[App Friday] Bikayi’s tech is extremely suitable for mobile-first MSMEs trying to go digital

With over 50 lakh downloads, Bikayi has an easy-to-use user interface, which makes creating a digital store extremely easy.
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Having an online store is imperative for any business operating in Tier II or III cities. Thanks to the pandemic-induced lockdowns, online shopping and browsing have become a norm rather than an exception. 

India is also predicted to have 1 billion smartphone owners by 2026, with rural areas driving the sales, according to a report released by Deloitte. 

Keeping these forecasts in mind, Bengaluru-based Bikayi has created an app which can be used to create a digital storefront in less than an hour. This store can also be integrated with Facebook and WhatsApp, where a major chunk of users go to shop and sell products. 

The startup was founded in 2019 by Sonakshi Nathani and Ashutosh Singla, graduates of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Hyderabad. 

Backed by Sequoia Capital India and Y Combinator, Bikayi currently has over 50 lakh downloads on Google Play Store with a 4.2 rating.  

How does it work?

Once the app is downloaded, users can sign up with a mobile number after inserting an OTP (one time password) code. 

Credit: YourStory Design

The app asks certain questions including if you run a business or not. If you click on the running the business option, the app will throw up multiple questions about your venture, including name, type of business, logo, etc. 

If you say you do not run a business, the app creates a store for you, without entering any details. This writer chose the second option. 

The app also had a webinar banner flashing whenever one opened the app, where a product manager from Bikayi’s provides information about enabling cost-effective shipping. 

The top-most section of Bikayi has a tab which allows business owners to add their products. This section also gets replaced with a sliding banner showcasing multiple services offered by the app including website report, sales through WhatsApp and running digital marketing campaigns across Google and Facebook. 

Once you click on the add product, you will get an option to either add products one by one or in bulk, which allows upto 50 products to be added at once. In case you are adding a single product, the app will take you to another page, where you can add product details including photos, description and price. 

Products that have been added can also be shared with your contacts on WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Gmail, among other platforms. Bikayi also has a stats dashboard, where app users can track how many visitors have come to their website, the number of orders placed, and revenues earned. 

Bikayi has an embedded video for every query/doubt that can arise. The app explains the meaning of basic ecommerce terms including cataloguing, what a digital store should look like, and how to add staff to the app. What also helps is that the video is in Hindi. 

Credit: YourStory Design

The digital store can also be managed by others in the team, with an option to provide access to others. This can be done by clicking on ‘Services’ on the bottom-most bar and then clicking on ‘Add Staff’ under My Services.

Once you click on the store name and the ‘+’ sign at the bottom of the same page, the app will lead you to a contact list. This is where you select the team members you would want to add. Users can also customise permissions. You can either give them full access to orders, catalogues and enquiries or either of the two. 

The app also supports last-mile delivery for small businesses. For this, they have tied up with logistics players including Shiprocket, Pickrr, and Delhivery. A business owner could also create a digital business card for their firm on the app. 

Bikayi’s subscription plans start at Rs 9,999 per year for the VIP Plan, going up to 29,999 per year for the Ultimate plan. In these plans, the app offers 18 and 30 services, respectively. Quite a few services like setting up a website, adding products with prices, cataloguing and setting up an enquiry section are free.

Verdict

Considering the app is meant for small businesses, Bikayi does not ask for email addresses, and the login process gets done with just a phone number. The smoothness of operation in the initial processes is reflected throughout the other sections of the app.   

It has a clean user interface, and an attractive white and purple colour combination. The fonts are bigger in size with icons present everywhere, and helpful videos at every stage for easy navigation. Bikayi also has its customer support numbers for WhatsApp and calls at the end of almost every video, and on the services page. 

The only glitch this writer faced was in editing an already added product. It took a while to figure out where the edit section was, which was a bit confusing. 

One of the big wins is that many of the app’s key features are free to use. 

Edited by Anju Narayanan