2022 Global Report
Digitizing the Corner Shop
Indonesia’s corner shops—known as warungs—are vital to the local economy
We spoke to 200 warung merchants and 200 of their customers. Here’s what we heard.
The warung is here to stay: 98% of customers plan to shop as much or more
The local market is still relevant: Most customers shop daily at their local warung, versus only 10% who shop online
“I stop by the neighborhood warung every day. It’s nearby, affordable, they sell a wide range of products, and the owner always has a smile for his customers—I have known him for a long time.”
The warung plays a valuable role in the community, providing convenience, customer service, and credit
Shopkeepers are are adopting digital tools and are eager for more
Photo courtesy of TaniHub
“I didn’t have many customers when I first opened, but I’ve been able to sell much more because of my online presence. I don’t have to go to wholesalers because I can buy online at a reasonable price. Digital apps have greatly helped me buy and sell goods, so of course I’ll use more of them in the future.”
Most shopkeepers have some comfort with digital tools, but barriers remain
“I don’t have information about the digital tools that I might actually need. I might use more if there were salespeople who could introduce me to them and help me use them.”
“I’m busy taking care of my physical store, and so I don’t have time to build an online store presence.”
35% of customers had no complaints with their corner shop, while others cited a desire for more product variety
Shopkeepers struggle to finance their stores and face difficulties purchasing and managing inventory
“It often takes a full week to receive products, and I have to follow up to make sure that my goods arrive. Purchasing my products online will save time and ensure timely delivery.”
Warungs accept a wide range of payments in their stores
Embedded finance can unlock opportunities that have eluded traditional financial institutions
Warung shopkeepers have ambitions to grow and improve their stores so they can continue to play a vital role in their communities.
At Flourish, we believe digital platforms have an opportunity to support them in this journey.
Merchant and Customer Voices: Who We Spoke To
200 Warung Merchants Across 5 Cities
13% Less than 1 year
20% 1–2 years
15% 2–3 years
12% 3–5 years
42% 5+ years
NUMBER OF SKUs
73% Less than 500
19% Not sure / prefer not to answer
200 Warung Customers Across 3 Cities
About This Report
Flourish Ventures launched this research to better understand corner shops across the globe and share learnings on how digital firms can serve their needs.
In partnership with research firm 60 Decibels and e-commerce platform TaniHub, we surveyed 200 Indonesian corner shop owners and 200 of their customers to learn firsthand about their business pain points, competitive threats, aspirations, and digital behaviors.
Authors: Smita Aggarwal, Stella Klemperer
Flourish is a global venture firm investing in entrepreneurs whose innovations advance economic opportunity and financial health for individuals and small businesses. We partner with industry leaders in research, policy, and regulation to better understand the underserved and help foster a fair, more inclusive economy.
60 Decibels is a tech-enabled social impact measurement and customer insights company working in over 75 countries. They combine deep impact measurement expertise, an integrated technology backbone, and a global network of 900+ researchers to make it easy for companies and organizations to listen to the people who matter most.