Homegrown e-commerce platform Meesho is the latest to join the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to help connect buyers with hyperlocal sellers. The integration will fuel the discoverability of products for consumers, while creating a wider market for hyperlocal suppliers, Meesho said in a statement.
The SoftBank-backed unicorn will launch the pilot in Bengaluru, and roll the service out in other locations over the next few months. More than 80 per cent of Meesho’s 14-crore users and nearly 40 per cent of its eight lakh sellers hail from Tier 2+ cities. The ONDC integration will only extend its core product proposition, and allow sellers to reach a wider demographic.
Commenting on the development, Vidit Aatrey, Founder and CEO, Meesho, said, “With a shared goal to empower small sellers and give a fillip to hyperlocal businesses, the integration will boost our efforts to democratize internet commerce for everyone.”
“ONDC will also play an important role in expanding India’s e-commerce sector by bringing more consumers online. We have been working closely with ONDC to ensure that the integration is smooth and the user experience remains seamless,” he added.
Prior to Meesho, e-commerce platforms, including Paytm Mall and CoutLoot, had also joined ONDC in a bid to democratize online shopping. Start-ups like Dunzo, Loadshare, and Shiprocket are shouldering the logistics and delivery responsibilities on the ONDC platform.
T Koshy, CEO of ONDC, said on Meesho’s addition, “At ONDC, our aim is to create an open e-commerce ecosystem that caters to one and all. We are pleased to onboard Meesho as its deep capabilities in small towns will set the network flywheel in motion and take ONDC closer to our goals. E-commerce is still small in India and new-age platforms like Meesho will be strong network participants for ONDC in this journey.”
With ONDC, the government hopes to replicate the success it had with UPI, and put an end to the Flipkart-Amazon duopoly in Indian e-commerce.
Earlier, at the India Today Conclave Mumbai 2022, Koshy said, “Any transaction has two parts - money, and goods and services. NPCI brought democratization in money transactions. It showed us that money is not anyone's private property or a closed loop. That’s what we expect ONDC to do for goods and services.”
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