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Coronavirus effect: 40% kirana stores want partnership with online delivery, supply platforms

Coronavirus effect: 40% kirana stores want partnership with online delivery, supply platforms

The survey conducted across 12 cities, (5 metro and 7 non- metros) indicated a renewed positive customer outlook

Nearly 80 per cent of kiranas in non-metros and 50 per cent in metros have seen new consumers come into stores after the lockdown period Nearly 80 per cent of kiranas in non-metros and 50 per cent in metros have seen new consumers come into stores after the lockdown period
KEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kirana stores maintained regular supply of essentials during the lockdown
  • 79%  kiranas in non-metros and 50% in metros have seen new customers visit shops
  • Online and supermarket shoppers are turning to kiranas to avoid queues
Kirana stores in India are overwhelmingly looking at adoption of technology to stay relevant amid business uncertainty due to coronavirus outbreak. Nearly 40 per cent of shops are looking at partnering with online delivery and supply platforms, says the latest EY 'Sentiments of India' survey.

The survey found there is a renewed trust in hyper local communities with kirana stores emerging as a hub that has helped maintain regular supply of essentials during the lockdown. The survey showed that nearly 70 per cent of kirana stores in non-metros were able to sell alternative brands to their customers.

Terming them as unsung heros of pandemic, Shashank Shwet, Partner - Customer Experience and Design Thinking, EY India, says, "The kirana store owners have taken a lot of effort to keep up with the changing demands of the crisis and managing their day-to-day supplies." The survey conducted across 12 cities, (5 metro and 7 non- metros) also indicated a renewed positive customer outlook with nearly 56 per cent saying that neighbourhood stores were becoming a trusted point in the local ecosystem.

They also said that there was a need for FMCGs and large retailers to recognise kirana stores as the new trusted local touch points. Also about  20 per cent of the store owners across metros and non-metros have started leveraging online platforms to get a steady supply of goods and assistance in deliveries.

Survey showed that with lack of other means, kiranas have created a simplified online journey using chat apps as a medium of taking orders, providing contactless delivery and then receiving payments through digital platforms.  "The way these kirana store owners have adopted to innovation and digital technologies, such as digital payments, changing operating models and reduced friction towards technology, to cope up with the pandemic is highly commendable," says Shashank.  

Also nearly 80 per cent of kiranas in non-metros and 50 per cent in metros have seen new consumers come into stores after the lockdown period.  According to the survey, these new consumers are online and super market shoppers who have now switched to buying from kirana stores.

They prefer to buy from local stores to avoid long queues and also for trust and traceability reasons. "As we move from now to next and beyond of this crisis, the new level of growth for kirana stores will come from partnerships and symbiotic relationships," he added .