Sowmya Ramasubramanian ( )
The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is seeing growth in terms of ecommerce order volume with more than 25,000 orders logged per day, up from 50 per day in January.
The number of retail merchants on the platform is also witnessing an uptick to over 35,000 from about 800 in January, ONDC said in a statement on Thursday.
The numbers paint an optimistic picture for ONDC which acts as a network enabler for brands to conduct ecommerce business through a single, unified platform. It comes at a time when users are curious about how the system works, especially given that food order values on ONDC are much lower than on alternate food delivery platforms like Zomato and Swiggy.
The Economic Times reported on Wednesday that ONDC is yet to show significant traction in ecommerce orders, citing several unnamed industry sources. The T Koshy-led body rubbished the claims stating that the general statements were made “without supporting facts or data to substantiate”
“[The recent ET article] also made misleading assumptions to present what appears to be a distorted picture of the real progress made by ONDC,” the statement said.
ONDC said it has expanded its geographic footprint, with the number of cities with merchants present, having increased to more than 230 from 85 in January. It also added mobility in Kochi, in January and in Bengaluru in April, which has seen a jump to 35,000+ rides a day from these two cities. Namma Yatri joined the ecommerce protocol last month.
Fashion, beauty and personal care, electronics and appliances were added since January this year, and are gradually expanding—600+ merchants in these domains and 1,300+ transactions have been completed since, according to ONDC. Most of these orders are intercity.
The body noted that product-related complaints have been negligible and that any issues that have arisen have been promptly and effectively addressed or are being addressed, with users receiving refunds wherever applicable.
“ONDC has dedicated programs to empower previously undigitised sellers, and has successfully onboarded many first-time small merchants. Remarkably, despite the recent surge in volumes, the network has maintained key performance indicators such as order fill rate and delivery timelines that are consistent with current industry standards,” the statement added.