E-commerce major Snapdeal has taken on rival Paytm by launching a chat application, Shopo, to get small and medium businesses (SMBs) to transact with customers. Paytm had launched a similar chat application about six months ago, which allowed merchants to interact with customers.
Shopo, which will be an independent mobile app from the Snapdeal stable, will allow merchants to list their products on the app and interact with interested buyers. The app does not require any email id for registration and a merchant can just register using their mobile number, and list their products thereafter.
“Our goal is to build India’s most powerful digital eco-system,” said Kunal Bahl, co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal. Snapdeal will not take any commission as of now, and calls the app a “zero commission mobile marketplace”. Seeing the growing pace of mobile apps, Bahl had said that he wants to create a family of apps like Facebook did. After Freecharge, Snapdeal, and RupeePower, Shoppo is another step in that journey. Mobile transactions make up to 70% of Snapdeal’s orders.
Through Snapdeal and Shopo, Bahl wants to get a higher chunk of the retail market, which contributes 13% to India’s $2 trillion gross domestic product (GDP). In the next one decade, Bahl thinks 10% of the consumption GDP, which will amount to $250 billion will transact online.
Shopo, however, does not allow digital commerce — a buyer cannot make the payment on the app. A merchant lists the products on the app, and then interested buyers chat with the merchant and can bid on the listed price. Once the price is determined, the merchant sends his co-ordinates to the buyer and the buyer collects the product physically. “The logistics is co-ordinated between the buyer and the seller,” said Sandeep Komaravelly, a senior VP at Shopo.
The Paytm platform allows a digital transaction and delivers the product at the buyer’s doorstep. But Shopo allows merchants to share their products on social network like Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter, which Paytm doesn’t allow.
The beta version of the app was launched a month ago, and got 30,000 product listing from 4,500 sellers, from across about 50 cities, since then. At the current rate, a product is being list on Shoppo every five seconds. Bahl said that Shopo will aim to have at least a million sellers in next one year.