Online marketplaces such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, etc, have started looking beyond the traditional customer acquisition model and have devised schemes such as self-financing programmes for sellers or assisting them with resources at various stages to sell on their platform.
Flipkart, which has more than 30,000 sellers on its platform, said, “With the aim to create the ultimate ecosystem for sellers, we launched ‘Flipkart One-Stop’ popularly known as F1-Stop, on Thursday.”
The ‘One Stop’ centre, currently available in 10 cities, will offer services such as registration, training, cataloguing products, packaging and financial assistance. The company has also partnered with service agencies like Sellerworx, 99yrs.com, BluBox, Chikiweb, Browntape etc, that will work with the sellers and train them.
In the past one year, online marketplaces have started focusing on creating a seller eco-system on their platform.
In an interview to FE, Snapdeal’s chief product officer, Anand Chandrasekaran had said, “It is now that the whole industry is waking up to the fact that sellers are important. Today we have about 150,000 sellers on board and my view is it’s just 15% of our overall goal.” It aims to rope in a million sellers in two-three years.
Last month, a relatively new entrant in the marketplace vertical, Paytm, had said it will invest Rs 640 crore to enable one lakh merchants to sell online.
It even launched a “Go Big” platform — gobig.paytm.com for merchants to avail services such as content writing, cataloguing, online marketing and imaging. It claims to have 600 such service providers to assist offline retailers in various aspects of online retail.
Earlier this year, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues and others introduced financing programmes for sellers to help them with capital as they scale their business online. While Amazon has tie-ups with State Bank of India and Flipkart has partnership with five financial institutions, Snapdeal has been running its “marketplace financing program” since a year. Flipkart will help its sellers get loans ranging from Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 2 crore.
Flipkart plans to take the One Stop initiative to 20 cities by the end of this year. Currently it’s present in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Surat, Jaipur etc.
“Flipkart One Stop is an extension of our efforts to create a seamless seller ecosystem in India. Aimed at offering best-in-class environment for every seller, this new initiative will help them streamline and simplify the processes to get their businesses up and running online within a short span of time,” said Ankit Nagori, chief business officer, Flipkart.
Similar to Flipkart’s initiative, Snapdeal is also in partnership with National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology to train sellers on e-commerce under the Digital India initiative.