Reliance Will Build World’s Largest O2O Platform; 50 lakh Kirana Stores Will Be Digitalised

Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s largest conglomerate, driven by the wealthiest person of the country, Mukesh Ambani, has a strong history of conquering any sphere it decides to step in. It has achieved quite some new reforms since the start of this year, including the ecommerce space, acquiring 2 startups dealing with logistics and software and the most amicable and recent one: RIL’s entry into the online retailing sector, creating India’s biggest offline to online (O2O) platform, like it always does.

Reliance’s Digitisation of 5 million Kirana Stores

RIL has now decided to digitise India’s kirana stores, which are among the most unorganised markets in the country. A report released by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch on May 7 marked that with the entry of Reliance in the online retailing sector will lead to the digitisation of 5 million kirana stores by 2023, the count of which is 15,000 today.

These offline retail stores are inclined towards the inculcation of tech, urging to compete with the rising e-tailers in the market, where GST regimes and implementation have also played a vital role in mushrooming digitization and modernization. Reliance currently has nearly 300 million customers using its Jio service along with, 10,000 outlets of its retail arm in over 6,500 cities in India.

How Will Reliance Steal the Limelight, Again?

Reliance is looking forward to installing its Jio MPoS (Mobile to Point of Sale) device at kirana stores, which will allow the customers to order supplies, as they’ll be connected to the neighbourhood suppliers via Jio’s high-speed 4G network. It is designed for the convenience of local kiranawalas and can be availed at a one-time investment of Rs. 3,000, hence taking over SnapBizz, Nukkad Shops and GoFrugal, three of the strongest competitors in the MPoS market.

SnapBiz offers the same machine at a one-time cost of Rs 50,000, while Nukkad Shops’ MPoS ranges from Rs 30,000 to Rs 55,000 and GoFrugal offers the same at Rs 15,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Jio MPoS demands no merchant discount rate, while offering a loyalty programme and monetization strategies. It is expected that with Reliance’s entry, there could be price drops leading to an increase in merchant adoptability.

How Does MPoS Leverage Businesses?

The Mobile Point of Sale devices have proved to be a handful for transactions and maintaining records for small and large businesses, complying with its manifold advantages. SnapBizz, for instance provides over 4,500 MPoS devices installed in over seven cities in India, making up more than 30% of the digitised store base. It allows retailers to share aggregate level data with third parties, while personal consumer data isn’t shared.

An MPoS is a wireless device, like a tab or mobile that can be used for transactions, performing functions of a cash register, inventory management, powerful analytics tools and allows businesses to track and maintain the inventory levels of multiple stores in real time.

If in case, the queue for payment is too long, customers get irritated, not purchasing the product. To avoid sales losses and waiting time for customers, retailers using MPos can directly go to the customer with the MPoS device for billing the product, without having them to wait in the queue.

Ambani’s RIL is one of the few conglomerates in India which can actually organise the otherwise scattered retail industry that is believed to account to India’s $700 billion market.

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