ONDC: The Next Revolution

Even when the internet had taken the world by storm, no one could have anticipated the extent to which it would revolutionize and change people’s lives. Things that could not have even been thought of happened and one of such marvels is e-commerce. The presence of smartphones and e-commerce made sure that people have the market in their hands. Quite literally. The presence of shopping applications and home delivery of products made shopping an experience that gave more pleasure than usual. In light of taking this revolution further ahead, the Indian government is all set to launch the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

ONDC is not an application but a not-for-profit organization that will give space for existing e-commerce applications to be a part of it. It would be like a one-stop solution for customers to buy products from all participating e-commerce platforms as they all will be available on a single platform. Being a single platform where everything is available to the customers directly would be beneficial for them as they would be able to directly compare, survey, and decide what is best for them. Earlier, they would have to navigate through apps to check and conclude. This would save their time and perhaps introduce them to features they may not be aware of. And since it is a new concept, it would also be exciting for consumers. In addition to giving space to digital commerce platforms, Open Network for Digital Commerce would also give space to wholesale, mobility, food delivery travel services, etc. In a way, it would provide far more facilities to users on a single platform and ultimately save a lot of their valuable time.

As per the strategy paper, “ONDC was envisioned to revolutionize digital commerce in India,” and has been created as an entity that should be able to work towards making the customer experience better. The concept of moving online got a quick push when the pandemic hit the world and people were restricted to their homes. This created a kind of digital divide where local retailers were unable to participate. Through ONDC, they will have an opportunity to integrate with the revolutionaries and become a part of the change that is the foundation of the future. It also means that they will be able to reach more consumers in addition to their geographical access in their areas and sell more products as per consumer requirements.

The government had announced the opening of the ONDC after the success of the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) platform. Those who are familiar with the UPI would understand the idea of the ONDC quickly. The UPI gives the facility to send or receive money to different platforms, the ONDC will go beyond the frame of digital commerce and help people navigate through different platforms to make a better choice in choosing the products. The better choice would also mean an opportunity for local retailers to be known and get the recognition they can get through online business.

Since it is the beginning of a new chapter in the world of marketing, it will begin in 5 cities: Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong, and Coimbatore. For now, it targets to onboard 150 retailers and observe how users respond to this idea. In the coming 5 years, the ONDC plans to bring 90 crore users and 12 lakh sellers on board to interact and transact. It also targets 730 crore additional purchases and further expand its operations as the associations and customer base builds up. All in all, the creation of Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will bring a change that may not have been thought of so far by standardizing operations and organizing things better.

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