Bangalore realty remains buoyant

Bangalore realty remains buoyant
The kirana store is not on its way out. It’ll only look, network and deliver better. 

Around 7,000 kirana stores in Bangalore alone and hundreds across metros are being transformed and trained by consumer Internet portal and e-commerce player eBay in handling Internet-based transactions and interactions with consumers as part of a massive nationwide e-commerce awareness campaign among kirana store owners initiated by the Bangalore Wholesale Merchants’ Association and the All India Traders’ Association. 

The campaign is to equip kirana stores technologically and conduct Internet transactions to handle retail giants like Walmart. 

eBay agreed to the request after traders persuaded the e-commerce portal to skip its plans to tie-up with Walmart. 

Wholesale Merchants Association Secretary R C Lahoti told Deccan Herald: “We are aware e-commerce and internet transactions are getting entrenched in the Indian market rapidly. So, we decided to approach eBay for assistance. But we heard eBay was trying to get into an arrangement with Walmart. We immediately decided to approach eBay and requested eBay to team up directly with kirana store owners themselves and work out a retail plan for kirana stores across the country. Our assessment was that eBay would not lose out, nor would the shop owners. eBay agreed to the suggestion. And now we are right in the middle of training kirana stores owners by eBay in handling technology, transactions on the Internet, making and receiving payments on the Web, building files on stocks, handling e-mail etc.”

The e-commerce awareness campaign among kirana stores owners will cover 48 cities in the country. eBay will impart training in all these cities as per the plan with the associations. 

The campaign is spread over two to three months as it has to cover kirana stores across India. 

In the training campaign, eBay personnel along with Association members make presentations in each city to a gathering of kirana owners on conducting business on Internet, internet interactions, how shops across the country can be networked with other kirana stores and the e-commerce platform. 

Traders estimate that in five years, people would stop going to shops and will buy online. This is already happening with many Bangaloreans ordering provisions,  vegetables, fruits and other consumer goods on the net. 

Flipkart, for instance, is a popular choice for Bangaloreans to buy a range of goods. Pradeep Keshav, an IT professional from Jayanagar says, “My experience with Flipkart has been good. The variety they offer and delivery of products has been consistent.” 

So, in five years, kirana stores have to be ready with Internet transactions and product delivery skills. Once trained and ready, they can show themselves on eBay post an agreement.

They should place their offers (prices and discounts) on the eBay portal. 

Once a consumer decides to buy, he will indicate the same on the Web and the shop owner concerned has to respond, giving a specific time/date of delivery.

The Bangalore Wholesale Association already conducts a good deal of transactions via email.

Buyers like Big Bazaar and Foodworld place email orders with the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), located at Yeshwantpur, for bulk purchases. 

The wholesalers who have now woken up to the new digital marketing and buying culture have organised kirana shop owners into a group to take up training on retail transactions over the Internet. 

They are asking kirana stores owners to start with e-mail and move on to transactions on the Web. Delivery of household products to the homes of consumers has a long tradition with the popular M K Ahmed stores delivering goods to homes since the 1960s. 

People would go to the shop, give the shopkeeper a list and leave. The goods would be brought home by the stores personnel. 

This has not completely disappeared. 

Only, now people send lists by mail or through online marketing to which the newly trained shopkeeper will have to respond with all his Internet transaction skills.

E-commerce giant Amazon has begun an experiment in Bangalore this week to explore kirana stores as delivery or product pick-up points. 

The model expects consumers to get their shipments from Amazon at identified and listed kirana stores right in their neighbourhood, what is called self-delivery. 

The stores would be paid a small fee for the service of handling the shipment.

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