Startups SignCatch and Rapidor have enabled the buyer-side and seller-side platforms, respectively, for the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government-backed network for business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce.
Last month, in Bengaluru, amongst a select set of network participants, the two retail tech businesses completed their first B2B transaction. With ONDC’s latest expansion, even the smallest businesses will be able to use the network for business-to-business trade.
With ONDC limiting its conditions for incentives to network partners for providing discounts to customers, the network has entered B2B e-commerce at a time when its B2C transactions are declining.
“By fostering seamless connectivity and digital transformation, ONDC empowers businesses to overcome these hurdles (of limited credit access, high logistics costs, etc) and embrace the advantages of B2B commerce. Leveraging the open network, businesses can expand their reach, forge new partnerships, and tap into previously untapped markets,” ONDC said in a statement.
“This transition further allows them to move away from their predominantly offline operations and unlock new opportunities for growth and success,” it added.
Rapidor, located in Kochi, is a platform that facilitates business-to-business trade and transactions inside closed-loop networks. Whereas SignCatch licences its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions to brands, distributors, and retailers, Rapidor is a platform that enables B2B trade and transactions.
Due to its entry into the new market sector, ONDC will start offering services that are directly competitive with those of B2B rivals like Udaan, Amazon Business, IndiaMart, Dealshare, Jumbotail, and others. ONDC’s new product includes a number of customizable features, including dynamic pricing, the ability to buy in bulk, delivery timing options, and integrated financing in the form of B2B credit.
The consumer internet consulting company RedSeer has published research predicting that the gross merchandise value (GMV) of the business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce industry will reach between $90-100 billion by the year 2030. According to the findings of the analysis, the potential market for B2B general commerce would grow to be worth $1.2 trillion by the year 2030.
On their own platforms, B2B commerce companies will often provide a variety of services, including access to supply chain loans, logistics, and other similar offerings. “With the launch of the B2B-enabled open network, we are ushering in a new era of e-commerce where businesses can thrive online, overcoming the challenges that have held them back,” ONDC chief executive Thampy Koshy said. “We are ushering in a new era of e-commerce.”
ONDC made the announcement on the amended incentive system last week, which included limits on discounting. The decision had been made in the midst of ONDC’s intention to phase out and ultimately completely eliminate discounts and incentives.