Big Billion Days: Flipkart doubles down on kiranas ahead of annual sale; onboards thousands of sellers

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September 9, 2020 1:50 PM

Technology for MSMEs: Flipkart's efforts toward onboarding kiranas may help it strengthen its grocery vertical Supermart -- perhaps a relatively weaker competitor to BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon Pantry and JioMart.

Flipkart had recently operationalised its wholesale marketplace for MSMEs and kiranas post-acquisition of its parent Walmart’s wholesale business in India.

Technology for MSMEs: Ahead of its largest annual sale event The Big Billion Days, Walmart-owned Flipkart is targeting more kiranas to list on its marketplace. The company on Wednesday said that it has onboarded more than 50,000 kirana stores – double since last year as part of its kirana onboarding programme. Importantly, Flipkart had recently operationalised its wholesale marketplace Flipkart Wholesale for MSMEs and kiranas post-acquisition of its parent Walmart’s wholesale business in India that operated 28 Best Price Cash and Carry stores and serviced over 1.5 million kiranas, horecas, and other MSMEs. The move is possibly intended to enable Flipkart’s sellers to purchase goods from its wholesale vertical to e-retail on its online marketplace Flipkart Internet.

“The Kirana programme is part of Flipkart Group’s efforts to drive growth for millions of kiranas across the country. This also includes Flipkart Wholesale with an aim to connect local manufacturers and MSMEs with retailers and other businesses,” Flipkart said in a statement. The company added that it organised digital training for new sellers on various tools such as app-based dashboards and digital payments even as the company expanded its kirana programme to small towns such as Tinsukia (Assam), Agartala (Tripura) and Kannur (Kerala).

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“As one of the oldest retail formats in India, kiranas have one of the highest penetration and showcase effective management of the supply chain drivers such as facilities, inventory, information and sourcing, as well as in maintaining a long-standing relationship with consumers,” said Amitesh Jha, Senior Vice-President, Ekart and Marketplace, Flipkart in a statement. The company claimed that last year, kiranas collectively had delivered more than 1 million shipments during Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale.

Not just Flipkart, Walmart’s payment business in India PhonePe had also last month said that it is looking to list over 25 million small kiranas based in villages and towns on its business app in the next one year. Merchants would be able to list their store timings, share their product catalogue and promote home delivery options on their personalised store page on the PhonePe app. In April this year, PhonePe had added grocery delivery service to its app and listed kirana stores in the customers’ vicinity for hyperlocal shopping.

Flipkart’s efforts toward kiranas may help it strengthen its grocery vertical Supermart — perhaps a relatively weaker competitor to BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon Pantry and JioMart. Reliance’s JioMart had recently claimed that it had scaled to 4 lakh orders a day, “which is significantly higher than any other grocery home delivery company,” the company had said in a statement.

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