Kirana stores adopt technology, discount schemes to take on big rivals

Traditional stores are increasingly adopting modern technologies and business strategies to bring innovative marketing methods such as special discounts and loyalty points alerts for its customers. This business model, until recently, was only being used by modern traders and ecommerce players.

"Neighbourhood retail stores are fast evolving with the adoption of technology to serve the changing shopper aspirations and needs," a spokesperson of Hindustan Unilever told The Economic Times.

The FMGC company along with other top consumer product makers and technology service providers like Ratan Tata-backed Snapbizz, ShopKirana and Storeking are backing the shopkeepers in this transition. The technology firms enable neighbourhood retailers to provide itemised bills that show discounts offered, customised SMS alerts on promos and greetings and app-based home delivery.

Snapbizz told the business daily that its internal data across 600 stores in India, largely in Mumbai and Delhi, showed that retailers are using push notification service to drive product information and promotional offers.

Moreover, the local retailers are also adopting innovative marketing methods in the wake of implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), demonetisation and, increasing penetration of smartphone and internet. Demonetisation, for example, led to the introduction of the card and online payment methods in a majority of stores in India, a recent study shows