India’s E-commerce sector has been seeing a boom off late and a bunch of brands and platforms have emerged in the past few years to take part in the evolving industry and reap benefits. However, with Swiggy and Zomato forming a duopoly in the space, consumers were left with no other choices but to order food from these two apps. Now, the Indian government has taken the matter into its own hands and introduced Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). What is it and how is it beneficial for the consumers? Let’s have a look.
What is ONDC?
ONDC stands for Open Network for Digital Commerce, a place where restaurants are allowed to sell their food directly to the consumers. Moreover, it also delivers groceries, home décor, cleaning essentials, etc, much like Swiggy’s Instamart, Zepto, and Blinkit. As the platform has been developed by the Government of India, it is pretty reliable as well. While the services first began in Bengaluru back last year, the platform can now be used in multiple cities to order food and various other products.
“ONDC recognises the unique opportunity to increase e‑retail penetration from the existing 4.3% to its maximum potential in India. Our mission is to dramatically increase e-commerce penetration in the country by enabling population-scale inclusion of all types and sizes of sellers”, the platform’s website reads.
Benefits of using ONDC
ONDC, being a platform headed by the Indian government, is reliable and offers products at relatively cheaper prices than other e-commerce platforms. The one major benefit consumers can take advantage of is using the platform to order food at much cheaper rates. Our findings have shown that the new e-commerce platform is the best choice for ordering food from most food chains and restaurants such as Dominos, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, etc., as it offers the cheapest prices.
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When we compared the prices of one serving of Veg Steam Momos and Chicken Steam Momos from WOW Momos!, Swiggy ended up being the most expensive platform, followed by Zomato and then ONDC with the lowest price. Note that the prices shown below are from the same outlet, so delivery fee should also be observed.
There was difference of more than Rs 100 in the ONDC price and Swiggy price. This makes ONDC the superior platform. However, keep in mind that not all restaurants may be available as the platform is relatively new and adoption rate still has to rise.
As for the merchants, the largest benefit is that everyone can join ONDC, even the smallest merchants in the most remote locations.
Impact of ONDC
ONDC is expected to digitize the entire supply chain, standardize operations, provide logistics, and provide value for consumers. The open network promotes inclusivity, discoverability, and interoperability, which helps small online merchants grow. The new government-headed initiative will also pressurise other platforms including Swiggy and Zomato to lower their prices, a benefit that would be reaped by the end consumer.
How to use ONDC?
ONDC has onboarded multiple partners from whose apps you can access the platform. Such apps include PayTm, Magicpin, Meesho, MyStore, Craftsvilla and more. The easiest ways include either to download Magicpin app and just go to the section of your choice via the homepage of the app. Or, one can search for ONDC on the Paytm app at the top and then tap on the product category of their choice to browse products.