The beta testing for Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) started in Bengaluru today.
ONDC is an initiative of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). ONDC will open its network to consumers via participant applicants across 16 pin codes in Bengaluru from Friday, September 30.
#ONDC starts beta testing in Bengaluru today, with 3 buyer apps, 12 seller apps, 3 logistics providers across 16 pin codes for grocery and food domains. Many more apps are in the process of joining the network. Valuable experience to be gained for further improvements. pic.twitter.com/dPmbmOuq39
— DPIIT India (@DPIITGoI) September 30, 2022
To begin with, orders can be placed in two categories — restaurants and groceries — via buyer applications participating in the ONDC network.
How ONDC will change e-commerce
ONDC's debut in Bengaluru is the first step in making the entire e-commerce landscape more inclusive, accessible and experience-driven for all consumers with every seller being visible to every buyer, it said in a statement.
Consumers will be able to shop for services and products from any 'buyer application' of their choice. The sellers listed on the network also include those that were not present on a digital platform before. "For sellers, this will result in added visibility for their products and services leading to additional revenue. Even their existing customers can see them online via any buyer app and order from them, helping them retain existing trusted relationships," the statement added.
Buyer and seller apps
'Buyer apps' refer to websites or apps that allow consumers to shop from all sellers present on ONDC. At the beginning of the beta test, consumers can also shop from buyer apps such as PayTM, Mystore and Spicemoney.
On the other hand, 'seller apps' are websites or applications which allow sellers to join the network, making their inventory and catalogues visible to buyers. Bizom, Digiit, Enstore by Innobits, eSamudaay, eVitalrx, Go Frugal, GrowthFalcons, Mystore, nStore, Seller App, Uengage and Ushop are the seller apps that are participating in the beta test.
While Shiprocket, Dunzo and Loadshare are providing logistics services, Protean eGov Technologies, which was formerly NSDL e-Gov, will provide gateway services. Plotch and NowFloats are technology service providers, facilitating seller and buyer apps to join the ONDC network.
As various businesses continue to onboard the network, more buyers, sellers, technology service providers, categories, and pin codes will be added progressively, the statement said, adding, "Blowhorn, Craftsvilla, CSC Grameen eStore, Ekart, Global Linker (Faiita IT Mall), Grab, HDFC Bank, IDFC First Bank, ITC Store, Kotak Bank, Magicpin, Microsoft, Peppo, Petpooja, PhonePe, Shopalyst, Snapdeal and Zoho are in advanced stages of integration and expected to go live shortly."
T. Koshy, MD & CEO of ONDC, said ONDC will democratise the e-commerce ecosystem by allowing sellers to access all buyers and all buyers to access all sellers. "Even for the beta test in Bengaluru, we have chosen the most difficult categories — groceries and restaurants. We are confident this beta test will give us important insights which will help us further refine our playbook before a pan-India rollout,” he said.