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Battle of E-Commerce: What is ONDC and How Does it Prevent Alphas from Ruling?

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) unbolts the power of local retailers who have been suffering due to the dominance of e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart. It stops the subjugation of local stores by providing them with an open-source network in various categories.

The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade seeks to enhance the experience and value of customers. The goal is to digitise the entire value chain from suppliers to standard operations, thereby transforming and optimising the commerce landscape.

In the pilot phase, the government launched it in five cities, including  Delhi NCR, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Shillong and Coimbatore. It aimed to cover various market sectors, like mobility, food, delivery, grocery, travel and hotel booking, to engage more users.

What are the Features of ONDC?

The ONDC follows the format used by the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). It is a unified marketplace where sellers can build a credit history with customers. ONDC caters to customers' privacy concerns by keeping their data confidential. Customers don't need to share transactional data with ONDC.

How Does ONDC work?

Considering that India has the 3rd largest online shopper base globally, ONDC brings both buyers and sellers to one platform for transactions. In other words, ONDC works as a middleman between apps. 

E-commerce giants like Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon and Bigbasket need to register with ONDC. It gives consumers the ability to pick any product, compare prices, explore options and place orders from different vendors.

The process is simple: 

  • Sellers register on an ONDC seller app. They can join the ONDC network by submitting the Network Participants (NP) form.
  • Buyers use ONDC to hunt for products of their choice. 
  • ONDC procures a list of sellers selling the searched product and is affiliated with ONDC.
  • Customers can also access sellers on ONDC through an app integrated with the network.
  • The sellers take care of deliveries via tie-ups with logistics firms. 

How Competitive are E-commerce Mammoths?

The government-supported platform brings a ray of hope to local grocery shops. They are the backbone of the country and require support to run their business smoothly. 

To outdo Flipkart and Amazon's technology, the Indian government has to build something equally challenging, if not extraordinary. These small retailers have been fouled by e-commerce practices. Since these local retailers have already suffered enough due to COVID-19, this platform gives them a chance to go online and reach out to their customers. ONDC is inviting all small or big retailers to join the network. 

Concluding Thoughts

ONDC and the digitization of the local shops from a platform-centric to an open network will bring out a positive change for many. ONDC is the need of the hour for local retailers to run their businesses smoothly. 

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Q 1. Is ONDC safe for transactions?

: Yes, ONDC is safe for transactions and considers customer’s privacy concerns.

Q 2. How to buy from ONDC?


  • Choose the category you want to buy.
  • Pick any buyer from the list provided.
  • You can browse and place your order. 
  • You will receive a confirmation after the order is placed.

Q 3. Do you get kitchenware on ONDC?

Yes, they have a wide variety of Kitchenware for you to choose from.

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