In India, an estimated 9 million Kirana stores contribute to 90% of the US $120 billion Indian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, in revenue terms. With the high-paced growth of large-format retail outlets and e-Commerce that thrives on data and technology to drive insights and scale profitability; the traditional kiranas have their work cut out.
Alongside keeping pace with the ever-changing consumer behaviour and business environment, the kirana stores lag behind in the adoption of technology. Due to their small in-store real estate, the scope for dynamic promotions and augmented revenues through merchandizing stand hampered. In addition, the lack of customer data for long-term servicing and cross-selling at the point of sale proves to be a challenge, owing to the lack of technology and the associated skillset. For the large FMCG brands, the competition at a traditional retailer is not only from the obvious named brands, but also from the private labels and local products from the unorganized section. This makes the availability of data that can help drive real-time insights very critical.
Nurturing Virtual Supermarkets
Snapbizz, a Bangalore based start-up aims to empower SMBs with technology, by onboarding them on a cloud connected platform, drive digital inclusion and transform them into a virtual supermarket. The solution is tailor-made with in-depth research on kirana work flows and key issues and ensures its usage by any person regardless of the level of literacy, age and technical knowhow. It augments retail operations and facilitates a last-mile value add for the other stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Since its inception in 2013, Snapbizz has spread its reach across 3000+ kirana outlets in six major cities in India, alongside servicing more than 25 FMCG brands. The solution enables a retailer to carry out basic store operations like billing, inventory management, CRM, supply chain management alongside driving contextual customer engagements. It also allows a rich layer of analytics, rendered through highly interactive dashboards on PowerBI that drives high value for FMCG brands, market research organizations and fintech firms. Snapbizz leverages Cosmos DB, a No-SQL offering that helps in the storage of bills and enables powerful consumer analytics.
The solution was originally built on the Android platform and has recently moved to Windows due to the latter’s enterprise-level capabilities. The solution has been hosted on Microsoft Azure from its inception, which has helped Snapbizz to keep its infrastructure costs low, ramp-up with agility and minimize large maintenance resourcing.
“Our focus is to bring enterprise-grade technology to the traditional retailers alongside building skillsets in their workforce, enabling them to thrive and grow by adopting technology. With the Windows 10 operating system for the client-side solution, backed by Microsoft Azure at the back-end, we’re not only solving for robust levels of agility and reliability, but also a highly secured ecosystem, given there’s a lot of data transmitted every second, with every transaction at the store”, Prem Kumar, Co-founder, Snapbizz.
The traditional kiranas have seen enhanced profitability in the range of 18 to 25% alongside an upward workforce efficiency by 30%. The retailers are able to increase the basket size per customer and drive augmented revenues by selling screen space. The FMCG brands, alongside gathering consumer insights and purchase patterns, have witnessed user trial rates go from 3% to 48% in certain scenarios. Snapbizz continues to get about 500 enquiries per month from retailers across the country and is seeing a great demand for its cloud-powered solution in Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Africa. Snapbizz has targeted to touch 20,000 kiranas in the next 2 years and 500,000 by the end of 5 years.
“We believe the innovations in Microsoft Azure and the continuously evolving advanced analytics capabilities will fuel our growth trajectory. Our larger focus is in driving digital inclusion across the value chain and skilling up the SMB workforce, and we see technology complemented by a strong partnership with Microsoft empower this mission”, Prem Kumar, Co-Founder, Snapbizz