The kirana stores are supported by the major consumer makers and service providers for this initiative.
Taking a cue from their bigger offline counterparts and online majors such as Flipkart and Amazon, neighbourhood small and mid-sized kirana stores are doling out special discounts for festivals and offering loyalty points to customers.
They expect such methods to help them win new customers and retain old ones, besides fending off the threat from major online and offline players. In fact, big FMCG companies and service providers are backing such players, according to a report in The Economic Times. Technology firms such as Snapbizz, ShopKirana and Storeking are willing to offer digitised customer engagement, among others to such mom-and-pop stores.
"There is a strong tailwind to adopt technology and an attitudinal change in the retailer," said Snapbizz CEO Prem Kumar told the paper. The stores are looking into taking the help of Snapbizz to help provide itemised bills that show discounts offered on total bills, customised SMS alerts on promos and greetings, and even app-based home delivery.
Snapbizz claimed that their internal data across 600 stores around the country showed that retailers largely use push notifications service to drive promotional offers and product information. Mumbai and Delhi were among the fast movers using SMS services to drive customer engagement, according to Snapbizz.
Bigger FMCG players are leveraging such stores as an outlet to help consumers have a better accessibility and visibility for the products they require. A Hindustan Unilver spokesperson told the paper, "Neighbourhood retail stores are fast evolving with the adoption of technology to serve the changing shopper aspirations and needs." HUL is testing its waters in different business models which involves partnering with different retail partners to help consumers, the spokesperson said.
According to studies, such neighbourhood stores constitute more than 90 percent of FMCG grocery sales and there are over 12 million such stores.Dabur chief executive Sunil Duggal told the paper that many kiranas are aggregating with other retailers. "We are keeping a close watch on how the neighbourhood grocery space is evolving, since it directly and very significantly impacts our business."