BUSINESSNews

Digitization is helping ordinary shops compete against big stores, report

Shopkeepers in Brazil, Egypt, India and Indonesia are Reporting Strong Customer Traffic but Risk Falling Behind if they Don’t Become More Tech Savvy


A report released by fintech investor firm Flourish Ventures has revealed that corner shops are doing better than predicted despite protracted supply chain issues and big-box and online retail competitors.

The study confirmed better-than-expected sales and that 94% of consumers surveyed plan to shop as much or more at their corner shops in the future. Both shopkeepers and customers believe, however, that corner stores will need to accelerate digital technology adoption to remain relevant and competitive.

The 2022 Digitizing the Corner Shop research report evaluated more than 800 shopkeepers and 800 of their customers in Brazil, Egypt, India and Indonesia.

The report reveals that digitization has been a key component in the resilience and survival of corner shops. As the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the world, shopkeepers accelerated the adoption of digital technologies to address supply chain inefficiencies, low online sales and limited access to finance and other banking services, the report affirms.

“Our research proves that, even during the pandemic, predictions of the corner store’s demise may have been premature,” said Flourish Managing Partner Arjuna Costa. “But while customer sentiment across the surveyed markets is enthusiastic, continued patronage will depend on further digitization of store operations and customer responsiveness.”.

In terms of digitization, the research asserts that 55% of shop owners use messaging apps to run their business today, and 75% plan to increase their digital usage in the next 1–2 years.

“Together, these factors point to the opportunity for a “digitized corner shop:” a more efficient, responsive, and competitive mom-and-pop retailer with the latest technology and better access to important business services.”

The report was published by Flourish in partnership with Bain & Company and 60 Decibels. You can read it here. 

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to snderitu@techtrendske.co.ke

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