Now, kirana stores to go digital: CAIT, DPIIT to launch national e-commerce platform soon

By: |
April 25, 2020 12:30 AM

Earlier in the week, Reliance Retail and Facebook-owned WhatsApp inked a partnership through which the retailer will leverage WhatsApp’s large customer base to fuel its e-commerce play through JioMart.

Manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers of all verticals of trade and consumers will be an integral part of this e-commerce platform, CAIT said in a statement on Friday.The portal will eventually be extended to all items being traded under domestic trade in India.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) will soon launch a national e-commerce marketplace that aims to bring 7 crore traders of the country into the digital fold. The platform, which may be launched as early as next week, will help local kirana stores take orders for essentials online and ensure last-mile contactless delivery.

The portal will eventually be extended to all items being traded under domestic trade in India.

Manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers of all verticals of trade and consumers will be an integral part of this e-commerce platform, CAIT said in a statement on Friday. Besides DPIIT & CAIT, other promoters are Startup India, Invest India, All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation and Avana Capital.

The coronavirus pandemic has placed kirana stores at the forefront to facilitate customer access to daily essentials. Online firms like Grofers and BigBasket have grappled to meet a surge in orders due to lack of manpower, low supplies from FMCG firms and inadequate coordination on the ground. As big manufacturers operate at half the capacity, local brands are increasingly catering to consumers and leading market share in certain categories like hand sanitisers.

The national e-commerce marketplace has been perceived by both DPIIT and CAIT not just to help navigate the present crisis but a permanent online platform for digitising existing business of the entire trading community of India, CAIT said.

Not surprisingly, all big players are wooing kirana stores. On Thursday, e-commerce major Amazon India announced the launch of its ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ programme that helps local kirana stores expand their reach by taking its selection online. The company had been running a pilot with over 5,000 offline retailers over the last six months.

Earlier in the week, Reliance Retail and Facebook-owned WhatsApp inked a partnership through which the retailer will leverage WhatsApp’s large customer base to fuel its e-commerce play through JioMart.

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