Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal woo small businesses

Sangeetha Chengappa Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018


Big three going all out to get India’s 30 million MSMEs to sell on their platforms

As Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal continue to spruce up their act with hefty investments, millions of micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs) in the country have received a fresh lease of life.

The Big 3 are training their sights on the 30 million MSMEs in India, investing money, time and energy to woo them onto their sales platforms.

Flipkart recently raised another $1 billion in funding, while Amazon announced an additional $2-billion investment. Snapdeal has raised an additional $235 million this year.

A significant part of all this money will be invested in getting small and medium business (SMB) retailers on board.

Since the launch of its marketplace in India last June, Amazon has expanded its seller base from a mere 100 to 9,000. Flipkart currently has over 3,000 sellers, while Snapdeal has the largest number, with 50,000 plus active sellers on board.

‘Huge opportunity’

“We want to lift seller capabilities. Most are small and medium businesses with physical stores selling to locals. They can participate in the huge online opportunity and grow their individual businesses,” Amit Deshpande, Director & GM, Seller Services, Amazon India, told BusinessLine.

Snapdeal, which aims to become a $1-billion business by December, targets having 100,000 sellers on board by March 2015. “All our sales happen through our sellers as we are a homogeneous marketplace and no single seller accounts for more than 2 per cent of our sales,” says Rohit Bansal, co-founder and COO, There are over 1,000 sellers on Snapdeal who are doing over ₹1 crore annually as of June.

Nearly 90 per cent of sellers reach out to Snapdeal through its website, after which the company takes over and conducts workshops to educate and train them on how to build a profitable business online. Snapdeal is currently working with the Karnataka Government to educate and enable SMBs to build viable online businesses on its platform.

Snapdeal, which already gets 60 per cent of its sales through mobile-based transactions, launched a ‘Seller Zone App’, available on the Android, iOS and Windows platforms, last month. The app is meant for both potential and existing sellers. “While the former (potential sellers) can register and start selling on, the latter (existing) will be able to access their enterprise account, track sales, add SKUs, list products, change prices and add new products with the app,” says Bansal.

Flipkart has set a target of having 50,000 SMB sellers over the next 6-12 months. Ankit Nagori, Vice-President, Marketplace, Flipkart, says the company has adopted a cluster-wise approach to attract SMB sellers by partnering with FISME (Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises).

“Through FISME we have reached out to manufacturing clusters largely in the clothing, footwear, handloom and arts & crafts categories in Surat, Coimbatore, Ludhiana, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and enabled them to sell on our platform. We do this through support in data analytics, designing product catalogues, marketing and customer acquisition, among others,” he added.

Flipkart’s initiative

To reach out to SMB retailers, Flipkart has a direct sales team that meets budding entrepreneurs and popular offline retailers in cities across the country to get them to sell on its portal. An online campaign ‘Sell on’ also targets small retailers who are already selling online on other e-commerce sites.

Amazon works with industry bodies such as Federation of Indian Export Organisations, MAIT, Trade India, Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts and more to identify SME clusters.

Published on August 19, 2014

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