The Kirana stores, also known as C stores or corner shops, can be found in every nook and cranny of Indian cities. Even though these stores don’t give discounts and load limited stock, they still play a crucial role in delivering the local neighborhood’s grocery and other retail supplies. With the advent of digital technology, the retail business has undergone significant change. As the store gets the power of digitization, Kirana stores can now do better business.
In recent times, financial technology (fintech) companies have been paying a lot of attention to the good old neighborhood Kirana stores. The majority of fintech companies’ Fintech Services are focused on coming up with ways to make these stores’ operations run more smoothly, whether by launching apps or point of sale (POS) systems, as they have access to a huge amount of consumer data.
Customer credit collection is Kirana stores’ greatest challenge, followed by accounting or bookkeeping difficulties. Given that there are approximately 1.2 million Kirana stores which account for nearly 90% of all FMCG sales in the country, SOULPAY Fintech Services are seizing the opportunity.
Kirana Hold A Remarkable Majority Of India’s Retail Business Model!
The rapidly changing retail business landscape in India is dominated by global and domestic retail giants vying to woo shoppers. Despite the fact that many consumers prefer clean, big supermarkets to local stores, most of India’s grocery retail business still takes place at kiranas which account for 75-78% of the consumer goods market.
In the past few years, Kirana stores have had many transformations. The next-door grocery stores have been put through a lot of tests and have faced massive competition because of the sudden appearance of e-commerce solutions and multinational online retail partners and players that offer a variety of easy payment and delivery options. However, the global pandemic has recently increased trust in the Kirana stores.
By meeting Bharat’s day-to-day needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, these traditional brick-and-mortar stores have stood tall as formidable witnesses to last-mile connectivity. Indian kiranas emerged as the true corona warriors in a time when constrained movement rendered large e-commerce giants powerless to supply and deliver goods to individuals. The local Kirana stores held the fort, during this time, made sure that people didn’t run out of essential commodities, and kept a steady supply of daily items. Additionally, these kiranas served as effective digital touchpoints for essential financial services in the wake of restricted bank operations.
Bigger Than E-Commerce? Digitizing The Kirana Store Is The Greatest Opportunity In the Indian Retail Business!
Although many kirana stores gained new customers during the lockdown, many still require technological upgrades to accommodate this growing demand. SOULPAY, India’s largest network for digital payments and branchless banking, is also supporting these retailers. We are entirely transforming the kiranas in accordance with SOULPAY’s credo of “Zidd Aage Badhne Ki” and making them future-ready. Leveraging technology, SOULPAY transforms a Kirana outlet into a local mini-bank that provides a variety of financial services to the natives. We have ensured that small and local shops are not left behind in the ever-evolving digital world by making it possible for more than 41 lakh retailers to have a strong online presence across 17, 600+ PIN codes.
The SOULPAY app echoes this sentiment. The SOULPAY app is a unique holistic store management tool that aims to digitize retail stores and accelerate digital adoption at the last mile. With an assortment of digital payment options, online wholesale procurement options, and a digital ledger for credit management, the SOULPAY app aims to build a robust ecosystem for its retail partners by empowering them digitally, assisting them in modernizing their stores, streamlining their lives, and bringing them at par with the present times. We intend to prepare our retailers for the future and raise them to the level where they can compete with large-format superstores and e-commerce giants using this app. With just a single click, the SOULPAY app lets stores go online to serve customers in their neighborhood and beyond who want to use the digital store at their convenience. SOULPAY’s goal with this platform is to digitally empower local Indian retailers, enhance their efficiency and provide them with more opportunities to better serve their customers.
It is essential for stores to offer all digital payment formats today. Retailers will be able to provide a wide range of payment options to local customers via this brand-new platform, including UPI QR, mPOS, Aadhaar Pay, and SoftPOS. In addition to being cost-effective and simple to implement, retailers will not lose customers owing to limited payment options and will be able to seamlessly provide digital financial services. The SOULPAY app will assist retailers to offer a variety of options to their customers and accelerate digital adoption in the country, particularly among the underbanked, lowering demand for cash and cash-driven transactions. Likewise, as a result of COVID, customers can make secure, contactless payments. Thus, the SOULPAY app aims to democratize digital payments by ensuring that form-factor agnostic transactions are available at the last mile, making digital payments as seamless as cash exchanges.
Most Tier II, and Tier III cities and daily retail business models rely on credit. To maintain a physical ledger, retailers end up breaking their backs and working long hours on reconciliation. As retailers are accustomed to conventional bookkeeping by maintaining bahi-khatas, the SOULPAY app will assist retailers in managing customer credits more effectively by providing them with a “Customer Khata,” a digital ledger. In addition to providing enhanced security, Customer Khata will assist retailers in going digital, streamlining their accounts, and reconciling better. Retailers can use Customer Khata to digitally record all transactions, set up automatic payment reminders for customers so they can collect the dues on time, and view personalized reports as well.
Additionally, good supply management is lacking in many small businesses. They frequently incur losses by paying prices for supplies significantly higher than wholesale rates. To assist with this, the SOULPAY app will also serve as an aggregator platform to assist retailers in locating a variety of wholesale procurement options all in one spot. On a unified platform, no other player currently offers multiple wholesale procurement options. In addition to operational efficiency, the app will permit retailers to digitally procure goods at competitive prices and timely.
SOULPAY has been upskilling and educating retailers on the application of the digital ecosystem and providing them with custom-curated digital solutions to help them grow and keep their retail business going in the coming years. SOULPAY is digitally empowering local shopkeepers, and permitting customers to be unworried about a wide range of digital and financial services. We are simplifying digital payment methods that can accelerate India’s progress toward becoming a cashless economy. Through continuous training and product awareness, our retailers are gradually evolving as micro-entrepreneurs who can navigate the digital and financial landscape independently.
SOULPAY Fintech Services – A Real Boon For Several Kirana Stores!
The following are some of the key areas in which SOULPAY Fintech Services can and is already assisting kirana stores to be more efficient in driving additional revenue or lowering costs:
- Digital payments + handling of credit extension to customers
- Inventory management
- In-store displays to enhance the visibility of products & promotions
- Point-of-sale (POS) technology/digital wallets
- Assistance with cross-selling and upselling to increase basket size
- Increasing walk-in traffic
- The store layout, including product placement and increased self-service
- Mobile and e-commerce enablement for both customers and procurement
- Online and mobile marketing to acquire more customers
- Tech-enabled delivery
The adoption of these technologies will transform these conventionally brick-and-mortar small businesses into quasi-digital retailers that are better positioned to avert competition and delight customers.
SOULPAY Serves As The Perfect Money Transfer App For The Kirana Stores
SOULPAY, a leading money transfer app, began engaging with Kirana stores through its Agent Banking system, which enables retailers to provide services like cash dispensing to end consumers. It presently has partnerships with over 8.5 lakh retailers. A hyperlocal delivery app for general store retailers has recently been launched by the company.
“As kiranas are vital to our retail business model, we wanted to assure their survival in this age of modern trade and e-commerce.” “The app not only provides the end user with services like product discovery and digital payments, but it also enables retailers to place bulk orders with their distributors, provides them with a variety of payment options, and maintains a record of credit given to customers.
The Kirana ecosystem represents the Indian spirit of entrepreneurship. The Kirana stores have a bright future, despite the critics. India’s extremely high population density, the impending modernization of the Kirana, and the cultural association of the local Kirana with convenience and trust are all based on this prediction. Additionally, SOULPAY is contributing to Kiran’s readiness for the future with its store management app.