- Flipkart onboards over 8000 sellers post lockdown with 70% coming from small towns.
- Two-third of Amazon's SME sellers are from non-metro and tier 2 and 3 cities.
Both large e-commerce companies in India - Amazon and Flipkart - recently concluded their first major sale since the beginning of the financial season. While Flipkart had a five-day-long Independence Day Sale from August 6-10, ahead of other geographies, Amazon had a two-day Prime Day Sale between August 6-7.
Both companies said they saw a record participation of small and medium scale enterprises on the platform. Flipkart said that it onboarded nearly 8,000 sellers post lockdown with more than 70 per cent of them coming from smaller towns. "During this period, the Flipkart marketplace platform recorded a 54 per cent increase in transacting sellers compared to last year," the company said in a statement. However, the company did not mention the absolute number of MSME sellers. But of the 2,00,000 plus sellers, majority were MSMEs along with artisans, weavers and other underserved sellers.
According to the company, the marketplace saw maximum participation of sellers from New Delhi, followed by Surat, Jaipur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Agra. Also cities such as Cachar, Motihari, Purnia, Tezpur, Sibsagar saw the highest number of seller participation. The key categories in which Flipkart's sellers saw growth were grooming, household items, books and media, food and nutrition, toys, makeup and fragrances, women ethnic contemporary wear, personal healthcare, home furnishing and mobile protection.
Amazon, on the other hand, saw over 91,000 SMBs, artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs participating during Prime Day Sale 2020. Over 62,000 of these sellers were from non-metro and tier 2 and 3 cities across India and nearly 31,000 small and medium size sellers saw record sales. Prime Day Sale was largely led by personal computing, large appliances, kitchen, smartphones, apparel and pantry categories. "We are humbled that we were able to help as this was our biggest Prime Day ever for small businesses - nearly 1 Lakh SMB sellers (70% from small towns) received orders from across 97% of India's pin-codes; Karigar artisans, Saheli women sellers, Launchpad entrepreneurs, and Local Shops enjoyed their highest ever day of sales," said Amit Agarwal, SVP and Country Manager, Amazon India.
Industry experts believe it was already anticipated that the coronavirus pandemic related uncertainties and new avenues to sell products would push more number of MSMEs to ecommerce platforms to reach a larger customer base. With consumers seeing a value proposition that extends beyond discounts, "additionally, with several brick-and-mortar retail and wholesale SMB outlets being shut or operating at 50% capacity, it has given an added impetus for Indian SMBs to adopt digital technologies, and at a rapid pace," says Mohit Gupta, Engagement Manager, Zinnov. While the logical evolutionary path for SMBs is to have their own digital presence by building websites, e-commerce stores, etc. "As these 'Digital SMBs' mature, they will leverage analytics solutions to understand the persona of their customers, products their customers prefer to buy, track their feedback and so on, to enhance customer experience, customer satisfaction, and also to ensure resilience in the face of a future crisis," he added.