ONDC Vs Zomato, Swiggy: Food Frenzy Helps Beat 10,000 Daily Order Mark

Over the past few days, screenshots comparing the prices of food on Zomato and Swiggy to ONDC have been doing the rounds.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>ONDC via Paytm app. (Source: BQ Prime)</p></div>
ONDC via Paytm app. (Source: BQ Prime)

The government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce, or ONDC, has breached the 10,000 daily order mark, helped by early discounts and the discovery of a cheaper food delivery system.

"In the past few days, ONDC has enabled over 10,000 daily transactions for retail products and over 33,000 daily rides," a spokesperson for the network confirmed. It has been servicing over 10,000 orders daily since April 29, which is exactly one year since its first test order.

ONDC became accessible to users after it went beta-live in September 2022. It is now available in 240 cities in India, with eight cities having more than three sellers in 70% of pin codes.

It is live in categories such as grocery, food delivery, beauty and personal care, fashion, electronics, and mobility, with over 35,000 merchants. There are as many as 46 network participants, such as Dunzo, Delhivery, boAt, ITC Meesho, Paytm, and PhonePe's Pincode. ONDC also claims that about 450 participants are in the process of integrating.

Blow To Swiggy, Zomato?

Over the past few days, screenshots from users comparing the prices of food and beverage items on food delivery giants Zomato and Swiggy to ONDC have been doing the rounds on social media.

To test it out, BQ Prime also checked the same item on Zomato, Swiggy, and ONDC via the Paytm app.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>ONDC via Paytm.</p></div>

ONDC via Paytm.

Clearly, the same food item was the cheapest to order off ONDC via the Paytm app, even with all applicable, non-membership discounts on the Zomato and Swiggy apps.

To be clear, ONDC is offering various inaugural discounts to help generate momentum on the platform. It is also not charging delivery or convenience fees yet, helping to keep the cost lower. For example, BQ Prime also ordered another food item off ONDC, which cost only Rs 30, with the inaugural discount.

ONDC Vs Zomato, Swiggy: Food Frenzy Helps Beat 10,000 Daily Order Mark

Moreover, the order was placed on the ONDC via the Paytm app. The backend of this transaction was powered by Zomato-backed Magicpin, which is both a buyer and seller network participant on ONDC. The delivery part of it was done by Reliance-backed Dunzo in partnership with Magicpin.

On May 3, Magicpin, which is a discovery platform for eating out and shopping, reported that it is now fulfilling more than 10,000 orders per day on the ONDC network, both via its own seller portal and through other seller portals such as PhonePe’s Pincode, Meesho, and Paytm.

"In two weeks, from less than 100 orders a day, we had a 10 times jump to 1,000 orders a day, and then in the next two weeks, Magicpin scaled up to 10,000 plus orders a day, which was again another 10 times from the previous landmark, making it more than three lakh orders per month, which eventually is helping the retailers on the ground," Anshoo Sharma, chief executive officer and co-founder at Magicpin said.

Over the past six months, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has urged all e-commerce companies—local, national, or global—to hop on the ONDC bandwagon. "We’re still at levels where I can see a journey of 100–1,000x growth in the next few months," he said at an ONDC event in April.

Despite repeated calls, India's e-commerce giants Amazon, Zomato, Swiggy, and Flipkart have stayed mum on their decision with regards to joining ONDC via their main apps.

"Monolithic tech platforms won’t be able to offer opportunities like a network can. Instead of a siloed effort where a winner takes all, ONDC is for greater discoverability, better pricing, quality, and similar things for a seller, so a seller would be able to find more buyers," Goyal had said.

He also criticised companies for creating separate ONDC-specific platforms. "We don't want that. We want the main platform to come up to ONDC ... I’ve been telling Koshy—referring to T. Koshy, chief executive officer, ONDC—to stop anybody who says we have built a special platform for ONDC. That’s not exactly what we intended ONDC to do. In a way, that’s an unfair way to try and get the benefits of ONDC as a seller," he had said.

Though Goyal didn't refer to any specific platform, PhonePe forayed into hyperlocal e-commerce via its Pincode app on April 4. The app has been launched as a separate consumer app by PhonePe and is built on top of ONDC.