This post is in reference to recent Indian government decision to introduce retail disinvestment.There was a lot of protest in India for this decision by local kirana(retailers) shops owners.Specially Maharashtra had observed a major protest. It is a genuine concern from them but one thing which I never understood was why they never want to go for competition.I want to discuss how small traders can create a group and use technology to increase and retain customers.Lets discuss it one by one.
- Create a website – This is biggest mistake mostly small shop owners do.They never have a website and they never understand the importance of it.For all of them here is small video to understand the power of internet:
Whether you have a small shop or kirana store, creating a small website is first thing to do.It makes you easily recognizable across the city and globe.It does cost not more than 500 Rupees to maintain a website per year.It is cheaper and anyone can search your shop even if they do not have your address.
- Create social media to engage Customer -if not on big scale, at least a Facebook page and twitter account can be created for small business and shops.Shopkeepers can post discount or offers on post and can also get new customer from the surroundings.
- Offers discount and sale – Small kirana owners rarely offers discount or something extra.Through their social media pages and website they may offers something extra or some kind of sale on certain items.
- Improve home delivery – This is one thing which makes small kirana store one step ahead to big retail giants.They can take order on phone and can deliver to your house.The problem is it is not organized and sometime if you order in morning, you will receive it in evening.They can promote their delivery and can improve the channel.They can also create a small group of trade owners and make delivery faster.
Here is another video which demonstrate the power if Internet for small business:
Here are list of some websites which offers quick and easy website building.There is no technical experience required for it and it is very cheap.
Conclusion – The real problem lies within our thoughts who never want to accept competition.That’s why every government organization employee is against privatization.Small trade owners are afraid of Walmart.Roadside vegetables owners are afraid of Indian retailers.The core is we do not like change and never accept competition.Instead of running away from it , let’s face it.
We can start with little bit and grow it slowly.Remembers in this era of technology, we can’t rely fully with older ways of selling.Let’s accept this challege and make your product available to more and more people.
What we can do?
As a normal citizen and equipped with knowledge and technology, we can help small shop owners to aware about technology.Point and highlight them about benefits of internet and website.What’s more, you can even help them to come live on internet.Please do share your thoughts.