Three days after the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) network launched on a test basis in Bengaluru, there is a mixed reaction to it. While the kirana stores on the platform are seeing orders pick up steam slowly and are hopeful the network will be beneficial and help them go digital, there was lack of awareness among consumers. Those aware reported some concerns, including that of data privacy.

Aimed at creating an alternative to market giants Amazon and Flipkart, the network was rolled out for users at 16 pin codes in Bengaluru on September 30. Post the beta launch, 161 orders were placed on the network through buyers apps Paytm (88), IDFC Bank (42), Spicemoney (15) and MyStore (16), according to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Mom-and-pop stores are getting orders of biscuits, cold drinks, masala powders, rice, flour, lentils and energy drinks like Complan. Store owners estimate the average order value to be ₹100-150.

‘Better option’

Deepak Kumar, owner of AtoZ Supermarket in RK Garden, Bengaluru, told businessline that he has been receiving 10 to 15 orders every day through the network. “The ONDC network is a better option than private players like Dunzo, Zepto, and Swiggy as they mostly use us to study consumer behavior and demand in the area and later open their own dark stores, leaving us behind. ONDC, however, can be trusted as it is a government initiative,” Kumar said. It is also helpful as a commission is not charged and delivery is facilitated.

“We are hopeful of getting more orders as the network matures. The catalogue still needs to be updated by ONDC as currently there are only 250-300 items. More daily necessity items should be added, for the order volumes to pick up,” Rosbin, manager of Greenmart SuperMarket in Indiranagar, told businessline. The mart has been receiving five to six orders a day through the network.

Initial glitches

Meanwhile, customers reported some teething issues. Twitter user Ayush who ordered from MyStore said he did not receive the order and tweeted, “There is no facility to contact the delivery partner and the buyer app is not responding. I hope it will get resolved soon.” However, he later said the issue had been resolved.

It’s early days yet to say whether the platform will be a true alternative to the e-comm giants.