New Delhi (PTI): Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ entry into online retailing will help expand the current 15,000 digitised retail stores to over 5 million by 2023, a study of Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

As much as 90 per cent of India’s $700 billion retail market is unorganised, made up mostly of neighbourhood kirana stores selling groceries and other sundries.

These kirana stores are keen to upgrade their tech and this is driving a wave of modernization, the study said.

“This is on the back of growing competition from modern trade and e-commerce,” it said. “GST implementation has also acted as a catalyst, creating further modernization pressure as GST compliant bills have to be generated.”

Reliance, with a deep footprint in over 10,000 Reliance Retailoutlets pan-India, is working to create the world’s largest online-to-offline e-commerce platform in the country.

Reliance is looking at installing its Jio MPoS (mobile point-of-sale) device at kirana stores to connect neighbourhood suppliers to its high-speed 4G network that can be used by its customers to order supplies.

It will take on SnapBizz, Nukkad Shops and GoFrugal in this fragmented MPoS space.

While Jio MPoS is available at a one-time investment of ₹3,000, SnapBiz offers the same machine at a one-time cost of ₹50,000, the report said.

One-time charge on Nukkad Shops is ₹30,000 to ₹55,000 while GoFrugal offers POS software at a one-time investment of₹15,000 to ₹1 lakh.

Jio MPoS has no merchant discount rate (MDR) on any charge and offers a loyalty programme, it said, adding its monetization strategy include merchandise delivery, advertising and supply-side aggregation.

“We believe, with RIL’s entry, we could see an increase in merchant adaptability, as the price points will likely come down (RIL’s current one time deposit is ₹3,000) and reach should expand.

“Consolidation is also a possibility; as a big player, RIL is entering an otherwise scattered market. Overall, we expect RIL to help expand the current 15,000 digitized store base to 5 million-plus stores by 2023,” it said.

The brokerage said it met with SnapBizz management at their office in Bengaluru. It has 4,500-plus devices installed over seven cities in India or over 30 per cent of the digitised store base.

“The Merchant PoS by SnapBizz is a point of sale platform where merchants can keep a digital record of their inventory, generate GST compliant bills and keep a track of consumer’s buying patterns, in addition to making payments,” the report said.

For a one-time payment of ₹50,000, the merchant gets a PoS device with Snapbizz software, a screen space to display ads and a personal app to interact with users.

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