Centre backed ONDC network starts Beta testing with consumers

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS): Centre-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has started beta testing in Bengaluru, with 3 buyer apps, 11 seller apps, 3 logistics providers across 16 pin codes for grocery and food domains.

Officials on Friday said that many more apps are in the process of joining the network. The objective of the Beta Test is to allow consumers to experience the network for the first time and gather feedback which will help further refine the network before a pan-India roll-out.

To begin with, consumers can place their orders in two categories -- groceries and restaurants through buyer apps participating on the ONDC network.

ONDC's debut in the city of Bengaluru is the first-step in making the entire e-Commerce landscape more inclusive, accessible and experience-driven for all consumers with every seller being visible to every buyer.

ONDC is an initiative of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce.

Consumers can now shop from multiple (currently two) categories of products and services from any buyer application of their choice.

They will now also be able to purchase from every seller listed on the network, including local sellers who were not present on a digital platform earlier and have been e-commerce enabled for the first time.

For sellers, this will result in added visibility for their products and services leading to additional revenue.

Even their existing customers can see them online via any buyer app and order from them, helping them retain existing trusted relationships.

In the ONDC terminology, 'buyer apps' refer to applications or websites that enable consumers to shop from all sellers available on ONDC. At the start of the Beta Test, consumers can shop online from buyer apps like Mystore, PayTM, and Spicemoney.

'Seller apps' are applications or websites that enable sellers to join the network making their catalogues and inventory visible to buyers. Bizom, Digiit, Enstore by Innobits, eSamudaay, eVitalrx, Go Frugal, GrowthFalcons, Mystore, nStore, Seller App, Uengage and Ushop are the seller apps that are participating in the Beta Test.

Dunzo, Loadshare and Shiprocket are providing logistics services and Protean eGov Technologies Ltd (Formerly NSDL e-Gov) is providing gateway services. Now Floats and Plotch are technology service providers, facilitating buyer and seller apps to join the ONDC network.

As various businesses continue to onboard the network, more buyers, sellers, technology service providers, categories, and pin codes will be added progressively. Blowhorn, Craftsvilla, CSC Grameen eStore, Ekart, Global Linker (Faiita IT Mall), Grab, HDFC Bank, IDFC First Bank, ITC Store, Kotak Bank, Magicpin, Microsoft, Peppo, Petpooja, PhonePe, Shopalyst, Snapdeal and Zoho are in advanced stages of integration and expected to go live shortly.

T. Koshy, MD & CEO, ONDC, said: "This is a milestone for ONDC and e-commerce in India. ONDC will democratise the e-commerce ecosystem by allowing all sellers to access all buyers and all buyers to access all sellers. Even for the Beta Test in Bengaluru, we have chosen the most difficult categories; groceries and restaurants. We are confident this Beta Test will give us important insights which will help us further refine our playbook before a pan-India rollout."


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