5 ways to transform rural kirana stores using technology

From digital orders to effective inventory management and structured credit system, kirana stores are getting a facelift by using technology.
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According to Nielsen, India has more than 12 million kirana stores across the country. These kirana stores emerged as saviors during the national lockdown when people heavily relied on them to get access to essential products and services, especially in the rural areas.

A new relationship between the local kirana stores and the customers can be seen to develop in such unexpected times. Moreover, it has been observed that rural India is heavily dependent on the local kirana stores for running a sustainable living.

The kirana shop owners are usually forced to shut their shops a few times in a month to acquire inventory from any nearby city, causing a loss in business. Moreover, the rural population never gets access to quality products and brands due to lack of awareness and availability in the vicinity.

There are several initiatives the kirana stores are now participating in for better business transformation, and by collaborating with B2B platforms, they are successfully incorporating tech-driven features.

Here are a few ways in which the rural kirana stores have transformed themselves with the help of technology.

Digital orders

With the help of mobile applications, orders can be placed with no minimum order value. These applications allow kirana stores to place an order two times a month and track the order on a real-time basis. These orders are delivered within a span of two to three days where the consumers get the premium products at affordable prices.

Local language application

Local language mobile applications have helped the rural kirana stores and consumers to understand and comprehend the information easily regarding all the essential and premium products at their fingertips and considering all the segments of people in rural, voice-based search made usage of applications as ease.

It also helps brands to cater to a wider audience and a wider range of services through Kirana stores.

Efficient inventory management

Most store owners often have limited visibility into their inventories, which results in expired products or missed sale opportunities. It is difficult for one single person to manage the inventories efficiently and effectively. Therefore, sourcing and managing inventory have always been a challenge for the kirana store owners.

With the help of technology, the store owners can get access to a wider range of products without increasing the working capital. This helps to keep track and record of the stock availability and improve customer satisfaction.

Smart suggestions

Further to inventory management, the technology can analyse the past sales trends, and suggest kirana store owners which product they should order in the coming days.

Structured credit system

Kirana stores often run on a credit system. Different family members purchase items from the store, and the kirana store owner has to keep a tally of which family owns how much money. Through technology, this can be easily resolved. They can keep a track of credit centrally to know which family owns how much money.

There are opportunities for the kirana stores to grow big and thrive in the competitive market. With the use of technology, kirana stores are delivering quality products with ease. This reiterates the fact that future kirana stores will be connected, digital, and engaging.

Edited by Megha Reddy

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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