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Snapdeal has expanded the network by introducing 20K sellers. Flickr

In a sign of how the Covid-19 pandemic fast-tracked e-commerce adoption in India, Snapdeal Co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl had said that the platform added 20,000 sellers and six million new buyers in the past six months alone.

Out of these 20,000 new sellers, 10,000 joined the platform in the past three months in preparation for the Diwali sales, according to Snapdeal which will host the first sale of the festival season from October 16-20.

“The pandemic has accelerated sellers adopting online channels, three years of likely progress now compressed into six months,” Bahl told IANS in an interview.

An interesting trend that has now emerged is that more manufacturers are now joining the value-focused e-commerce marketplace than ever.

Bahl said that about 5,000 manufacturers registered as sellers on the platform in the past three months.

“Historically, we have seen sellers who are traders, retailers, or wholesalers. We have now seen an acceleration of manufacturers coming online,” he said.

Kunal Bahl is co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal. Flickr

“That is great for them because they get nation-wide reach through our platform. That is great for customers also because we have seen they can get better prices because there are now fewer middlemen. They also get better quality products because manufacturers get feedback from consumers through our platform,” said Bahl.

Bahl started along with Rohit Bansal in February 2010. It has so far partnered with several global marquee investors and individuals such as SoftBank, BlackRock, Temasek, Foxconn, Alibaba, eBay Inc., Premji Invest, Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Ratan Tata, among others.

Snapdeal said that many of the new sellers are coming from much smaller cities than previously, indicating that e-commerce penetration in the country has gone even deeper into the country over the past few months.

“For instance, in the run-up to Diwali, we have had sellers join us from Kalol (Gujarat) for lighting products, from Rewa (Madhya Pradesh) for gaming accessories, from Hansi (Haryana) for sports goods, from Krishnagiri (Tamil Nadu) for fashion jewelry, etc. We, of course, continue to onboard sellers from bigger centers like Delhi-NCR, Meerut, Navi Mumbai, Vashi, Surat, etc,” the Snapdeal CEO said.

However, even though consumers in the country are still aspirational and are planning to purchase products despite the Covid-19 setback, they have become very conscious about the value they get from them.

“We have seen that there is a gravitation towards value merchandise… So there is a general flight towards value happening across consumer segments during this time,” Bahl said, adding that the value market in India, at $163 billion, is 3X of the branded market at $55 billion.

5,000 manufacturers registered as sellers on the Snapdeal in the past three months. Flickr

“So lower-priced items of good quality are need of the hour,” he said.

The Snapdeal CEO said that the platform has put in place a system to ensure that even the value products sold on the platform are safe and meet quality standards.

“When sellers register on our platform and list their products, they are required to sign a contract and give us an undertaking that they are adhering to all the necessary regulations pertaining to the product category they are operating in,” he said.

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“At the same time, there is also a rating and review mechanism. If the rating falls below a certain threshold, the platform stops sending traffic to the product,” Bahl said.

Snapdeal, which boasts of 500,000 registered sellers on the platform, said that it is ruthless to those trying to sell sub-standard products. (IANS)


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