Reliance’s E-Commerce Ambitions Will Connect Over 5 Million Kirana Stores To A Digital Platform By 2023Kirana store facade in Bengaluru. (Flickr/Insight Instore)

According to new research, over 5 million kirana stores are expected to be digitised by 2023 from the current 15,000 on the back Reliance's aggressive e-commerce expansion strategy, reports Mint.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail is looking to take on e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon by connecting offline kirana stores to an online platform.

As per Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML) research, kirana stores - mom-and-pop stores that dot India's retail landscape - are looking forward to upgrading their merchant point-of-sale (MPoS) technology. This digitisation is powering the wave of modernisation in the $700 billion Indian retail market.

"Overall, we expect RIL to help expand the current 15,000 digitised store base to over 5 million stores by 2023," said Sachin Salgaonkar and Sukriti Bansal, Research Analysts at DSP Merrill Lynch (India).

While currently kirana stores in the country are required to make an upfront one-time payment of Rs 50,000 for a SnapBizz PoS device, Reliance's expansion to more areas will lead to greater digitisation as the company charges only Rs 3,000 as a one-time deposit for such services.

"Kirana stores liked the ease of billing/generating GST-compliant bills the best. The PoS system provides an option of adding in-built discounts and also push offers to the entire customer database via SMS," the researchers noted.

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