Kirana stores run on mutual trust and familiarity. Customers buy from these stores on credit, which shopkeepers maintain in a logbook, diary, or random pieces of paper. This service brand is unique to these stores, which account for 95% of India's $500 billion food and grocery retail industry.
But what happens when customers procrastinate payments or, worse, fail to pay? How do store owners ensure that purchases made on credit are paid without nagging their customers? In this article, we'll look at how store owners are adopting digital technologies to attract more customers, ensure profitability, and maintain proper logbooks.
Challenges faced by Kirana store owners
If there's anything that COVID-19 taught us, it is the fact that businesses, regardless of their sizes, have to take the digital route to survive. This is particularly true for retail companies, both big and small. The pandemic resulted in a lockdown and massive disruptions in supply chains.
It resulted in a spike in grocery orders from Kirana stores since it provided reassurance to consumers during this period of uncertainty. However, an increase in order does not necessarily translate into an increase in business. All the store owners not accustomed to hundreds of orders in a day found it difficult to maintain accounts properly.
Some were scribbling on papers and any chits they could find while speaking on the phone. This resulted in the loss of receipts, mismanaged diary records, and, eventually, loss of business. That is not all. With all customers locked inside homes, asking for payments by coming to the shop became a challenge.
Reminding customers about their dues also threatens the coveted customer-shopkeeper bond, which is crucial to the success of Kirana shops. Keeping all these challenges in mind, many store owners have turned towards technology to solve these pressing issues and make buyers pay their dues on time.
Embracing technology for a traditional need
The advent of app-based bookkeeping solutions allows Kirana store owners to manage their finances in the palm of their hands. It will enable them to maintain their diaries online and send automated reminders to customers to make payments and eventually receive them digitally.
The advantages of using a bookkeeping app include: Easily keep track of credit and debit: Never miss any transaction with a bookkeeping app. Digitally record all your daily transactions to know the status of your customers' payments accurately. Manage customers effectively: Get a real-time view of customers' dues and easily identify those who have not made the payment.
Get rewarded for transactions: In some bookkeeping apps, users also get reward points for each transaction redeemed at various online and offline stores. Send reminders for timely payments: Send payment reminders to customers who haven't repaid without appearing too pushy.
Stay up-to-date with accounts: With a complete view of all the accounts, stay updated on your business' profits and identify potential areas to improve them further. Have a clear view of transactions: Generate daily, weekly and monthly reports that provide accurate insights into your Kirana store's performance.
Increase profits by eliminating hand-written receipts: With all your transactions stored in an app, you can identify trends and analyze data to discover ways to increase profitability.
Some of these apps also offer small businesses other financial products like banking, lending, and insurance because their financial needs are largely underserved by banks, whose focus is usually on salaried customers.
For Kirana shop owners, asking their customers to pay back dues can be a challenge. Customers often forget to repay their dues, making it difficult for store owners to maintain accounts and stay profitable.
That is why more and more shopkeepers are embracing app-based bookkeeping solutions to maintain daily transactions, send payment reminders, and collect their dues digitally.
When social distancing is taking center stage, technology is a silver bullet that allows shopkeepers to remain resilient and expand their operations. For more relevant insights on the benefits of a digital khata, and to take beneficial business loans, visit Onthewaymoney today.