless billing and smart checkout process. It would include services such as digital bill copying right to the phone, one-click payment to speed up checkout, putting digital orders ahead of time with the option to pick up deliveries from the shop, and so on.

Payments through a voice-based system:

Connectivity, hardware, and digital literacy are all critical components of all present digital payment methods. What about areas with weak connectivity or those who do not own a smartphone? To overcome this problem, contactless voice technology, which does not require internet access and allows for quick payment processing is gaining much-needed traction.

Users can now make contactless payments and inquire about the availability of a product in a shop using this technology by simply speaking to their devices and similarly making the payment in the same fashion.

Accenture report titled, “Transforming Kirana Stores to Drive Economic Growth”, states that Kirana stores must be modernized to reduce disruption in traditional trade. The spike in customer purchases from local Kirana stores during the COVID-19 pandemic’s national lockdown supports the need for their upgrading.

According to their survey, still more people choose to buy their daily necessities from local retailers. The unprecedented lockdown emphasized the fact that Kirana is indeed an indispensable part of many Indian households. Also, the Kirana store owners’ desire to adopt new digital procedures was demonstrated by the fact that they embraced digital payment methods swiftly during the pandemic.

Time to revolutionize our Indian Kirana stores:

Kirana stores must alter their operations and storefronts not just to survive the competition, but also to meet the needs of customers who want modern stores and innovative/convenient methods to purchase.

The same dynamics that are propelling modern retail’s growth—mobile Internet, software solutions, and unified payment interfaces—could also be used to assist Kirana stores to become a key growth conduit for the sector and the economy.

As many Kirana stores are happy to embrace the digital transformation, all they need is proper guidance and support from the government and the industry itself.


Get quick snaps of everyday happening, directly in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

- Advertisement -
Gourab Mitra
Gourab Mitrahttp://tonetag.com
Gourab Mitra, Head of Operations at Tone Tag.

More Latest Stories

Related Stories