In order to boost the number of sellers on its marketplace platform and make the onboarding process more efficient, Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart has stationed 13 regional teams across India wherein the team members would meet and discuss the process with prospective sellers, who might be selling goods online for the first time, at their premises. Flipkart currently has over 1 lakh sellers and a customer base of more than 150 million customers. “Through Flipkart’s Feet On Street programme, the teams would explain the on-boarding process to sellers in individual locations especially in 13 MSME clusters in India such as Ludhiana for sports goods, Tirupur for textiles etc.,” a Flipkart spokesperson told Financial Express Online.
Sellers in the MSME segment are critical for Flipkart as “the future of e-commerce lies in bringing more MSMEs and smaller businesses online, which in turn will generate employment and investment, said Nishant Gupta, Head of Flipkart’s Marketplace business in a statement. Flipkart will provide a detailed description of each step in onboarding to the seller and seek only GST number, a cancelled cheque, and a signature in terms of documents required, single-step verification with the GST number, and improved dashboard interface, the company said.
India’s online retail is currently worth $18 billion in size — 3 per cent of the retail market, as per India Brand Equity Foundation. To boost the growth of online retail, MSMEs gains significance, which are around 60 million in India, and operates in their local geography. Flipkart, apart from the Feet On Street programme, runs other initiatives such as “CA ecosystem to help sellers with their financial and taxation processes and Growth Capital, its seller financing programme,” the company said. Flipkart has also set up regional teams in Tier-II cities and beyond for onboarding sellers in cities like Lucknow, Coimbatore, and Jaipur that are present in over 4,300 pin codes.
Flipkart had last month cut commissions charged from its sellers to boost their sales and attract more sellers on the platform. “This is going to be a quarterly exercise. As Flipkart enters the festive season in coming months there could be chances of further reduction in the commission rates to get maximum bang for the buck when it comes to seller commission and empower them to do maximum business,” sources aware of the development had told Financial Express Online. The commission based on products priced below and above Rs 300 was changed based on products priced up to Rs 300, Rs 300-500, Rs 500-1000, and more than Rs 1,000.