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ONDC November Round-Up: Paytm, Ola, Metro Tickets, WhatsApp chatbot, and more

Paytm increasing its bet on ONDC, Ola teasing a bigger play, Google Maps offering metro tickets, and more from last month.

Here are all the updates about the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) from November 2023:

Paytm finally makes ONDC easy to discover: Until now, accessing ONDC on the Paytm buyer app was not easy or straightforward. It was either buried among the dozens of options on the cluttered home screen or you had to search for ONDC on the search bar and then you’d be shown ONDC storefronts. This limited the discoverability of ONDC. In fact, we complained about this to multiple industry participants in our conversations with them. But now, Paytm has given ONDC a prime spot: right next to the floating QR scanner at the bottom of the home screen. Paytm has also redesigned the ONDC landing page, MoneyControl reported. “The new landing page boasts a cleaner look, with banner ads announcing deals and clickable options for the buyer to directly go to categories like food, grocery, electronics, fashion, etc.”

Ola teases another collaboration with ONDC: Ola currently delivers food on the ONDC network. Users can place an order on the Ola app from nearby restaurants and an Ola driver will deliver the order. But it looks like Ola is looking at a bigger collaboration. “ONDC is the future of commerce in India and we are committing to it big! Stay tuned for lots of updates in the near future,” Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal teased on X.

What could be brewing? If Ola joins as a mobility partner, that could give ONDC’s mobility segment a significant boost. Currently, Namma Yatri in Bangalore, Yatri Sathi in West Bengal, and OpenKochi in Kochi offer ride-hailing services on ONDC. Ola would not only offer competition to these services (and hence more options for users to compare and choose from) but will also allow ONDC to tap into new cities as Ola already has a presence in major cities across the country. Alternatively, Ola could also join as a logistics provider for providing hyperlocal deliveries on ONDC.

ONDC averages 1 lakh orders per day during Diwali week: ONDC processed over 12 lakh transactions in the week leading up to Diwali (between November 6 and November 13), The Hindu Businessline reported. This means the network processed an average of over 1 lakh orders per day during that week. “The orders were placed across 600 cities during the festival week, covering verticals ranging from food & beverages, grocery, electronics, and fashion to home & kitchen, mobility, and health and wellness,” the report said.

However, since this statistic includes mobility (ride-hailing) transactions, it’s not clear if the previous daily high of  65,400 orders (which excludes mobility) set on October 14 during the India-Pakistan cricket match frenzy has been beaten.

Book metro tickets on ONDC via Google Maps: Google Maps is partnering with ONDC to offer metro ticket booking. Users will soon be able to get metro tickets directly on the Google Maps app, Google said at the Google for India event. This feature will roll out in the next few months across metro cities in the country. We have to wait to see how exactly this will work.

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ONDC WhatsApp chatbot: ONDC launched a WhatsApp chatbot named ONDC Sahayak that can answer queries that sellers have about the network. You can initiate a conversation with the multilingual chatbot from here.

Mahindra Logistics joins ONDC: Mahindra Logistics announced the launch of its services on ONDC. The company will provide same-day and next-day intra-city pick-up and delivery services to all sellers on ONDC. It will also provide inter-city parcel services to 19,000 pin codes.

Coco-Cola joins ONDC: Beverage giant Coca-Cola launched its marketplace Coke Shop on ONDC. The company is working with SellerApp for this. It’s not yet clear if consumers will be able to buy directly from Coca-Cola because of this entry or if they still have to buy from other sellers on the platform. Coco-Cola’s arch-rival Pepsi joined the network in August this year.

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