Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform Club Factory said Wednesday it has pipped Snapdeal in terms of monthly active users (MAU) to rank third behind Amazon and Flipkart, citing data analytics platform App Annie.
Two years ago, the beleaguered Snapdeal had to downsize its staff and offices; sell all its subsidiaries after it hit a massive downturn following the failure of the SoftBank-orchestrated merger with Flipkart before the latter got acquired by Walmart. Snapdeal in course of its rebound journey, changed strategy and attuned itself to the needs of the price-conscious non-metro buyers in India, pitting itself directly against the likes of Club Factory and Shopclues.
Club Factory’s founder and CEO, Vincent Lou said the company is now “looking forward to an era of FAC (Flipkart, Amazon, and Club Factory) to be the future of India e-commerce market.”
Earlier this year the company was under Indian government’s radar for allegedly trying to escape customs duty while shipping products into the country. India is cracking down on Chinese e-commerce players such as AliExpress, Club Factory, and Shein for evading customs duty—claiming commercial consignments coming to India as gifts.
Since then Club Factory has been trying to increase the share of locally sourced products and does not want to rely entirely on imported products from China and Southeast Asia.
“We are further empowering local SME’s in India with our zero per cent commission strategy and are also making significant investment in the ecosystem to meet higher consumer demands,” Lou said in a statement. The company has added a new warehouse in Mumbai to its current three such facilities. Lou said the fourth warehouse will help the company to meet the increased user demands for faster product delivery.
The Hangzhou-headquartered company, which claims to have over half of its entire seller base from India, had announced last month that as part of its expansion plan for the Indian market, it plans to on-board 10,000 sellers on its platform before the end of this year. It claims to have already on-boarded over 5,000 local sellers since the announcement. The company has started a sellers’ recruitment programme in India offering products in categories such as lifestyle, fashion, accessories, electronics and home.
The firm has also made it cheaper for sellers to sell on its platform by lowering the payment gateway and logistics charges. According to the company, India is its biggest market now with over 70% of its total users coming from India alone. A joint report by Deloitte India and Retailers Association of India that puts Indian e-commerce market at USD 200 billion, has projected it to grow to USD 1.2 trillion by 2021.