E-commerce giant Flipkart has significantly expanded its kirana onboarding programme to make deliveries to customers in more than 850 cities. It has done this in preparation for the festive season and its flagship sale event Big Billion Days.
With more than 50,000 kiranas onboarded, the Walmart-owned firm aims to provide a fast and personalised e-commerce experience to millions of consumers, while creating opportunities for digital upskilling as well as additional income for kiranas.
The kirana programme has been further expanded to remote and faraway cities across the country, including places like Tinsukia (Assam), Agartala (Tripura), and Kannur (Kerala), making e-commerce more inclusive.
“As one of the oldest retail formats in India, kiranas have one of the highest penetration and showcase effective management of the supply chain drivers, such as facilities, inventory, information, and sourcing, as well as in maintaining a long-standing relationship with consumers,” said Amitesh Jha, senior vice-president, Ekart and Marketplace, Flipkart.
To help kiranas onboard and be active participants in the festive season, Flipkart’s team initiated contactless onboarding of kiranas through online application forms where kirana partners directly uploaded details along with required documentation. This enabled seamless onboarding without them having to step out during Covid-19 times.
Following a detailed verification check, the kirana partners were brought into the programme before they can deliver shipments. The team has also organised digital training on various tools, including app-based dashboards and digital payments, helping kiranas transform their business from traditional general trade stores to modern convenience stores.
Partnering sellers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Flipkart delivers millions of shipments every day through its robust supply chain across 100 per cent of the serviceable pincodes in India. Flipkart is expanding the physical and digital infrastructure, strengthening its supply chain capabilities while working with multiple ecosystem partners and traditional businesses. These include freelance delivery executives and kiranas, thereby complementing their incomes and bringing more convenience to e-commerce consumers. Last year, kiranas collectively delivered over 1 million shipments during Flipkart’s Big Billion Days event.
The kirana programme is part of Flipkart Group’s efforts to drive growth for millions of kiranas across the country. This also includes Flipkart Wholesale, a digital B2B marketplace with an aim to connect local manufacturers and MSMEs with retailers and other businesses.