What is ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce?

, 19-Dec-2023

ONDC, which stands for Open Network for Digital Commerce, is an innovative technological initiative that aims to drastically change the Indian digital commerce ecosystem. It is an interoperable network where every business operator, be it small, medium-scale, or large enterprises, are open to selling their goods and services directly to their customers.

The primary objective of ONDC is to address the numerous challenges that businesses and customers face in the online marketplace, including monopolistic business models, hefty commissions, customer inconvenience, and a lot more. In this article by uEngage, we will understand What is ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce in a broader context.

What is ONDC – Open Network for Digital Commerce

What is ONDC: Benefits, Facts, and Myths | uEngage

ONDC, an open network platform, is designed to level the digital commerce market in India. A UPI-like open network that enables online businesses and sectors like food delivery, hospitality, grocery, etc., to engage with their consumers on a single platform.

The Indian government is currently testing ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce platform within selected cities with selected vendors. While the launch news of ONDC in the digital marketplace is spreading like wildfire, the ritual of rumors and myths getting hitched to the news wagon is continuous.

What does ONDC do?

ONDC, or Open Network for Digital Commerce, is dedicated to democratizing e-commerce by providing an equal playing field for every business, regardless of size or scale. This aim is achieved by encouraging direct transactions between buyers and sellers while eliminating the need for any intermediary platform. ONDC is supported by a set of open standards and protocols. These standards and protocols describe how buyers and sellers interact with each other and carry out transactions. 

ONDC strives to minimize distortions in the market and promote fair competition by decreasing the unfair amount of power in the hands of just a handful number of e-commerce giants. It further provides small, and medium-sized enterprises, and local businesses equal and fair access to digital commerce platforms so they can expand their reach effectively. Thus, buyers now have access to a diverse range of sellers, including small and local businesses, and are no longer limited to just a few big platforms.

ONDC is a key initiative to create a more open, fair, and diverse digital marketplace in India. It has the potential to completely transform how e-commerce is operated and bring about gains for both buyers and sellers. 

Places Where ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce will function?

The ONDC has commenced its pilot initiative across five Indian cities: New Delhi, Shillong, Coimbatore, Bhopal, and Bengaluru. The intention is to expand its coverage to encompass approximately 100 cities by August and to broaden accessibility within the initial five cities. At present, the program is undergoing beta testing, involving merely five vendors and a restricted pool of purchasers.

Launch of ONDC

The seed of ONDC was laid in June 2021 when the advisory council set up by DPIIT came on board, further rolling out plans and ideas to further activate a pilot stage engagement and integration as well as testing of ONDC transactions. With ONDC operational in April 2022 and rolling out to additional cities, ONDC leadership team and commerce ministry aim at a grand and successful launch of ONDC by August 2022.

Understanding the Benefits of ONDC

Amidst the ongoing digital transformation of the business landscape, ONDC emerges as a driver of change with a plethora of benefits that empower businesses of all sizes. It lifts the playing field for all online businesses while promoting the emergence of unicorn culture. Now that you are aware of What is ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce, explore its key benefits:

  1. Empowers businesses of all sizes
  2. Ensures seamless cross-platform transactions across digital platforms
  3. Protects customer data and employs security measures for online transactions
  4. Facilitates smooth and convenient payment methods
  5. Widens customer options by providing access to a diverse range of products and services
  6. Offers a level playing field to enable even the smallest businesses to reach the wider audience
  7. Contributes to economic growth and technological advancements
  8. Provides an interoperable framework to allow streamlined collaboration of different systems 

Also Read: Top 5 ONDC Buyer Apps in 2023

Some Facts about ONDC 

What is ONDC: Benefits, Facts, and Myths | uEngage

The fact that ONDC will augment the competition, e-commerce giants like PAYTM, Flipkart, and even Amazon are welcoming the launch. Spearheaded by the Indian government, ONDC has become popular as the UPI of the digital marketplace. So, now that we learned about ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce, let's dig into some facts about ONDC:

  1. ONDDC is an open network like UPI 
  2. It does not need any central intermediary
  3. Connect buyers and sellers from different application
  4. Enables expansion of the e-commerce market
  5. Works for participating apps and retailers
  6. Let’s consumer find all participating sellers on one platform
  7. Ends monopoly of e-commerce silos
  8. Introduces opportunities for small segments
  9. ONDC connects wholesale, mobility, travel, food delivery, and tourism or hospitality
  10. Makes shopping for a product open with a price comparison

Difference Between ONDC and Other Food Delivery Apps

Now, that we are familiar with ONDC, it is time to have a look at the comparison between Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and Other Food Delivery Apps:


Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) Other Food Delivery Apps
Authoritative Support ONDC is backed by the Indian Government and DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) These apps are not backed by the Government of India
User-friendliness It offers a user-friendly dashboard that can be easily understood and used by everyone. Users need to install separate apps for platforms

Operating Model

ONDC looks to promote fair competition and customer convenience

These apps operated in accordance with centralized marketplaces.


ONDC is available in several locations such as Maharashtra, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc.

Their availability is subject to the respective platform and can be limited.

Possible Choices

Provide a broad spectrum of options and promote multiple digital commerce landscape

Provides a way into products or services available on a certain network of outlets or stores.

Myths Surrounding ONDC

What is ONDC: Benefits, Facts, and Myths | uEngage

Many players in e-commerce from buyers, and sellers to logistic vendors, are lost about What is ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce with the same old "Is it a bird? Is it a plane?" confusion.  Well, it is an Indian government initiative to enable an open network, open system, and open market. The trade ministry has cleared that ONDC is nothing but an open field bringing together buyers, sellers, and logistic partners while descaling the monopolies of dominant brands like Walmart, Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Here are the few Myths about ONDC:

  1. It is a digital application
  2. ONDC is a regulatory body
  3. An e-commerce platform for comparing brands or apps
  4. It promotes or markets digital business
  5. Only particular retailer benefit
  6. Supports big-scale sellers

Comparison between E-commerce with and without ONDC

ONDC is a game-changing platform that is boosting the growth of restaurants in multiple ways. It is benefitting the micro, small, & mid-tier enterprises to allow hyperlocalization. It has introduced a fresh dimension to the typical online shopping experience and changed how customers engage with e-commerce businesses. The following comparison takes a closer look at the dynamic shift brought about in e-commerce by ONDC.

E-commerce without ONDC 

E-commerce with ONDC 
Buyer visits Amazon to search for headphones Buyer types headphones to find the product from all participating sellers, including Amazon, Flipkart, etc
Buyer visits Flipkart to check the price of the same headphones Buyers can compare prices at the same platform without changing application
Buyer goes back to Amazon or Google searches for more options for better pricing The buyer simply adds the best-priced headphones in the cart for checkout

Top Players Supporting ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce

What is ONDC: Benefits, Facts, and Myths | uEngage

Open Network for Digital Commerce has already found support from major institutions from retail, and banking to other sectors. ONDC also is seeing participation eagerness from over 60plus key e-commerce market giants like Reliance, BHIM, Shopperstop, Samsung, ZOHO, and many others. Here are a few brands that are ready to be players in ONDC – Open Network for Digital Commerce integration:

  1. Paytm
  2. Dunzo
  3. PhonePe
  4. FarEye
  5. Microsoft

Collaborate with uEngage and Add ONDC Factor to your Business

uEngage stands out as the Best Platform for ONDC Registration Online. The company ensures seamless ONDC online registration with its user-friendly interface and robust features. By collaborating with uEngage will add the ONDC factor to your business. You gain access to expert guidance, streamlined procedures, and continuous support. Here are the perks of collaborating with uEngage:

  1. Hassle-free ONDC integration.
  2. Zero onboarding charges.
  3. Lowest commissions.
  4. Quick onboarding.

We hope that you have thoroughly understood What is ONDC - Open Network for Digital Commerce. To conclude, ONDC marks a revolutionary stride in the realm of digital commerce. It has been poised to reshape the way businesses operate online. Now, as we navigate the enticing business possibilities presented by ONDC, it is important to have a reliable partner by your side for seamless integration. uEngage takes pride in being the Best Platform for ONDC Registration Online, dedicated to empowering businesses to harness the full potential of this transformative initiative. Join us on this journey of innovation and growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

ONDC, also known as Open Network for Digital Commerce, is a government-backed initiative that aims to create an open and interoperable e-commerce ecosystem in India. This open network establishes a direct connection between buyers and sellers while eliminating intermediaries.

ONDC was launched in Bengaluru on 31 December 2022 to give small businesses and starters access to new e-commerce technologies. 

ONDC is expected to benefit buyers in endless ways and some of them include lower prices, a vast choice of products, improved transparency, personalized recommendations, and much more.

Access to a wider market, better discoverability, lower commissions, elimination of intermediaries, enhanced efficiency, etc., are some of the benefits of ONDC to sellers.

ONDC is NOT an app. It is an ecosystem that enables quick integration and smooth communication across numerous digital commerce platforms.

Buyers, Sellers, and Technology Providers can participate in ONDC and get access to incredible profits.

Domains like Food and Beverages, Grocery, Fashion & Footwear, Electronics, Beauty & Personal Care, Home & Kitchen, and Mobility are currently live on ONDC. However, ONDC is further going to expand into Financial Services, Educational Services, Home Services, and more.

ONDC accepts multiple payment methods, including Credit Cards, Debit Cards, net banking, Cash on Delivery (COD), UPI, etc.

One can order groceries through ONDC by navigating to ONDC official website.

ONDC is operational in locations such as Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc.

You can check out the Best ONDC Online Registration Platform, “uEngage ONDC” to get registered on this platform.

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