From Local shops to customers: How we Helped Local Retail

From Local shops to customers: How we Helped Local Retail Play an Indispensable Role during the Lockdown

A retail expert with 25+ years of experience in founding and growing several retail businesses spanning a number of industries.

In the challenging times, we witnessed several e-commerce giants struggling to keep up with the increasingly high demand of customers. While the pressure mounted on these businesses to provide essentials like groceries and vegetables on time, their delivery infrastructure was being pushed to the limit. Customers had no option but to wait for days, sometimes weeks, to get their orders delivered.

To address these issues, Peddle Plus, a Delhi-based retail technology start-up came up with a unique and innovative initiative. The company noticed that numerous local Kirana stores played a pertinent role in sustaining the lockdown, ensuring that people don’t run out of essential supplies. Some of these stores are also provided home delivery on the same day regardless of the lockdown, for the convenience and safety of customers and shopkeepers.

Peddle Plus leveraged technology to connect local retailers and customers in their locality. The company provided several retailers across north India an app which helped them to sell online, free-of-cost. Customers could order groceries from their local store and get it delivered to their doorstep without the need for stepping out or standing in queues. In doing so, the company is fostered social distancing and ensured that people upheld the lockdown.

I talked to Mr. Deepak Kumar, the owner of Eazymart in Rewari, whose store benefitted from Peddle Plus’ solution. According to him, “I never thought that I could sell my products online. This one-of-a-kind initiative had helped me manage my store from my phone while getting orders from the customers in my area. I’m glad that I could serve my customers even during the lockdown without worrying much about social distancing in my store.”

Mr. Harish Prasad, an IT professional who bought his groceries using the Peddle Plus app, said “I heard about Peddle Plus from a friend of mine. Having to go out during the lockdown was quite a hassle. I could afford wasting two hours waiting in queues just for a few products. I had a lot of work since I worked from home. What’s more, the big companies were taking at least a week or two to deliver groceries, sometimes even cancelling the order altogether. But the stores on Peddle Plus offered home delivery on the same day. I was extremely happy and appreciated the work that Peddle Plus had done.”

I also got in touch with Mr. Manoj Bhanja, the CTO at Peddle Plus, who had a key role in developing the platform. He says, “We as a company have always believed that local stores are an indispensable part of the retail ecosystem. It had become all the more evident during the lockdown. Empowering those stores with technology could help them compete with modern retail and create a thriving ecosystem of local commerce. These Kirana stores maybe small shops, but they were silent heroes during the pandemic. They indeed deserve true recognition”

It has been extremely fulfilling to see how various businesses came together during the crisis. Everyone contributed whatever they could to help solve various problems that people faced in the lockdown and ensured that India became successful in defeating the pandemic.