Gurugram-based online marketplace Snapdeal that has gradually shifted focus from metro shoppers to tier 2 and 3 market, said Friday it will add 5,000 manufacturer-sellers on its platform by the end of 2020.
The fast growth of the online market, especially in the non-metro areas, is allowing manufacturers of daily use products such as steel and copper utensils, kitchen gadgets like juicers, to tap a new set of always-connected customers, Snapdeal said in a statement. It said its attempt to onboard more manufacturers will help them bypass the traditional structure of selling through wholesalers and retailers.
In an interaction with KrASIA, Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl said the company is constantly looking at ways of raising the bar for sellers.
“Our view is that 95% of sellers want to do the right thing and provide quality products, but oftentimes, they don’t know what didn’t work for them. We feed the sellers a lot of insights to help them get these goods which buyers want, and in many cases also help them how to source,” Bahl said.
The company expects most of these manufacturers to join from India’s production hubs like Meerut, Ludhiana, Tirupur, Jaipur, Panipat, Surat, Rajkot, among others. Through these additions, Snapdeal expects to deepen its selection for kitchen utensils, leather products, toys, and apparel.
“While the first phase of e-commerce sales in India was led by traders and distributors who worked closely with brands, now the share and role of manufacturers in online sales are growing faster,” Snapdeal said.
Jasper Infotech, which owns Snapdeal, narrowed its losses to USD 26 million in the financial year 2018-19 ended March, from USD 86 million loss it reported in the same period previous fiscal. The company that claimed to be the third-largest e-commerce player after Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon India, is in advanced talks with SoftBank as well as a few new and existing investors to raise USD 100 million.
Over the last two years, Snapdeal has deepened its focus on pocket-friendly merchandise and has shied away from selling expensive and branded products such as smartphones, washing machines, and televisions. Bahl told KrASIA, that market for categories like smartphones, consumer appliances, branded fashion is too shallow. “There aren’t enough buyers of these products in the country, and too many people trying to sell them those products. It invariably meant indulging in negative unit economic practices like selling on discount and free shipping,” he said.
Bahl said, the company wants to focus on customers who are looking for pocket-friendly products as the market for such products is huge. “This segment of the market is much larger in terms of absolute spending, consumption, and number of people. We want to dominate this part of the market.”
The company claimed it has added 60,000-plus new sellers, who have added over 50 million new listings to cater to its new customer segment of value-savvy buyers.