Understanding the support many sellers require to move online and to capitalize on the pandemic-induced e-commerce opportunity, DDC Delhi stepped up to the occasion and played a pivotal role in the formulation of the concept of ‘Dilli Bazaar.’
The journey, as of July 2022, includes 100+ stakeholder consultations with over 80 market associations and diverse industry players. With the constantly evolving e-commerce industry, the core challenge was to find a solution that is at par with the latest technology as well as meets the demands and needs of the local retailers.
The journey kickstarted with a stakeholder consultation of all major retail and wholesale markets of Delhi, chaired by Jasmine Shah, Vice-Chairperson, DDC Delhi. The objective was to understand the interest of the stakeholders in enhancing their digital presence and the issues they face with the existing platforms. The onboarding of the big markets of Delhi was also included in this initiative so that they can act as equal partners in building the platform.
Post understanding the needs and issues of the local traders, the next set of conversations and research started with the industry players. The new initiative of the Government of India Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has also been included in the project’s formulation. The research team at DDC Delhi took the lead in understanding and ideating the nuances of the initiative and incorporating the ONDC protocol with Dilli Bazaar. Since the industry is very dynamic and Dilli Bazaar is a unique initiative, all the aspects of usability, compliance, and self-sustainability are being taken into account.
Need for the Policy
The recent pandemic hit hard various sectors of the economy, especially the retail and wholesale sectors. These sectors, known as the backbone of the economy, cater to every segment of the population (from high-end expensive products to heavily discounted products), are culture agnostic and have something special for every kind of buyer, providing employment to millions of people in Delhi.
But the last two years have been very hard for these local sellers who have faced the wrath of a long shutdown during the lockdowns, resulting in lower sales, decreased customer footfalls and a drastic shutdown of shops. The pandemic has even accelerated behavioural change of the buyers, with ‘Go online’ becoming the default option for discovering and shopping the goods. It was noted that though the quality of products and services in Delhi is praised all over India and globally, many businesses suffered because they still lack online presence and reach.
Based on the study cited above, the pandemic has proved to be an inflection point for the e-commerce industry and it is even expected to grow by 84% in the next 4 years, by 2024. To grow and compete in this “new” normal, it is essential for the local sellers to have a significant digital presence.
Objectives of the Policy
The key objective of ‘Dilli Bazaar’ is to help the local sellers of Delhi reach a larger customer base worldwide with their unique products and services.
- Enhanced Customer Base: It will expand the access of the sellers to larger markets, helping them reach out to customers across various states as well as countries.
- Comprehensive Coverage across Sellers: This platform is envisioned to cover both B2B as well as B2C sellers (Retailers as well as Wholesalers). It will also work on providing the listing services to both GST as well as non-GST sellers.
- Enhanced Discoverability: The Bazaar will help to showcase the markets, shops, products, and services, through detailed product/ service catalogues, and thereby help easy discovery.
- Independent Virtual Store: Every seller on the ‘Dilli Bazaar’ platform will have its own store-front to enable them to showcase their unique shops and products through detailed product catalogues. This will create an additional virtual store running 24x7.
- Promoting Go Local: Search Promoting the motto of ‘Go Local’, the customers on this platform will be able to search by products, markets, sellers and geographical area to enable their discovery of the distinctive markets of Delhi.
Key Features of the Policy
Dilli Bazaar Portal has been envisaged to be a one-stop solution for all businesses with the following components:
- On-boarding :- The Bazaar will onboard B2B and B2C businesses in Delhi including traders, sellers, wholesalers, service providers and manufacturers with detailed cataloguing. Their profiles will be verified by the respective market associations/ RWAs and other respective governing bodies.
- Virtual Market Tours :- The Bazaar plans to go a step forward from being just an e-commerce platform to introducing virtual market tours wherein the customers and visitors will be able to view market streets and shops, easing the journey of their purchase.
- Discover :– The Bazaar may have advanced search capabilities, allowing search options, filter and sort activities by the products, markets, location and shops. The portal is being contemplated to be ONDC compliant, thereby providing enhanced discoverability of the sellers and products.
- Integration with Partners :–This feature on the portal will help sellers with additional and external functionality to complete transactions and fulfilment.
- ONDC Compliant :- The Dilli Bazaar Seller app also envisions to be among the largest e-commerce marketplaces to be compliant with the Government of India's Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative, enabling the seller to be easily discoverable and allowing them to conduct their businesses across multiple buyer platforms.