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Reliance to Digitise 5 mn Indian Kirana Stores by 2023: Report

Reliance, with a deep footprint in over 10,000 Reliance Retail outlets pan-India, is working on to create the world's largest online-to-offline new ecommerce platform

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Reliance Jio. Source: www.reliancejio.website

As more and more neighbourhood kirana stores aim to modernise their tech infrastructure, the entry of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) would help expand the current 15,000 digitized store base to over five million stores by 2023, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch research said on Tuesday.

One of the most interesting trends in retail sector in India is that kirana stores are keen to upgrade their merchant point-of-sale (MPoS) technology, which is driving a wave of modernisation (90 per cent of the $700 billion retail market is still unorganized).

“The current one-time price point of Rs 50,000 limits the market to Class A/B stores (turnover of Rs 900K+/month).

“We believe that with the RIL’s entry, we could see an increase in merchant adoptability, as the price points will likely come down (RIL’s current one-time deposit is Rs 3,000) and reach should expand,” the research noted.

As a big player, RIL is entering an otherwise scattered market. Some of the key players in the fragmented merchant point-of-sale (MPoS) today are SnapBizz, Nukkad Shops and GoFrugal.

“Overall, we expect RIL to help expand the current 15,000 digitized store base to over 5 million stores by 2023,” said Sachin Salgaonkar and Sukriti Bansal, Research Analysts at DSP Merrill Lynch (India).

In this photograph taken on June 6, 2013 Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani poses as he arrives for the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai. India’s 100 richest people are for the first time all billionaires, according to an annual Forbes survey released September 25, 2014, with the country’s top earners worth a third more combined than last year. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani topped the list for an eighth straight year with a 23.6-billion dollar fortune, Forbes India said on its website. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE/FILES

For the research, the team met with the SnapBizz management which has over 4,500 devices installed in more than seven cities in India (or over 30 per cent of the digitized store base).

For a one-time payment of Rs 50,000, the merchant gets a PoS device with Snapbizz software, a screen space to display ads and a personal app to interact with users.

On back of these products, the retailers’ revenue is estimated to increase by Rs 8,250 month each, thus recovering the investment in six months.

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“Kirana stores liked the ease of billing/generating GST complaint bills the best. The PoS system provides an option of adding in-built discounts and also push offers to entire customer database via SMS,” the research noted.

Reliance, with a deep footprint in over 10,000 Reliance Retail outlets pan-India, is working on to create the world’s largest online-to-offline new ecommerce platform. (IANS)

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Reliance Retail Set to Disrupt Amazon, Walmart-Flipkart

The eCommerce competition in India remains fierce

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Reliance Jio. Source: www.reliancejio.website

Reliance Retail’s upcoming entry into the online retail sector is the biggest challenge for Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart as the Mukesh Ambani-led behemoth is well positioned to create massive disruption in the market, a new report has stressed.

According to the global market research firm Forrester, the online retail sales in India will grow at a five-year CAGR of 25.8 per cent to reach $85 billion by 2023, despite the hiccups of demonetization in 2016, GST in 2017 and the governmental changes in eCommerce policy announced last December.

The time is ripe for Reliance Retail, which operates 10,415 stores in more than 6,600 cities, with 500 million annual footfalls – giving the company the kind of scale required to swiftly launch India-based operations.

“One of the things that will trouble Amazon and Flipkart is Reliance’s history of launching operations via massive discounts,” Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research, said on Tuesday.

Reliance entered the telecom sector in 2003 with the Monsoon Hungama tariff plan, which brought tariffs for voice calls down to just Rs 0.40 a minute from the existing rate of Rs 2 a minute, followed by the launch of Jio 4G plan in 2016 that dropped data rates from Rs 250 per GB to Rs 50 per GB.

“This kind of discounting can disrupt any market, and we expect something similar to happen in the grocery space during Reliancea¿s launch,” Meena added.

Reliance is fast working on creating the world’s largest online-to-offline New Commerce Platform, according to Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries.

“Due to the recent changes in eCommerce policy and the restrictions on an inventory-led model for marketplaces with FDI, Reliance Retail is finding a favourable policy environment to launch operations where it can use its existing retail infrastructure to deliver goods to customers,” the Forrester report noted.

Reliance launched the food and grocery app among its employees in April 2019 to prepare for the commercial launch later in the year.

Reliance Retail is the largest retailer in India, with $18.7 billion in revenue during financial year 2019, and it grew at a CAGR of 55 per cent in the last five years.

Reliance Retail had $81 billion in revenue and $9.4 billion in profit during 2019.

e-commerce
Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

“This gives Reliance Retail access to long-term capital from the conglomerate, which has a presence in energy, petrochemicals, telecom, textiles, retail, and natural resources,” said Forrester.

Reliance Retail also has a portfolio of over 40 brands, from the midmarket to premium segments and including Hamleys (which the company has acquired for Rs 620 crore) and Marks & Spencer.

“These can provide a boost to the fashion and lifestyle segment, which will be the largest category by online spending in the coming years,” said the report.

Reliance launched its mobile business at the end of 2015, and by April 2019, it had over 300 million mobile subscribers a” making it the third-largest player in a short span of time.

Jio is building on these mobile subscribers by investing in related services to create an ecosystem that gives customers access to rich content and payments options.

This ecosystem will be available for Reliance Retail to build on.

To compete with Amazon and Flipkart, Reliance will have to significantly improve the customer experience, both in stores and on its online channel, because discounts and cashbacks will not generate loyalty for online customers a” as we saw in the Paytm Mall case.

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“Removal of discounts may lead to a significant loss of buyers from the platform. The positioning of the Reliance platform and its fulfilment will play a critical role in the fight against Amazon and Flipkart,” emphasised the Forrester report.

The eCommerce competition in India remains fierce.

Amazon has been the most popular online retailer since it surpassed Flipkart in 2016, although Flipkart is still the single-largest online retailer, with 31.9 per cent market share in 2018 (38.4 per cent if you include Myntra and Jabong), closely followed by Amazon at 31 per cent. (IANS)