The kirana stores of our country have been a part of the Indian business ecosystem since time immemorial. They have survived the business industry even after a number of backlashes from various retail giants. Be it the ever so organised supermarkets, departmental stores or the recent wave of e-commerce. What is it that has helped them to keep their businesses going for these many years, in spite of the changing scenarios? Thekirana store still stands to be the largest retail market of India and constitutes to about 12 million stores.
The kirana store owners of India can be considered to be one of the best business gurus when it comes to running a business in an amulti-cultural country like ours.
Here are 6 things that you can learn from the mom and pop-store owners of India:
- Consistent and good communication: No one can beat the communication skills of a kirana owner. Whenever you arrive at a kirana shop, most of the times the shopkeeper would first ask about your whereabouts or that one ailing person from your family or about your new job, if he knows you that well. Building communication and making people feel at ease is one thing that the kirana store owners have been doing for ages and this is one skill that we ideally should learn in order to build great customer relations with our potential clients.
- A clear understanding of customer preferences: A kirana owner will always know what each one of his customers prefers. They can clearly tell their customers apart and only sell items accordingly. They sell items not just based on brand or company preferences but also based on each customer’s spending magnitude. This is possible because he has loads of information stored about the same at the back of his mind, which is pretty impressive and useful in case he wants to carry out a successful business. He also smartly implements the idea of selling a better product over another, thus cross-selling and being a personal shopping guide. Knowing your customer base is the first step towards achieving setting up an enduring business.
- Being an active/ alert seller: Most of the time it so happens, that you go at a nearby mom and pop store and out of the 10 things you usually buy to sustain your day to day activities, you miss out on that one, absolutely necessary item. In a split second, you will be reminded about how you missed out on that one, all-important product of yours by your kiranawala. If this was somewhere else, you had probably return back with a bag of 9 items. Being proactive and prudent in your business is of utmost importance to stand out from the rest and take it to new heights.
- Simple return policy: One of the reasons most Indians still prefer buying from markets over apps is because of the easy returns. And this stands true even in terms of small products and day to day items, because of an easy return/ exchange policy, in case the product happens to be faulty. There is no long procedure involved and the process is really quick and easy. Hassle-free service to the customers both before and after buying the product still ranks first on the point table. Most of the customers still measure the quality of service on how easy it was for them to get rid of that one unsound item and in return served with a better one.
- Going the extra mile: We are at utmost ease when buying items from our nearby store, even without cash. A lot of small retailers also, provide you with a delivery option at your doorstep without any extra charges for the same. Sometimes, providing such perks every now and then becomes necessary to make your business and service stand out. Because it isn’t always about money but sometimes, also about the relations you get to maintain with your customers. Naturally, all this is only possible when the trust factor is active between both the customer and the retailer.
- Customisedshopping experience: Kirana stores always have the option of letting you buy only how much and what you need. There is no minimum or maximum cash limit. If you require sugar worth Rs.10, you will be happily given the same without any pressure to buy more items. However, this scenario would hardly come into reality when it comes to offline organised stores. Contrarily, if the customer was forced to buy something more for the sake of abiding by the minimum cash limit rule, which was not even his need at the moment, it would lead to annoyance and chances are, that the customer may not even turn up to your store the next time he/she is in dire need of something.