Local shops are part of our lives for decades. They provide us all essential items including groceries and daily needs products. In the era of supermarkets, malls, and e-commerce giants, these shops continued their operations successfully.
During the covid-19 pandemic as well, local shops played a key role in people’s lives. But now, tech firms are targeting these 10+ million shops to automate their daily activities for the online shopping experience.
“Dukaan Tech” is a new term coined by tech firms that are helping local shops to go digital. The term came into existence in August 2020. But it got more importance due to lockdowns and reopening of the market.
In this article, we will learn about key Dukan Tech players and why it is important.
Why “Dukaan Tech” is Important?
For a small shop owner, Dukaan Tech will not only help in customers’ growth but it will also make the shopping experience more engaging. Customers can provide instant reviews based and their experiences. Shop owners can make changes as per users’ requirements. Items in demand will be bought in advance due to the online analytics.
Due to digital presence, merchants can utilize their time efficiently instead of unnecessary offline activities. Moreover, digital tech is very important for small shops’ survival. E-commerce giants including JioMart, Amazon, Bigbasket, etc are now expanding their businesses in small cities where small shops dominate the market.
Setting up a merchant’s shop online is the first step towards the long digital journey. The greatest difficulty lies in generating /reaching the demand or its customer base. The engagement and retention on the platform will always be below average. The lack of response shop owners initially face is a major disappointment that eventually causes them to rethink their decision to go digital. The thing is, without being able to curate continuous demand to grow their business, long-term value to the merchants is very low which makes it near impossible to retain them.
Digital stores don’t show results from the very first day. That is why It is not easy to convince the local merchants to go digital. They don’t find any lucrative benefits in it. The merchants will only place their faith in technology when the revenue starts coming from their digital presence. So, convincing merchants and retention are two key tasks before tech firms.
Lenny Rachitsky, ex-Airbnb Product Lead, believes that >60% retention is a positive sign while considering the small and medium businesses to go digital. That means, more than 40% of merchants will come back to offline strategies after accepting the dukaan tech initially.
Since India is in the initial phase of digitizing the local shops, so retention rate of greater than 20% is acceptable. Tech firms should focus more on retention than the onboarding process.
Main Dukaan Tech players and the Road Ahead
Due to the covid-19 emergency, Dukaan Tech startups have got satisfactory growth in 2020/21. Dukaan, a tech firm, has digitized over 2.7 million local shops from July to October 2020. Khatabook’s MyStore has attracted more than 2.5 million merchants in the August to September period. DigitallDukaan, a product of Dotpe, received 1 million downloads in 2020.
Shoopy, a Noida-based Dukaan Tech platform, has created a buzz due to its affordable and simple digital solution for MSMEs in India. Launched in June 2020, Shoopy got exponential growth due to its multilingual app.
Talking about the startup’s operations, Indar Kriplani, the cofounder of Shoopy said:
“We wanted to solve the problem with simplicity and affordability. Because sellers on the platform have to be successful for us to be successful as a company. The goal was to bridge the tech gap.”
How Shoopy is different from existing products? Answering this question, Indar said:
“Several solutions exist today, but they don’t serve the localized needs of these very small merchants. Our integrated solution solves invoicing, accounting, selling, payments, and helps merchants grow their business online. They can set up a digital storefront and start fulfilling orders in a few minutes.”
Dukaan Tech startups also got good support from investors. Dukaan, Khatabook, PeelWorks, Shoopy, and others raised millions of dollars from different investors.
Currently, digital awareness has helped the local merchants to adopt the Dukaan Tech. MSMEs are also facing a drop in their business activities due to the entry of Amazon, Flipkart, JioMart, Big Basket in the lower-tier cities. Digitization and technological advancement is the need of the hour. It is not only necessary for growth, but digitization is a key to survival in the coming years.