E-commerce major Flipkart Tuesday said it has witnessed strong growth in its seller base this year, driven by "steady increase" in merchants from tier-II and III cities that now account for almost 45 per cent of the total tally.
E-commerce major Flipkart Tuesday said it has witnessed strong growth in its seller base this year, driven by “steady increase” in merchants from tier-II and III cities that now account for almost 45 per cent of the total tally. The Walmart-backed company, which is locked in a battle for market leadership with Amazon, said it has also added sellers from small towns such as Baleshwar (Odisha), Gobindgarh (Punjab), Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu), Siuri, and Lalgola (West Bengal).
“Almost 45 per cent of our seller base is from tier-II/III cities like Ludhiana, Agra, Panipat, Surat, etc. We have been witnessing steady increase in interest and acquisition of sellers from smaller cities. The number of sellers from tier-II/III cities coming on board Flipkart in 2018 is 3x of 2017,” Flipkart Senior Director (Marketplace) Nishant Gupta told PTI.
The company is working with sellers from over 10,000 pincodes and the focus is on adding more tier-II/III cities, he added. Gupta, however, declined to comment on the number of sellers on Flipkart. Flipkart — where investors sold 77 per cent stake to Walmart for USD 16 billion earlier this year — has also tied up with government bodies from states such as Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala to enable small-scale artisans and craftsmen to sell their products on its platform.
“We are in talks with other states as well. Products like Bell Metal Handicraft (Chhattisgarh), Sabai Grass from Mayur Shilpa (Odisha), and jute/paper jewellery (Bihar) have been witnessing good demand. Such initiatives help MSMEs benefit financially and grow their business while offering a larger selection to our consumers,” he said.
To ensure a smooth onboarding experience for sellers — many of whom do not have an existing online presence — the company has feet on the street teams. “We have feet on the street teams that are based out of 21 cities. Apart from the metro cities, these teams are working from tier-II cities, including Ajmer, Cochin, Jaipur, and Bareilly,” Gupta added. He said Flipkart shares insights about customer demand and seasonal trends with these sellers to help them decide on the selection stock and drive more business volume.