Over the past years, significant changes worldwide have prompted us all to adapt to them spontaneously. With the technological advancements today, the process of translating our challenges to solutions has been swift and time-efficient. Even for businesses to excel, inculcating technology and innovation has been a primary step to success. Whether it’s about acquiring new customers, improving engagement with existing customers, reducing the operations expenditure, or motivating the internal teams, the inclusion of technology can provide various benefits that have a positive influence. These benefits can also be fruitful from a revenue and margin perspective.
Shift in behavior
The pandemic has tremendously impacted the lifestyles of businesses and consumers in the past year. It is challenging to predict the normalcy to get reinstated in our lives but, people have infused technology in their daily lives to meet the demands. Online businesses have augmented their avenues to offer more services to the customer within a few clicks and massive buying options. And this is being adopted by businesses across the sectors and industries.
Being a Kirana store owner in a populated neighborhood and being in the essential commodity business, the past year has been precarious for them. Frequent customer touchpoints imply a greater risk of contracting the infection. A typical Kirana store owner deals with multiple wholesalers for the procurement of goods. In most cases, they switch from one supplier to the other based on the varieties of goods they need to purchase. A lot of time and energy is invested in this process.
Often shop owners might have to source the goods from other markets that are not in supply. A significant part of their day goes misdirected in commuting to these markets, identifying the right wholesalers, or working out payment modalities. This constant traveling by the owner usually causes immediate family members or workers to run the business in their absence.
If we all look through the lens, the shop owner is spending time fixing the procurement aspect and the problems that come with it. There lies scarce choice for the shop owner, and the element of business focus seems to be missing with the potential to cause a severe impact on revenues down the line.
Technology saves the day
To keep the shop owner’s business-focused and increase top-line revenue, B2B platforms like QWIPO have introduced a tech-driven business model to offer a one-stop solution where shop owners get all the SKUs under a single umbrella. This helps create an ecosystem for Kirana shop owners parallel to the organized retailer market and uplifts them to level the playing field. Kirana shop owners can place orders with a single click at any point of the day without even stepping out. These platforms ensure that the goods are procured directly from prime vendors skewing the middlemen with the right market price.
These uncertain times pose a big challenge for us hence, companies and enterprises ensure that all precautionary measures are implemented in all aspects of the business to enable the safe delivery of goods. Another welcoming trend that everyone across the industries follows is Digital payments. Advanced security systems, convenience, and transparency offer customers more comfort to complete the transaction.
Delivery is another paramount aspect as the customers might have to deal with human contact to complete the process. However, the contactless delivery relieved customers with the least human touch and safety at paramount interest.
In these turbulent times, Kirana stores remain the unsung heroes of India. These businesses have geared up to provide their customers with timely essential products and services despite the hurdles. The credit goes to new-age online players. By catering to their needs of business essentials and ensuring quick delivery at their doorstep, these platforms have supported several Kirana stores to carry out hassle-free operations throughout the past year.
Siva Morisetti, founder and chief executive officer of QWIPO