Coimbatore: A kirana store owner, unlocks the screen of his phone, opens a popular payment app and searches for a product. Immediately, products available in his store pop up on the screen.
“This is because we are standing close to my store,” he says. “If we had done the same exercise in another location where another shopkeeper is logged on to the network, the search results will show his products on the screen.” The default setting is based on proximity or closest location, which makes it an efficient hyperlocal search engine.
Welcome to Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), the UPI-type platform that the government is pushing to democratise retail and take on the might of Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce giants, which is currently being tested in seven cities including Coimbatore.
Unlike e-commerce apps, which decide who the best seller for a consumer is, ONDC allows users to choose the default setting. So, if you are looking to buy potato chips, sellers who are closest…

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