In a significant step, Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), an initiative of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), has opened its network to consumers in 16 locations across the city of Bangalore, Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday.
For starters, consumers can place their orders in two areas – groceries and restaurants – through shopping apps participating in the ONDC network.
The ONDC beta test in the city of Bangalore is a major first step in operationalizing a network approach to e-commerce as an alternative to a platform-centric approach. This will make the e-commerce landscape more inclusive, accessible and experience-driven for all consumers and sellers, the ministry said.
Consumers can now shop across multiple categories of products and services from a single shopper app of their choice. They can buy groceries or order food from stores and restaurants. In the coming weeks, many more apps will join the network expanding both buyers and sellers who can participate in this transaction.
ONDC began its Alpha testing phase with a closed user group of buyers first in Bengaluru in April 2022, expanding to over 80 cities by September 2022. This validated the applications and confirmed the flows commercial and operational. Now in beta testing, the general public can experience purchases through ONDC and provide early feedback on what actions are needed, if any, before further development.
To build trust between consumers, sellers, and network participants (buyer apps, seller apps, and gateways) in the open network, ONDC consulted with the current ecosystem, experts, and reviewed best practices to adapt and evolve the best approach to building trust in an unbundled decentralized network. This is explained in a consultation document which is made available for public consultation on the official social media handles of the DPIIT, ONDC and website.
Incorporated on 31 December 2021, Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a Section 8 Company, is an initiative of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, aiming to create a facilitating model to revolutionize digital commerce, giving greater impetus to retail e-commerce penetration in India. ONDC is not an application, platform, middleman, or software, but a set of specifications designed to foster open, unbundled, and interoperable networks, eliminating dependence on a single platform.