Pandemic changed the course of humanity forever. While most of us were privileged enough to spend more time with our families as we moved to a remote working model, there was a segment of society impacted rather adversely. Yes, I am talking about the small business owners. With a sudden total lockdown, these people had a really hard time to catch hold of the situation. Since most of them never thought of going digital in their wildest dreams, supply chain was disrupted. Despite being the only source of purchase during the lockdown period for nearby localities, these people suffered significantly. This is primarily because of no online presence.
Yes they were connected with their customers through calls and WhatsApp, but there are some obvious limitations to that as well:
First, it’s a logistical nightmare. How do you reconcile your inventory with something over the call/WhatsApp?
Secondly, you can cater to only one customer at a time. Once the line is busy, you lose on the traffic that is in queue.
Finally, it is just inefficient for the customers to track orders. More calls to check on the status, hence, even more sales loss.
Enter: Dukaan- Your Digital Store
Dukaan is an Indian made application that took inspiration from the pandemic situation and came up with an amazing solution to take Indian local businesses, online. Using the Dukaan Application, one can create it’s online presence within 15 minutes without have any prior knowledge. There is no e-commerce jargons, domain, URL etc. involved here. Simply vanilla product that just gets the job done.
One can simply put up the entire inventory on the store and can later share the link of the store with their customers. Customers can order using the app/web through any internet enabled device. Once ordered, the owner is intimated about it and can mark the status of the order along the supply chain. For example, once the shop owner packs the order, he can mark your order as packed and you will be notified regarding the same through an automated message.
Story Behind Dukaan:
The app is the brainchild of Suumit Shah from the town of Satara, Maharashtra.
A boy who once ran errands at a small shop owned by his uncle, he later went on to complete his engineering and changed the lives of thousands of small entrepreneurs across India.
As a quick learner, he picked up key web designing skills from his college roommate, learnt the art of digital marketing from online courses and started his own business, Risemetric, along with his existing CTO Subhash Choudhary.
He became a successful entrepreneur, working with big corporates such as Cred and McDonald’s, among others. However, the idea to start Dukaan struck thanks to a text message from a Jockey outlet which said they were now accepting orders on WhatsApp.
What initially seemed like a long shot, soon made him realize that this is something that could actually benefit small business owners. In 48 hours, he along with his teammates Subhash, Anuraag and Kaustub created the Dukaan app for Android users, allowing them to move their businesses online. (Source)
How to Create a Dukaan:
It is as simple as it could get. Let’s have a quick look at the steps involved:
- Once you sign in with your number and OTP, enter your business name and category.
- The next obvious step is to add products to your store. The store gives you ample of options to enhance the end customer experience.
- You can add up to 8 images of the product.
- There is an option to quote an MRP and a selling price. This would reflect as % discount to the customer on the application.
- You can tell also notify the customer about the quantity of the product along with units (liters, pieces, grams, sq.ft. etc.).
- There is an ability to add variants as well.
- And that is pretty much it. Once you have added all the products on your Dukaan, a link to your digital store is created. You can share this address with your customer base over WhatsApp. So, instead of a gazillion calls, you can just focus on operational aspect rather than worrying about sales loss.
- Apart from the basic features, there are some additional options to manage the store:
- You can go to the marketing section and pick a digital business card for your store. It is so simple that all the details and templates are set. All you have to do is pick one.
- There is an option to choose promo banners from multiple options.
- You can even select pre-designed a WhatsApp story directly from the app.
- You can add your bank details or UPI ID to accept payments online as well.
- There is an option to generate discount coupons, QR codes, add extra charges like delivery, handling to the menu.
If I had a small business, I would totally use this application primarily for three reasons.
A. It is made in India. (Super Proud)
B. It is launched at the right time and right place. Timing couldn’t have been better. This is probably the reason that during first month of launch, the app has seen 1.5L downloads and is processing 70k orders.
C. The story behind the app is just noble. Someone came up with a product with an intention of helping those in need.
Also, I got in touch with the team through a tweet wherein I got to know that soon they are partnering with some delivery apps as well. So now, not only your store is digital, your reach is also bound to go up. Possibilities are just endless.
Have you ever heard about this app? Will you use it?
Until Next Time. . .
This blog is in association with Blogchatter’s #BlogchatterA2ZChallenge