Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Walmart-owned Flipkart on Thursday said over 1 lakh kiranas selling on its marketplace make 30 per cent of the more than 6 crore monthly e-commerce deliveries across India. “These kirana partners also witnessed an increase of over 30 per cent in their average delivery incomes compared to last year, which helped drive the adoption of e-commerce across smaller cities,” Flipkart said in a statement citing a recent study it conducted. The statement by Flipkart came a day after rival Amazon announced crossing 10-lakh-seller milestone, of which more than 90 per cent are small and medium enterprises. The company had announced over 4.5 lakh new sellers onboarding Amazon India since Jan 2020 including more than 1 lakh local offline neighbourhood stores.
“Over the past year, we have empowered our partners, built new capabilities in grocery and supply chain, and introduced new features on our platform that aim to benefit all ecosystem stakeholders. We will continue to introduce innovations that meet consumers’ rising expectations while also empowering sellers, merchants and MSMEs to access the Indian market more effectively and efficiently,” said Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group in a statement. Back in September this year, Flipkart had said it is on track to add 1.2 lakh new sellers to its marketplace by December this year to take its tally of sellers to 4.2 lakh from 3 lakh earlier.
The company also announced on Thursday that the fashion vertical for its business-to-business (B2B) marketplace Flipkart Wholesale, which caters to MSMEs and small businesses, saw 9.4X growth during 2020 along with 3.5x growth in customer base. In terms of e-commerce adoption, the marketplace jumped up by 2X while its reach grew from 8 cities to 1,715 cities. “Four months since its launch on the Flipkart Wholesale platform, the general merchandising category saw an overall growth of 1.12X and its customer base moved up by 1.2X. General merchandising also recorded a 4X growth in its e-commerce adoption and 9X growth in the selection while expanding its presence from 29 cities to 351.”
Importantly, e-commerce businesses have been increasingly looking to pull India’s vast base of small businesses and kiranas on their platforms to propel their future growth, particularly in the grocery segment. While the e-commerce adoption among consumers has been increasing, the supply side has to be strengthened by the retail network. On Wednesday, Isha Ambani and Anant Ambani at Meta’s Fuel for India event had said that JioMart would launch the e-commerce facility on WhatsApp next year for customers to buy groceries on demand or via subscriptions. The fulfilment would likely be from Reliance’s vast network of retail stores in the country.