4 companies helping micro and small businesses create online shop
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditionally run small businesses got affected the most. They never felt the need to adopt digital means for running their businesses as they mostly catered to surrounding local areas.
However, the nationwide lockdown imposed a really hard time on them. From boutiques to local jewellery stores, sweet shops, stationery stores, street food vendors, home chefs, and many others had no income. This was also when these small entrepreneurs were adapting to online selling.
Amidst the pandemic, many companies also grew popular owing to their nature of helping micro and small businesses set up online shops without any technical know-how. SMBStory lists four such companies.
Hirdyesh Mordani and Sanju Bhambhani, Cofounders, MyEasyStore
Hirdyesh Mordani and Sanju Bhambhani started amidst the nationwide lockdown to enable SMB owners to continue running their businesses smoothly.
“The pandemic brought unpredictable changes to every business, and the need of the hour was to survive. Though I quit my dependence on aggregators on my cloud kitchen business, I faced the challenges of sustaining a shop in the digital space. My DMs were flooded with questions — What all do you have on your menu? How do I place an order? What’s the price? Do you have pictures? It became chaotic and hard to manage, to say the least,” says Hirdyesh Mordani, Co-founder, MyEasyStore.
Hirdyesh realised that many other SMB owners must be facing similar challenges as him.
The duo started working on the product in April and launched the feature-flooded ecommerce platform in Mumbai in May 2020. The startup enables SMB entrepreneurs to set up their personalised online store within minutes on the MyEasyStore platform.
“This digital-first approach to their business lets SMB owners showcase and sell their products and services online and receive orders from customers directly on WhatsApp,” Hirdyesh says.
Recently, the company has also integrated hyperlocal delivery services on its platform in partnership with Dunzo, Shadowfax, and Wefast.
Founded in May 2020 by Suumit Shah, Subhash Choudhary, Anurag Meena, and Kaustub Pandey,is a Bengaluru-based SaaS company that allows anyone to set up an ecommerce website on its platform in 30 seconds.
"You don’t need to have any technical knowledge to start using Dukaan. Dukaan is a platform where you can manage all your back store operations digitally — you can set up your delivery charges, manage orders, create banners/WhatsApp stories, offer dining with QR codes, etc.," says Suumit Shah, Founder of Dukaan.
Dukaan has an active seller base of over three million, including teachers, service providers, and even outstation cab drivers. The SaaS platform hosts businesses and brands across 200 different categories.
Each category has unique characteristics and players, catering to different needs, including solving for payments with the UPI stack, book-keeping, inventory management, and more.
Bikayi co-founders Sonakshi Nathani & Ashutosh Singla (L-R)
Hailing from a business background, Sonakshi Nathani saw that at her family-run grocery store, order and catalogue management was a real challenge.
“These people (the store staff) had started taking orders on WhatsApp. Regular customers were messaging the items they wanted on chat. But a lot of time was spent figuring out the order and checking the inventory,” Sonakshi says.
This is when the ‘Eureka’ moment happened. Sonakshi, along with her friend, Ashutosh Singla, startedto allow small businesses to quickly and simply create their online stores, powered with all the necessary tools needed to manage ecommerce on WhatsApp.
“Anyone doing commerce on WhatsApp is our primary customer, whether it's a grocery store, wholesaler, manufacturer, retailer, restaurant, or bakery,” she says.
The Bikayi app has both free and premium subscription-based features, which includes benefits such as the ability to generate discount promo codes, different themes, analytics access, etc.
Kumar Vembu, Founder, GoFrugal
Kumar Vembu set up GoFrugal in 2004 in Chennai as a software aimed at India. Fast forward 17 years, GoFrugal has established itself as a digital-first company, which offers cloud and mobile ERP solutions to retail, restaurant, and distribution businesses.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, GoFrugal launched a hybrid POS solution for retailers — OrderEasy and GoDeliver — to help small businesses set up their own online ordering app and a delivery management app as a free subscription.
With OrderEasy, retailers can quickly set up a branded Android app for online ordering, and store owners can serve their consumers in few days.
Orders are automatically pushed into the company’s ERP, making it easier for retailers to measure and improve their service capability. The ordering experience is designed similarly to popular apps, where the order is punched only when the item is available.
The GoDeliver mobile app provides retailers with a platform to manage deliveries efficiently. It gives complete control by streamlining deliveries, sharing the most optimum routes with their delivery staff, tracking delivery, location, and even rescheduling or cancelling. This helps retailers to easily and efficiently manage the logistics of delivery, thereby serving more orders than usual.
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