Online stores turning Market places
A marketplace is more like a virtual mall which provides an established platform for sellers and buyers to connect, share, sell, buy and build ongoing relationships. Amazon was the first to introduce the online marketplace model in India last year followed by Flipkart, Quikr, OLX, Snapdeal, ebay, shopclues etc.While Snapdeal has converted into a purely marketplace model, Flipkart converted into the hybrid marketplace model last year and hosts about 1000 retailers already. Marketplace strategy may be a boon for some retailers, and could be a bane for others. But how it affects a business depends on a number of variables like the type of products one sells, the kind of market one is operating in, intensity of competition in a particular category, marketplace fees and restrictions etc. A majority of market place models Marketplace models are using FDI in retail of 51% for setting up their businesses. But setting up the system for online retailing-supply chain, logistics and payments, electronic as well as cash-isn’t an easy task and requires deeper integration for all Ecommerce platforms to work in synergy. Few international players which help in smooth functioning are – Shopify.com which is a popular US-based website that supports a large number of payment gateways. Their e-commerce website services start from $14 (about Rs 600) per month. In India, Zepo.in offers hosted online store solutions starting from Rs 750 a month. BuildABazaar.com offers similar services starting from Rs 1,000 per month. Ahmedabad-based start-up-39Shops.com-is also offering a hosted e-commerce platform starting from $10 per month.
The online marketplace is becoming a vast hunting ground for the best deals, with multinational behemoths and Indian ecommerce giants running cat and the mouse chase to offer the best prices (at the cost of margins) to lure the excited customer.
“We chose a marketplace model in order to leverage the innate entrepreneurial spirit that we have in India. We want to provide a great experience of online selling to the millions of small entrepreneurs who sell their goods offline today and want to enable it on a device everyone has today – the mobile phone” says Pratyush Prasanna (VP – Business), Paytm. Most e-commerce websites are managed marketplaces where middlemen charge brands a margin for acquiring customers. If you consider the formats in which individual designers sell, it is either through retail presence where the brand mark-ups are substantial or through a managed marketplace. Either way, the customer gets no price advantage and is forced to pay high prices.Stylista changes this format. Stylista.com is India’s first collaborative platform for limited edition designer garments at guilt-free prices.
ShopClues.com and few other marketplace portals have introduced new checks to ensure that goods are packaged and shipped on time. “When we started ShopClues.com two years ago – ‘MarketPlace’ was a concept and term we had to really sell to both our investor and customer base.
Inventory-led models dominated Indian e-commerce and there were many, many ardent supporters who truly believed that was the only model that could survive. Of course, over the last year things have changed and online ‘marketplaces’ have drawn much attention.
Opening up of a market place is more of a strategic decision to increase profit margins and this helps portals expand its reach to smaller Indian cities and towns.
The marketplace model gives the following two major advantages:
- Significant reduction in capital expenditure due to the absence of inventory, thus providing adequate funds for essentials like marketing and promotions.
More variety and choices of products can be offered as there is no hassle of inventory space crunch.
In a thin margin competitive environment, with standardised MRP, MOP, etc. there is hardly any room for marketplaces to make money in the categories like Electronics, Consumer durables, and even Clothing and Footwear. “The margins are only between 5-10% says Rohit Bapna, Entreprenuer. We incur a huge cost in acquiring, retaining and bringing back the customers to buy online admist the price war competition among the offline and online players.
Marketplace model in India has been primarily driven by FDI regulations in multi-brand retailing. According to Anand Ramanathan, Associate Director, KPMG “From the perspective of the listed brands, marketplaces offer an easy way of attracting eyeballs with website also supplementing marketing efforts from their side; however they would face competition with the other listed brands and easy discoverability of goods”.
With the aim being to dish in on this fast growing market, the marketplace model offers certain advantages that the inventory based model does not offer.
Strengths of marketplace:
- Quicker to the market, with lesser infrastructural requirements, relatively lower operational complexities, existing technological solutions enabling connections between suppliers and portals.
- Better choice for end consumer with portals being able to offer a greater variety of products, in both width and depth terms.
Better price discovery with portals offering a platform for a wide variety of suppliers, encouraging open competition.
Challenges in a marketplace:
- Controlling customer experience becomes a challenge as companies depend on the suppliers to handle fulfillment in a timely manner and to ensure product quality.
- This can be further exacerbated with rapidly growing vendor bases, owing to India’s large base of SMEs.
- Marketplace operations are also complicated with the supply chain not optimized for eCommerce as it stands today.
Profiles of few big market places
Amazon.com, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, that opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995; and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.in is operated by Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd, an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, www.amazon.es and www.amazon.com.br.
In Feb 2012, Amazon Seller Services made its foray into the Indian market with the launch of Junglee.com, enabling retailers in India to advertise their products for free to millions of Indian shoppers and drive targeted traffic to their stores. With the introduction of the Amazon.in marketplace and launch of two new programmes – ‘Sell on Amazon’ and ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’ – sellers across India now have access to unlimited and free ‘virtual shelf space’ and a scalable, pay-as-you-go fulfilment and customer service offerings. Both programmes have successfully been used by more than two million sellers globally to sell to over 200 million customers worldwide and boost their sales.
Its global mission—to become “Earth’s most customer-centric company”—has dictated its local strategy. Take 790002 – It is the pincode of a hamlet, Belamu, in Arunachal Pradesh. Amazon has tied up with the Indian Postal Service, and has gained access to a vast network comprising 19,000 pincodes including far-flung locations such as this.
For sellers-Amazon Easy Ship is a delivery service for Amazon.in sellers where orders are picked up from the seller’s location by an Amazon Logistics delivery associate and delivered to the buyers’ location with minimal effort from sellers. Shipments can be tracked and buyers also get an option to pay for orders at the time of delivery using the Cash on Delivery (COD) feature.
Local: Intra-city, where pickup and delivery happen in the same city.
Metro: Delivery to one of the following cities- Mumbai, Delhi (including Gurgaon and Faridabad), Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.
National: Rest of India where Amazon provides delivery service and the service is not to a Local or a Metro location.
eBay is The World’s Online Marketplace®, enabling trade on a local, national and international basis. With a diverse and passionate community of individuals and small businesses, eBay offers an online platform where millions of items are traded each day. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. connects millions of buyers and sellers and enabled $205 billion* of commerce volume in 2013. They also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com
- Founded in September of 1995, eBay is a global online marketplace where practically anyone can trade practically anything.
- eBay has a global presence in 39 markets, including the U.S.
- Marketplaces have over 145 million active buyers worldwide.
- In Q1 2014, gross merchandise volume (GMV), the total value of all successfully closed items on eBay Inc.’s trading platforms, was $20.5 billion.
- Marketplaces net revenues totaled $2.2 billion in Q1 2014.
- eBay users worldwide trade $2,642 worth of goods on the site every second.
- eBay India (www.ebay.in), India’s leading eCommerce marketplace, is a 100% subsidiary of eBay Inc.
- eBay India has over 2.1 million active users. These users come from over 4,306 cities in India.
- eBay India has over 2.6 million Facebook fans.
- Over 92% of all eBay India shoppers pay via Paisa Pay – a secure online payment gateway enabling credit card, debit cards, net banking, EMI, mobile payments & cash cards.
- At any given time, there are over 1.1 million live listings on eBay India (www.eBay.in) across 2,000 categories of products in Electronics, Lifestyle, Collectibles & Media verticals.
- Approximately 30,000 merchants sell on eBay India annually.
eBay India can be accessed on the mobile web on m.ebay.in & via a suite of Mobile Apps for the iPhone, the iPad, the Android, Windows.
One major difference between eBay and other marketplaces is that you have two options while pricing your products – You can either list a fixed price for a product or choose an auction type price. You can select a minimum bid amount and also an end date for the auction. The highest bidder at the end of the auction gets to purchase the product.
Unlike Amazon, eBay does not have any physical fulfillment center where a seller can stock the products. Once the seller packs the products himself, representatives from eBay’s logistics partners pick up the order from the seller. The package is then delivered to the customer.
eBay India (www.ebay.in), India’s leading eCommerce marketplace and the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), (www.cait.in) the apex body representing the trading community in India, have announced a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at benefiting the Indian retail landscape. will enable Indian traders for retail exports via eBay to 201 countries and national online trade to 4,306 Indian locations. The campaign will empower traders to grow their respective business in online domestic trade as an additional channel of business without having any adverse effect on brick and mortar shops.
A comparatively newer entry into the Indian eCommerce scenario, ShopClues has seen immense growth since its launch in 2011. “Ever since its launch in 2011 in Silicon valley, ShopClues.com has witnessed tremendous growth and generated gross merchandise volume (GMV) of Rs 350 crores FY14 alone. The company even witnessed a mind boggling figure of 55,000 orders on a peak day with an average transaction value of Rs 850 per order. ShopClues over the past two years have done great in terms of sales and is further eyeing a target turnover of Rs, 1000 crore by 2015” says Radhika Agarwal, Co founder, Shopclues. About 25 per cent of traffic and 30 per cent of revenue comes from mobile, and it is growing exponentially. The company has launched their customer-facing Android app two months back and expect 40-45 per cent of our revenues to come from mobile by the end of this fiscal. The company is also planning to launch an iOS app going forward.
The growth curve has risen steeply over the last 12 months and the company has also raised more than $15 million in funding till date. ShopClues.com has over 50,000 merchants and has 2,700 categories and 4 million unique products worth Rs.22,000 crore in listed merchandise value selling on site, thus making it the second largest online marketplace in India and a preferred shopping destination. “We work with a variety of service providers in areas such as logistics, payments, analytics and merchandising services in order to provide the best-in-class shopping experience to our customers” says Radhika .
ShopClues.com is positioned as a site that enables users to browse and make impulse purchases just like ‘hangout places’ with products in the range of Rs 50-1,500. In order to further increase its range of services, ShopClues.com s also launching websites in regional languages like in Hindi, Tamil and Gujarati. The company is targeting a turnover of Rs 1,000CR mark by 2015 and also plans to open factory outlets so as to allow brands to sell directly to their consumers.
With major improvements in the user-experience, ShopClues has also gained considerably on the Alexa ranking and is currently the 56th most visited site in India (Feb’14). The fact that the company has been recognized as a Red Herring Asia Top 100 winner this year only reaffirms that ShopClues is well-positioned for growth in the future.
The pricing is very less complicated and is designed to attract merchants to sell on the marketplace. The pricing structure is performance based, which means that a seller only pays for a successful sale on ShopClues. With an endeavour to provide customers with the best online shopping experience, ShopClues.com has a specially designed app for online shopping through smartphones.
Tradus is the Ibibo group’s online marketplace venture in India which started in 2009. It has grown to be a big marketplace known for offering good discounts for customers and is growing steadily.
Launched in the September of 2010 with the purpose of redefining online shopping in India, Tradus has already carved a niche for itself in the e-commerce market. In a short span of under 2 years, it has become one of India’s foremost shopping portals with over 1 Million members and active users.
Tradus is funded by Naspers, a $22B (JSE: NPN ) multinational media group headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Tradus.com seems to have bought BuyThePrice.com (BTP), an e-com marketplace owned and operated by Hyderabad-based MyZingo eCommerce Service Pvt Ltd.
Snapdeal.com is an online marketplace launched in 2010, headquartered in New Delhi, India. In September 2011, Snapdeal.com transitioned from an online deals site to a full-fledged horizontal e-commerce company via a marketplace model.
Its huge rise in the last few years has seen it raise a tremendous amount of investment to fund its growth further. Here is a review of the services it provides to sellers for selling their products on their platform.
Snapdeal, is expecting over 50% of its sales through mobile by the end of this year and is looking at spending more aggressively in technology. At present, 35% of its transactions happen through mobile. The company is soon expected to cross the sales target of $ 1 billion gross merchandise value. Meanwhile, fashion has become about 60% of the Snapdeal sales unit from almost zero about 15 months ago. The largest category on the website-fashion – is growing by about 40% month-on-month.
Flipkart is the success story of the Indian eCommerce industry. The 7 year old company is the largest eCommerce startup in India and has become a household name in the country.
It caters to a large number of sellers and buyers and offers wonderful services, which has seen its reputation skyrocket in the last few years. Here is how the marketplace ranks up in the different parameters.
Losses at online retailer Flipkart’s wholesale arm Flipkart India Private Limited have more than doubled, as the company invests in growing its topline aggressively.
According to a report in Mint, the company reported a loss of Rs 281.7 crore in the year ended March, up from Rs 109.9 cr last year. Flipkart has a revenue of Rs 1,366 cr up more than 5x as compared to revenues of Rs 265.6 cr last year. Flipkart’s cash balance went down to Rs 166.2 cr, from Rs 236 cr last year, the financial daily reported. The company has set a target of reaching $1 bn in gross merchandise sales by 2015.
Flipkart: Key Stats
Achieved $1Bn GMV.
Registered users – 18 million
Daily visits – 3.5 million
Technology has enabled 5 million shipments per month
Sellers on platform – 3000
Naaptol started back in 2008 with only one phone number for the customers to call and order. We started with 100 orders every day. Today in 2014 we have over 100 phone numbers and we process around 11,000 orders through them every day. So the growth has been more than 100 times of where we started.
Revenue details: Revenue of 2013 was more than 1000 Cr. with daily ticket size of Rs.3000 and 10,000 orders every day.
Launched in January 2008, naaptol has grown to become one of India’s largest comparison based social shopping portal. A one-stop destination for shoppers, merchants and market enthusiasts, that binds buyers and sellers in a lucrative network, we at Naaptol help people connect better making the whole experience of buying easier for you.
“Today we generate four times the orders that we used to generate two years ago. Possible reasons could be Advertisements through various media platforms, Increased media consumption on daily basis, introduction to broadcast media platform and innovative products and led us to this success” says Manu Agarwal, Founder. He further adds “Naaptol is the only Home Shopping Company that uses the services of India Post for order deliveries to tier 2 & tier 3 towns of the country where the courier services are limited and unreliable. This gives us the edge over others and has enabled us to service more than 22000 postal PIN codes till date”. The business is in talks with the private equity investors to raise $50mn (Rs.300 Cr) as the third round of funding for the company in coming 3 months. The fund thus raised will be used on expansion of supply chain capacity and new technology.
FreeKaaMaal.com is India’s leading bargain and deal hunting site that offers the best deals, freebies, contest giveaways and discount coupons online. Incepted in September 2010, FreeKaaMaal.com works on the model of affiliate marketing. It has tied up with over 350 top e- commerce websites to promote their brands and help them in generating more revenue out of their inventory. Unlike other players in the segment, FreeKaaMaal.com allows shoppers to log on, share and discuss the latest deals available on the web. Creating a social network, the site acts as a platform for bargain hunters to come together and help each other in saving money online.Every day more than 1 lac+ Shoppers uses FreeKaaMaal to save money while shopping. “We have seen growth of over 300% in our website traffic and our revenue has been increased by 3x times in past 2 years.On an average, we generate monthly sales of over Rs. 15 Crores for our partner sites through 1 Lac+ transactions. Our Sales numbers have been increased by 4x times in past 18 Months. The no. of sales we are delivering to our partners have been increased from 1000/day to 4100 per day” says Ravi Kumar, Founder. The major reasons for this surge is the entry of international players like Amazon. Also in past 2 years, many big E-Commerce players have started their TVCs due to which no. of online shoppers have been increased drastically. Apart from that, other initiatives like Google Online Shopping Festival(GOSF) by Google have also encouraged internet users to adopt online shopping.
www.homeneedsonline.com went live for the Indian audiences in April 2013, however active business operation accounts from November 2013 onwards. “We have earned revenue worth 50 million in 5 months (November 2013- March 2014), the latest. Over past 6 months we have seen a traction of heavy number of visitors and close to 100% sales growth month on month. We see Home Needs Online as a dominant brand in “Home and Kitchen” segment over next 2 years” says Kumaraguru Seshadri, Founder & Director.
With the flagship services like “At Home Service”, Same Day Delivery, network of shipping service over more than 5000 pin codes pan India. Seshadri believes “we are distinct in our presence and this has been gaining attention in the market so far and hence resulting in appreciable sales pattern for us. The one of its kind Home Saving Plan- “The Ultimere Scheme” and expected launch of a virtual experience project soon will also add to the growth”.
In the home decor segment –
There are many individual players and marketplaces who have already made their entry into this niche segment and are doing unexpectedly well. Some such players are:
Urban ladder: Launched in 2012 and a venture of Bangalore-based Descasa Decor Online Pvt Ltd, Urbanladder is currently delivering to Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi / NCR region (Gurgaon, Noida). The online store has made a strong foothold in the segment and have recently raised $1 million in series A funding and is looking to close a Series B round in coming months. Online furniture store Urban Ladder plans to reach out to shoppers across 25-30 cities in the next two years. As part of this, it will start accepting bookings for delivery in Ahmedabad from May this year and Chandigarh, Jaipur, Surat, Goa and Kochi from September. It is getting more than 15,000 website visits daily and was executing 100-200 transactions with an average ticket size of Rs 20,000 on a daily basis. The business is growing at the rate of 15-20 per cent every month.
Pepperfry: Mumbai-based TrendSutra Platform Services Pvt Ltd, the company behind Pepperfry.com, an e-commerce marketplace for furniture, home decor and appliances, is looking to achieve profitability by the end of 2015. Launched in January 2011 is having a current user base of 7 lakhs and 3 million unique visitors on monthly basis. Also it is doing almost 1200 orders a day. The company has raised $13 million in total with $8million in Series A(2011) and $5 million in Series B (2013).
Pepperfy is growing more than 300-400 per cent year on year, with around 10% of the total business coming from overseas markets. About 20-25 per cent of the revenues come from its private label brand ‘Mudra’.Almost 95 per cent of the purchases on Pepperfry come through online payments, while the rest via cash-on-delivery (COD). Mobile contributes about one-fourth of the total business. The startup, which closed the previous financial year (FY2013-14) with Rs 100 in GMV (gross merchandise value), is now expecting to cross Rs 500 crore in GMV by the mid of next calendar year (2015).
Fabfurnish: A rocket internet backed venture and the most visited online home store in India, fabfurnish was launched in January 2012. It is currently known for its designer furniture, furnishings, décor items and kitchenware. “We are the IKEA of India when it comes to designs and pricing combination. We are growing 3-4 times year on year. In the current year 2014, we will surpass revenues of Rs 220 cr. It is a rapid 3 times growth from last year. We are the leading online brand by a mile, and we have already overtaken few offline brands as well in size” says Vikram Chopra, CEO& Co- founder.
Zansaar: A Bangalore based startup and a brand owned by Singapore-based Salar Online Pvt Ltd has forayed into online home decor space in 2012. Backed by Accel Partners and Tiger Global, it has recently raised $6 million funding from them with an aim to bring in exclusive range in categories such as Home decor, Kitchen Tools, World Foods, Cushion Covers.
Mobelhomestore – MoBEL is one of the leading large format retailers of furniture, furnishings and other interior products in India. With a chain of 8 physical stores in Eastern India and one store in South India in Bengaluru. They have their own furniture manufacturing unit equipped with high end Italian and German machines producing high quality furniture items for homes and offices.
MoBEL also designs, manufactures and installs most modern modular kitchens. For projects and bulk requirements they source from over 250 factories across the world. They also offer a complete range of interior design products like furnishings, wall-papers, wooden floors, UPVC windows, Floor coverings etc. at our store MoBEL D’ffine in Kolkata.
Although, the online retail is grabbing the attention, there are players in the offline segment too like Godrej interio, D’Decor, Zuari, Durian, @home, etc. which are there from years and are still among the best choices for the consumers.
In the Grocery Segment
The Indian retail market is estimated to be around $500 billion and the food and grocery segment accounts for 60%. Of this only around 5% is in organized formats while the rest are your mom and pop stores.
LocalBanya has been doing very well since starting operations in 2012. The business has seen steady growth in users and revenues and the brand has carved out a solid niche. “For 2013, we clocked close to Rs 10 Crore in revenue and are looking to hit Rs 70 crore for Fy 14. Our customer base and revenues notched upwards very fast and as a result today we have over 50,000 users in Mumbai and do upwards of 700 deliveries a day. We are seeing MoM growth at round 25% currently” says Rashi Choudhary, COO & Co founder.
Having a wide selection of over 14,000 products, 6 delivery time slots (from 7 am to Midnight), 98% order fulfillment and well trained customer service executives ensures people keep coming back to LocalBanya for their grocery and household needs over time thus increasing our top line month on month. LocalBanya currently has a user base upwards of 50,000 in Mumbai and we do around 700 deliveries per day. We are in talks to close our next round of funding very shortly to scale up operations and look to enter new markets. LocalBanya recently raised Series A funding from Karmvir Avant Group in January 2014 and an earlier round from BCCL’s Springboard fund in July 2013.
Recent entrants to the online world
Tgs Ecom, a one month old venture is one of the leading players in e-commerce business and has been running other successful businesses for past two years like “Send My Gift”, “Flats Deal”, “Tgs Layout”, “Udyogmitra”, “Grandeur International”. Tgs bazaar.com is the only e-retailer which is starting with 40 distribution points with three distributions Center strategically located in and around Bangalore. It has opted for franchise route to execute this
business model. Tgs bazaar is also committing itself to reduce its delivery time to minimum as compare to other players.
NewU is a lifestyle retail store operated by H & B Stores Ltd, a 100 % subsidiary of Dabur India Ltd.
At present, it has 47 operational stores Pan-India, with many more coming up soon. Apart from the stores they also have our own website portal www.newu.in & present on Amazon. Very soon you will also see us on Flipkart & Snapdeal.
If monitored closely, there are many other players who are making waves without being market places and following the inventory led models. ONEMi is one such example.
India’s leading multi-channel retail platform focused on payment through EMIs. And does more EMI e-commerce transactions than any other e-tailer in India. “Launched in 2012, ONEMi.in aims to offer the aspirational lower-middle class a unique merchandising and purchase financing experience through loans to all those who aspire to buy pricy and high end products, however don’t have access to the Credit Card market” says Abhijit Bhandari, Founder & Chairman, ONEMi. The portal offers a wide range of products and merchandise across various categories including electronics, mobiles, computers, home/kitchen appliances, jewelry, and travel partnering reputed brands, such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry, Toshiba, Sony, Phillips, Swarovski, Titan, Citizen, Omega, Blue star, Whirlpool, VIP, Black & Decker, etc.
“70 % of the business is via mobile and our customer does not speak english rather converses in Hindi, Marathi, Kanada etc. So we have a biluingual call centre catering to their buying needs. By doing this we are opening the opportunity to the large 200 million middle n lower midlle class consumers who are highly aspirational to buy but do not have funding” says Bhandari.
It has lowest customer acquisition cost (INR 200 – 250 : 1/5th industry average) and highest average order value (INR 5,800 : 3.5x industry average) with exclusive monthly reach of 5 million customers with market leadership across all its existing retailing channels. It is a Unique business model which aims to acquire sticky customer base(45% repeat customers) with zero advertisement spend : through exclusive co-branding partnerships with banks, NBFCs and OEMs. Today ONEMi.com has partnered with major reputed banks, NBFCs and Microfinance companies- ICICI, HDFC, SBI Card, Citibank, Axis Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC and Kotak Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv, First Credit, etc. to offer easy EMI facility through various EMI schemes.
By 2015 – 16, the business is expected to touch Rs.375 crores.
With the increase in e-commerce, many companies have started offering services such as payment collection and logistics to online retailers thus serving as Ecommerce enablers..
E- commerce Enablers
While India’s retail trade is still dominated by cash transactions, growth in online payments continues to outpace growth in other payment methods. At present, online payments constitute 4.5% of the total value of card payments, a proportion that is likely to grow to around to 10% by 2017.
Payment gateways allow for easy processing of a customer payment where the transfer of funds from the customer to the merchant is done securely over the internet. The following graphic depicts the process of a payment gateway.
There are many online payment gateways like Paypal, 2Checkout and Moneybookers etc. which do not require any formal agreement to be signed. Just a simple online sign up on the website and embedding of a small code. Though the setup process is very simple, these payment gateways do not accept debit cards or net banking as a mode of payment instantly alienating more than 80% of the Indian buyers who do not have a credit card. Anish A Chuthan· Co-Founder/CEO at Zwitch Payments recommends fethr -( http://www.fethr.com ) which lets any merchant start accepting payments in less than 3 days. Merchants need to register on fethr ,submit the online activation form, choose their payment app & start accepting payments. fethr currently supports all major Master & Visa credit and debitcards and netbanking of 8 major banks. Payment gateways supported in India are 2Checkout, Citrus
Payments, DirecPay, PayU India, PayU Money.
India as an e-commerce market offers two prominent ways to do the business –
1. Merchant account through a major bank: ICICI and HDFC are some of the major banks which provide this service. Low transactional but high Installation charges make them suitable for big businesses but an expensive option for small ones.
2. Third party vendors: In this approach third parties open merchant accounts with various banks and also accept credit cards, debit cards and cash cards. Major companies providing this service in India are: CCAvenue, EBS , ? DirecPay
Government Regulation for online payment at market places
According to Emerging markets report by Ernst & Young – For online marketplaces, to ensure faster settlement of payment from customers to the sellers and to reduce the risk of default by the intermediary (which is the online marketplace), RBI has mandated that the intermediary should settle/pay to the seller, the money received from customers within T+2 days. The “T” here is defined as the day on which the intimation is given to the seller that the goods has been delivered. This means that if the money is received today, the seller dispatches and goods get delivered on the day T. The website has to pay the seller within T+2 days. A nodal bank account is supposed to be opened with any of the banks to ensure payment is released to seller within T+2.
While T+2 is possible for electronic payments received from payment gateways, Cash on Delivery can pose a major challenge for online marketplaces, although it is not explicitly mentioned in the Act. And as the Act is only talking about electronic/online payments from customers, COD payments would be assumed to fall under the Act since the same payment risks remain for sellers for the COD shipments. In COD, there happens to be two intermediaries, one which is courier company which collects cash from the customer and the other being the online marketplace company which pays the seller the money received. Usually COD payments are settled by courier companies in 30 days and by some in 15 days. While the goods are delivered to the customer usually within 3-7 days, the settlement to the seller can practically happen to seller only after 2-4 weeks of the “T” which can create default of payments risks for the sellers by the intermediary. Given this complexity, “T+2″ settlement is not possible in COD. If RBI brings COD under this Act, it can create major issues for online marketplaces since these marketplaces rely heavily on COD orders. RBI clarification on COD can be very beneficial to online marketplaces.
Profiles of Payment gateways
PayPal – Founded in 1998, is the leading global payments provider with over 148 million active accounts in 26 currencies and across 203 markets, processing more than 9 million payments daily, this is what PayPal stands for today. An eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) company, PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid. The service gives people simpler ways to send money without sharing financial information, and with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or promotional financing.
Q1 2014 FINANCIAL METRICS
- 6 million active accounts were added in the first quarter of 2014.
- PayPal revenues represented 43% of eBay Inc. revenues in Q1 2014.
- PayPal revenues for Q1 2014 were $1.8 billion, growing 20% year over year on an FX neutral basis.
- PayPal’s international business generated $955 million in revenue in Q1 2014, and international revenue grew at a rate of 20% year over year.
- PayPal’s international revenue represented more than half of PayPal’s total revenue, at 52%.
- PayPal customers made 834 million transactions3 in Q1 2014, or more than 9 million payments every day.
- PayPal maintained a very low loss rate of 0.27%.
It is the SouthAsia’s largest payment gateway solution powering 85% of emerchants with real time, multi currency, multi payment options online payment processing services. It is the only complete PG solution that has a unique ability to offer full spectrum of internet options.
Avenues India provides online payment processing solutions across major business verticals and CCAvenue is its payment gateway that powers a big chunk of the e-Merchants in India. The company has been making startup friendly moves and also came out with SNIP. In a recent development, CCAvenue has launched multi-currency payment gateway.
This move will enable companies to accept and process payments in 27 major global currencies. CCAvenue bundles the new platform with features like Smart Dynamic Routing for better success rate, iFrame integration for a better shopping experience, Retry for completing failed transaction and 1-Click Checkout for a quicker checkout process.
Along with payment gateway, CCAvenue also offers a customisable Webstore (free of cost). Merchants can choose from a range of ready-to-use templates to build a website and showcase products. CCAvenue has also launched Brand 360°, a universal marketing analytical tool.
Firms such as Citrus Pay, Paytm and Oxigen are now offering innovative services including storing personal information to speed up checkout, text-message based transactions as well as making it possible to pay using a phone both while shopping online and at physical stores.
Citrus is now among the top three players in the payment gateway solutions and controls eight to 10 per cent of the market (Billdesk and CC Avenue together control 70 per cent of the market).
In other words, it is spending more than what it is earning from operations. Citrus has tied up with nearly 1,500 merchants and is adding 150 merchants every month. The company has grown at 28-30 per cent in the last five quarters and has doubled its revenues. At the end of March 2014, Citrus will post quarterly revenue of Rs 3 crore.
Going ahead, the big thing for Citrus will be its bank – Citrus Bank. Launched in early March, the consumer can sign up at citruspay.com for an account or download the Citrus app from the Google Play Store and load an amount of their choice via a credit card, debit card, or directly from bank. This app will enable the user to transfer money to friends, colleagues and family members in just a few seconds. Apart from sending money, one can also request money.
Mumbai based payment solutions provider has collaborated with ReD, a global fraud prevention company to integrate its solution ReDshield in Citrus Pay’s checkout process. The step aims at increasing users confidence in online transactions as well as help merchants associated with Citrus in risk mitigation.
Part of Ingenico, the leading global player in payment terminals Processes over 130 mn. transactions globally Only player in India with an extensive local network spread across 9 cities
EBS offers the widest range of payment options currently available in India which covers 97% of all payment methods used by transacting customers,
EBS is continuously expanding network to successfully cater the ever increasing tech savvy population.
Visa | MasterCard | Maestro | AMEX | JCB | Diners – Credit Card Option
50+ Debit Cards Options
50+ NetBanking Options
5+ Cash Card Options
8+ EMI Options
30+ IMPS options
E-wallet – PayPal
EBS, also offers international payments & multi-currency services though Ogone one of Europe’s biggest payment provider, Ogone offers over 200 international credit card acquirers and 80 global, alternative and local online payment methods for every card-not-present scenario.
First Data established its presence here in 2005 and now has more than 20 offices across the country’s major cities. They offer card issuing services to financial institutions and provide card acceptance services to approximately 100,000 merchants across the country through ICICI Merchant Services, an alliance with ICICI Bank.
With a First Data merchant account, you’ll enjoy:
No setup fees
No application fees
No long-term contract—agreements are month-to-month
Low 2.29% transaction rate
Only 19 cents per transaction
Flipkart has launched a new payment gateway payzippy for Indian merchants. Payzippy is the newest fastest growing payment gateway in India. PayZippy makes use of world class encryption expertise while saving your card knowledge on highly secure systems. PayZippy’s payment systems have passed stringent security audits like PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Knowledge Security Standards) conducted by industry specialists, to be definite that your card knowledge remains safe and protected at all times. PayZippy accepts payments from all Credit & Debit. The website of payzippy is also provide information in very open manner. Payzippy also provides customer supports to the merchants between 9am to 9pm on all day.
currency conversion fees also apply on INR payments.
2Checkout is an online payment processing service that helps you accept all major credit cards, debit cards, PayPal and more. 2checkout is also available for Indian merchants. Business registration documents will also be verified for fully functional of payment gateway. 2checkout is most preferable brand for Indian merchants because it offers paypal payment and all Indian cc processing. 2checkout start accepting payments from year 2000. 2Checkout enabled over 100,000 merchants to sell on-line and processed billions of dollars in e-commerce transactions. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the 2Checkout.com office is located within minutes of fine arts, great dining, museums, and over 7 million square feet of shopping and entertainment. Columbus is a great place to live.
MOBILE POS SPACE
Point of sale (POS) – that is, the point at which a customer makes a payment to a merchant in exchange for goods or services – is a critical pain-point with small and mid-sized merchants in India.
Few players in this space are
Ezetap, a Bangalore based company that is pioneering mobile payments across emerging markets, has launched its first integrated and globally certified Mobile Point of Sale Device with a price point under $50 – approximately one third the cost of any other integrated mobile card reader (supporting magnetic stripe, chip and pin) that is commercially available and certified.
Using Ezetap etailers can now accept card payments through their mobile phones or tablet. The Ezetap card reader turns mobile phones into secure payment terminals. Designed and manufactured in India, Ezetap is certified according to all global standards specified by the Payment Card Industry.
Ezetap, has received funding of $8 million from a consortium of investors led by Helion Venture Partners. Founded by Abhijit Bose, Ezetap was initially funded by AngelPrime and then went on to raise a series A from Social+Capital Partnership, Peterl Theil and others. Ezetap has raised INR 74 crores till date.
The Ezetap device is priced at around INR 3,000 consists of a light-weight card reader that can be plugged into any smart device or feature phone used by a retailer. The technology allows anyone to accept cards. We had initially reported EzeTap securing the EMV level 1 certification and players like BigBasket who have started to use the service. At present nearly 12,000 Ezetap devices are being used across South East Asia and Africa. Bose said the latest round of funding will be used to increase growth in these markets and take the total number of devices over 100,000 by next year. Another big player using services of Ezetap is State Bank of India where it has partnered with Ezetap to launch the largest Mobile Point-of-Sale (MPOS) deployment in India. This is enable 500,000 new terminals in 5 years will bring electronic payments to every corner of India.
Mswipe launched the first mobile POS solution in India in 2012 with a card reader which can be attached to any mobile phone’s audio input jack. With Mswipe’s mobile swiper, merchants can make their mobile phones, even the ‘unsmart’ feature phones, accept card payments.
The device can be activated in three simple steps: Plug it into the audio jack of the phone, launch the application and swipe. The entire solution was developed in-house. This included an application on multiple mobile platforms, payment gateway and encrypted card reader. The application works with Java, windows, iOs, Android etc.
In December 2013, the team launched the first EMV compliant mobile POS solution, Wisepad. It is bluetooth-enabled and requires no physical connection to the phone. It lets merchants accept credit and debit cards with the same security and speed as conventional POS terminals at an affordable price and competitive card interchange fees. Besides enabling cash transactions, it also allows the merchant to cancel unsettled transactions, review the last 30 transactions and check the day’s summary.
Mc Donalds, TBZ, Copper Chimney, Cinemax, Make my trip, Asian Paints, Reliance Life Insurance, Bajaj Alliance are few of the big brands using Mswipe.
Hyderabad based Aasaanpay (Formerly MobileCozy) is another player in the space. AasaanPay is a modern offering that allows customers and retailers to transact in a safe, secure and easy manner. And its affordable.
Here comes the role of an ecommerce SaaS platform- an already stable platform to sell products. Instead of selling goods on a third party website, a startup can still launch its own e-commerce portals in a much reduced cost over a monthly rental or a revenue sharing basis on pay-as-you-go model.
Shopify was founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake. Shopify has received $122 million in Series A, B and C funding from OMERS Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Felicis Ventures, and Georgian Partners.
Today, Shopify powers tens of thousands of online retailers including General Electric, Amnesty International, CrossFit, Tesla Motors, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Foo Fighters, GitHub, and more. Shopify allows you to choose from over 100 free ecommerce website templates, with an easy theme setting editor to customize according to the user needs. It provides complete support from building and hosting an ecommerce website to numerous shipping and payment options.
Merchants can use Shopify to manage all aspects of their shops: uploading products, customizing the design, accepting credit cards, and viewing their incoming orders and completed transactions.
Date of inception 2006
Total Funding -$122M
Employees – 489
Active stores -100,000+
Products sold –
Fees – Shopify does not charge any set up fees, or bandwith fees, neither it asks for any credit card details to be punched in. One has to pay only when the person wishes to open a virtual store and picks up a plan. All Shopify plans are month to month unless the visitor picks up for an annual or biennial plan. They offer a 10% discount on an annual and a 20% discount on a biennial plans, when they are paid upfront.
It also claims to provide 99.94% uptime with unlimited web hosting worldwide. With Google as a partner, shopify is giving extra $100 in advertising on spending $25 and also gives $50 credit for facebook to new shopify customers. Currently in India, the online stores using services of shopify are: Poster Gully, Parisera, We the PPL, Yellow Fashion, No Nasties, and The Beach Company
They do support a variety of third-party hardware and works with .in, .com, and all other domain names. Once the client has signed up for Shopify, he can either register a new .in domain name in their system, or setup an existing domain to link to the new Shopify store. Shopify allows to set up shipping rates for all regions all over the world. Rates can be customized by price or weight. They also handle Carrier Calculated rates for your North American customers.
The core behind the existence of Zepo is to help small businesses in their e-commerce activities by setting up their online stores and take the sales and profit to the next level.
The USP of this hosted e-commerce platform is it enables you to create an online store within 5 minutes. Along with providing the core technical support, Zepo also provides the user with most prominent dashboard features and a facility to set up an online store with user’s existing domain name. It offers 30% revenue sharing on a recurring basis along with free payment gateway and Fedex support making consumer save up to 20k. The basic plan starts at Rs.999/- and the seller has an option to pick from a monthly scheme to half yearly, or yearly .
In India, mcommerce has picked up aggressively over the last few months with Snapdeal even claiming to have 50% transactions coming from mobile while Flipkart turning into a m-commerce company within the next 2 years.
As mobile is the next growth segment for the e-commerce companies, Zepo and Mobile-enabler, MartMobi have partnered to bring both web and mobile to all Zepo merchants. While the regular development of a Mobile site or Apps would take anywhere from weeks to months, merchants can have their mobile store up and running in less than a day, with zero development or configuration efforts from the merchant end.
PowerStores is a Goa based SaaS DIY (Software as a Service Do-It-Yourself) e-commerce and website platform that allows businesses to easily create and manage content and e-commerce based websites. Founded in late 2011 by Cory York and Indrajit Chowdhury, PowerStores was started from the revenue generated by SociaLinked.
PowerStores is a global e-commerce and website platform that allows anyone to create a mobile-friendly online store in minutes. Built for ease of use but geared for advanced customisations, allowing companies to start simple and grow without having to change platforms as their business becomes
Having clients like Giftcardsindia.in, Bodylinestore.com, Universalhockey.ca and Scottmorganfineart.com, PowerStores claims to provide advantages of Amazon Web Services and Data centers plus you can customize your theme any way you want with HTML and CSS. It also offers a free 30 day trial with 24×7 customer support and a dedicated account “Guru”. The platform offers various features such as design themes, compatibility of site with all mobile devices and iPad and and also an APP store where developers can sell apps and PowerStore users can add features to their websites in mintues.
They have recently launched its new version which enables merchants to customize stores’ theme completely using its theme language called FLUID. With this, merchants can get rid of cookie cutter themes offered by most of the SaaS-based platforms. So far the company had enabled over $6 million of sales through the platform via 500 active merchants across India, USA and Canada. The company had raised $2 million from unnamed international investors in July last year.
BuildaBazaar is an ecommerce platform which allows any seller to create an online store. BuildaBazaar offers an easy to use interface to modify and manage the store. They offer design customization of the store and offer features like social network integration and SEO optimization to boost sales.
A product of Infibeam, it lets users use their payment gateway setup. However, the shipping logistic has to be managed by the owner of the site. It also provides the facility to collects payment on owners behalf and then pays on 16th and end of every month after deducting their transaction charges. At present, it is providing 3 membership plans viz. Silver, Gold and Platinum. Some of the brands associated with it includes Airtel, Crossword, TheMobileStore, VIP, HiDesign, Bombay Dyeing, TVC Sky shop and Prestige.
It offers a fixed transaction fees for plans ranging between 2% – 0% and further customized if required. Buildabazaar has 35 third party courier partners integrated into the platform. They can connect sellers with one or more of them for exploring a partnership. Customers can pay on the store using one of the following cards – Visa, Master, American Express, JCB, Dinner Credit Cards both domestic and international, 44 net banking accounts, All major debit cards or by paying cash on delivery.
Pay outs – Payment against all card transactions against completed orders on any store would get remitted into the NEFT enabled account on 16th and the end of every month, after deducting for the monthly payment charges and transaction commissions.
MartJack is a digital commerce solution provided by Reasoning Global eApplications Pvt Ltd (Reasoning). Reasoning was established in 2007 with a vision to enable E-Commerce ecosystem by providing world class digital commerce solutions to retail businesses across India and other emerging markets. Today Reasoning is a leading provider of digital commerce solutions and services in India and Middle East.
While setting up online stores, Martjack offers customizable designs, product search, comparison, discovery & many such capabilities, consumers are taken through an engaging & purchase oriented experience. Leverage online marketing tools such as SEO, SEM, GoogleAdwords to drive traffic for your online store. It has an exclusive partnership with HDFC bank to provide a pre-integrated payment gateway and with aramex to provide a pre-integrated shipping logistics.
State Bank in partnership with Martjack has launched an collaborative marketplace called as Smart Shoppe for its own debit card holders, with thousands of products in all retail categories and is driven by hundreds of reputed merchants all over India.
With MartJack, one can integrate their online store not only with existing systems such as accounting, inventory management, ERP systems, POS software but also but also seamlessly integrate with popular third party software such as Zendesk or MailChimp to aid you in online store expansion and growth.
KartRocket claims to be only platform that is pre-integrated with leading marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Tradus and Flipkart. Currently, the startup services over 150 clients with 700 retailers trying out the platform. KartRocket comes with integration with all leading payment providers and businesses can accept payment options such as Cash on Delivery, including all plastic card based payments, PayPal and GharPay.
Kartrocket gives access to over 50 web and mobile ready shop designs which are custom tailored and each of its templates is fully customizable. Recently, the company launched an order-processing and shipping service – ShipRocket. The one click service allows ecommerce ventures to have efficient delivery management service. ShipRocket enables etailers to dispatch a shipment, pick a courier company, assign an airway bill number, and print a shipping label, among other facilities. The service has extended coverage with shipping enablement to over 12,000 pin codes including 6,000 COD pin codes.Importantly, ShipRocket’s subscription-based service starts from Rs 1,500 to Rs 7,000. Launched in January this year, KartRocket raised under half million dollars from 5ideas, 500 Startups and angel Jatin Aneja.
Mobile Commerce Platforms
In a country where there are over 930 Mn mobile subscribers against 160 Mn Internet users (Including 86 Mn mobile Internet users) it is quite possible for mCommerce to become even bigger than eCommerce
Paytm is India’s largest mobile commerce platform. Paytm started by offering mobile recharge and utility bill payments and today it offers a full marketplace to consumers on its mobile apps. We have over 12mn registered users. In a short span of time Paytm has scaled to more than 7 Million orders per month.
Paytm is the consumer brand of India’s leading mobile internet company One97 Communications. One97 investors include SAIF Partners, Intel Capital and SAP Ventures.
“We have gained operational efficiences by working with all regional and national logistic partners and we have created an in-house algorithm to map them with our merchants in an intelligent way helping us not only reduce the delivery time but also reduce the cost drastically” says Pratyush Prasanna (VP – Business), Paytm. With12 Million Users and 6 Million App Downloads, the race has begun.
Hyderabad-based MartMobi Technologies Inc, was founded in December 2012 by Ganni and Pramod Nair (CTO) – both serial entrepreneurs, who had earlier co-founded LearnSocial, a P2P learning platform that brings together people who want to teach something they are passionate about, and learners who are interested in picking up a new skill. Ganni also founded Sematrica Inc, Adaptive 3D Technologies, BB Inc and WebPDM Inc.
The venture provides an m-commerce platform for e-commerce sites, brands as well as retailers, has made it into the latest batch of US-based TechStars startup accelerator. MartMobi, a Techcircle Runway 2013 startup, will leverage this opportunity to expand its footprint globally with strong focus on US expansion. The MartMobi platform enables e-commerce businesses, brands and retailers to have an instant mobile presence without writing a single line of code. A self-service platform, MartMobi can be used to create custom applications for retailers across all major mobile platforms, thus ensuring a new source of revenue for online ventures.
Jiffstore Software Labs Pvt. Ltd. provides mobile apps is among the first m-commerce platforms that enable buyers to order household provisions from neighborhood mom-n-pop or “kirana” stores with home delivery.
It provides even the smallest kirana stores with an easy-to-use mobile-based order management platform to help engage their customers while increasing their sales.Using an iOS or Android app, consumers can browse store items, make orders, and optionally have them delivered. The shop owner uses an Android app to interact with customers, manage inventory and other functions. The user interface is simple and easy-to-use, making consumer and merchant adoption very quick. Jiffstore is experimenting with multiple business models including pay-as-you-go fees linked to the amount of revenue driven by their platform. Jiffstore is riding the wave of affordable smart phones now available in India.
Jiffstore is already active in dozens of stores in Bangalore serving thousands of consumers since starting their pilot operations in October of 2013. They are seeing 30% month-over-month order growth rate and are looking to bring on many new stores in the coming months
A Financial Technologies Group Enterprise, atom technologies is an innovative Payment Service Provider founded in 2006, offering 360o payment facilities over Internet, IVR, Mobile Applications and POS using Credit/debit card, net banking; cash/prepaid cards and IMPS.With over 100 payment options, 15 million + transactions, 4500+ strong merchant tie ups across various sectors spanning across Government , Utility, BFSI, DTH, Education, Entertainment, Retail, Travel and Tourism, Telecom and Subscription space. An atom technology is truly living up to its vision – Providing you the ‘new way’ to pay
Atom provides a complete suite of payment solution through its m-Commerce platform and i-Commerce platform. Atom provides a simple menu driven solution where a customer gets an experience similar to an e-commerce site on his mobile / land line phone. atom m-Commerce platform helps businesses grow as they get direct opportunity to interact with their customers on 24/7 basis.
More than 300+ merchants are using this service and 5-6 K customers transacting on a daily base. Some of the business partners are as follows Telco: Vodafone, Loop, Idea, MTNL etc. Travel – IRCTC, Make My Trip, Paulo Travels, MSRTC etc DTH – Tata Sky, Dish TV, Big TV, Sun Direct, Videocon D2H Insurance – ICICI Lombard, Future Generalli, HDFC Ergo, etc. Utility – MSEB, Reliance Energy, Adani Gas etc. Banking – Axis Bank, Corporation Bank, Bank of India etc.
Other e-commerce platforms
Punit Sindhwani, co-founder of e-commerce site Mirchimart.com shifted his focus on solving pain points for merchants who sell through multiple marketplaces, giving birth to Paxcom.
Part of Paxcel Technologies, a Haryana-based software development firm also founded by Sindhwani, Paxcom is a ‘business manager’ for merchants to fulfill orders from multiple channels from one platform, making it easy to procure products from vendors with supplier ratings and history, as well as keeping track of inventory level. The built-in intelligence system uses data collected over different operations within the product and utilizes it for giving suggestions on price and quantity on different channels, best procurement from suppliers and efficient fulfillment for higher ratings.
To generate revenues, the company is planning multiple models. “First is software as a service (SaaS) fee ranging between Rs 500 and 3,000 per month. Second is pay-per-transaction-based model where we will provide additional services like a team to manage listing and customer support to help them master online sales. Third is custom enterprise software development for big e-commerce players.
In 2014, the focus is on getting at least 1,000 merchants, getting a lot of data, and then using Big Data analytics to get best of the dynamic market place.
“This will enable all merchants to adapt to industry changes quickly and to make best investment decisions in terms of inventory, operations, user experience, logistics, customer policies, etc. The portal will cover all major marketplaces and Indian merchants selling online.
In terms of competition, Paxcom will compete with players like Brightpearl, Unicommerce, Kartrocket, Lettuce and Orderhive. Unicommerce provides a SaaS-based order, inventory management and fulfilment platform for online retail and ecommerce firms and its clientele includes Snapdeal, Jabong, Lazada, Urban Ladder and Blue Stone, as well as a few international clients such as Daraz.pk and Myessentials.ca. The firm claims to be processing more than a million products every month and it recently released a new offering targeting merchants selling on multiple marketplaces and e-commerce platforms.
Unicommerce provides Online Multi Channel Order Fulfillment Platform which enables E-commerce merchants of all sizes to sell more.
Selling at Multiple Marketplaces and Carts is very easy with Unicommerce at the back-end. It is comprehensive enough for big e-commerce players to rely on and easy enough for smaller online merchants to uses every aspect of end to end order fulfillment including procurement, vendors, inventory, warehouses, drop shipments, returns can be managed and automated.. E-commerce marketplaces like Jabong, Snapdeal, Lazada as well as hundreds of online Sellers are using this service.
Unicommerce also enables small and medium sized online sellers to tap power of technology without any technology knowledge. It has 4000+ paid user base and comes pre-integrated with all the leading marketplaces, carts, couriers/shipping companies, accounting software. That’s the reason why, in a short span of 2 years, they could help their customers do Rs. 1000+ Cr business. It has also received funding from Nexus Ventures Partners within 1 year of starting up.
Today they have close to 100 integrations already and are processing more than a million orders a month, around 10-12% of entire Indian e-commerce orders go through the platform.
Taking the concept of online shopping to the next level, Payvment, a popular social e-commerce platform, has created the first virtual Facebook Shopping Mall with more than one million searchable products, including a directory of e-commerce stores, from celebrity brands to local merchants. The new Facebook app dubbed as Shopping Mall integrates some of the social aspects of Facebook with a smooth online shopping experience that many people seem to prefer over brick-and mortar stores. The platform is linked with all the stores that use Payvment’s retail app for Facebook, the Mall offers more than one million searchable products from 50,000 retailers in a centralized place. Like any other mall, the Shopping Mall enables anyone to create and operate a retail storefront on Facebook; brings all these sellers under one roof and categorizes shopping experiences by seller, items, bestsellers, recommended items, which makes it easier to browse, research, and shop. As an added advantage, Payvment’s Shopping Mall also includes an individualized section that shows what other users (friends and family) “like” on the mall, and get recommendations based on their Facebook interests. The most innovative feature of the platform is probably Payvment’s universal shopping cart and checkout feature, which allows the user to add items from different stores to the same cart and go through one checkout process.
The concept has received positive response from providers who are eager to adopt Payvment’s turnkey solution to create a store on the popular social media Facebook that will allow users to browse and purchase products at the popular network.
Plumb5 is a product of Decisive Analytical Systems Pvt. Ltd. Decisive is a Bangalore based company that develops and builds innovative products for marketers and organizations to improve their customer experience in real time. The company has come out with a real time analytics product with real time engagement and personalization.
It has a capability to not just understand who is on the website but also the ability to engage, understand insights, behavioral traits and to do personalization. It typically helps in broadening the conversion funnels.
Its real time marketing works with various features such as rule based engagement through forms, banners etc. For example if someones removes a product from their shopping cart, it can quickly provide a 10 second survey form, or some special 5% additional discount banner in a suggestive way, rather than providing the offer to 100% visitors on the website.
Based in Goa, Browntape is a SaaS-based online software developer firm providing multi-channel inventory management solutions to the ecommerce retailers.
The software solutions provided by the firm allows online merchants selling on different marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc) manage their orders and inventory in one place without the need to log in to each site separately. Since its launch, more than 275, 000 orders have been processed and has got 500+ sellers signed up for the service.
A seller can bulk print shipping labels, invoices and manifests and track the status of all his orders in one console. When an item sells on one site, the stock quantity gets updated on all his online stores automatically via Browntape.
Bangalore based product recommendation platform UNBXD which was launched in 2011, provides search, navigation, merchandizing and analytics solutions for eCommerce companies. UNBXD SmartEngage Platform helps eCommerce sites in increasing sales by recommending the right products to the visitors. It tracks online shoppers in real-time and powers eCommerce sites to deliver unique personalized shopping experiences to their visitors.
Since its launch it has added leading eCommerce companies from India and Singapore. A few of its client companies include Caratlane, CBAZAAR, Skoolshop, Travelguru. As per the company, some of the clients have seen an increase in conversions of up to 50% after they integrated the Unbxd SmartEngage Platform.
They help retailers create an online presence, complete with functionality that can help increase sales viz. cross-sell, up-sell, offer product recommendations, etc. Integration with major payment gateways is a standard feature. We setup stores using Magento, Drupal+Uber Cart, OsCommerce, ASP Dot Net StoreFront as well as custom development from scratch. Iksula has designed and developed a scalable and robust technology platform to power B2C websites of Future Group and also Big Bazaar Direct platform. Along with the Future Group’s B2C websites, Iksula has also designed and developed the Big Bazaar Direct Android application.
GreenHonchos offers a full range of Ecommerce business consulting, implementation and ongoing execution services to Brands and Retailers anywhere in their online roadmap. They develop ecommerce strategies, operations, technologies and custom solutions for their clients.
Vin eRetail for eCommerce retailers and marketplaces is offered on a SaaS basis. It allows order management and fulfillment through the online/mobile websites of the ecommerce retailers and through leading marketplaces and fulfillment through their own logistics arms or through leading 3PLs locally. The product suite covers Inventory Management, Replenishment, Warehousing, Returns, Order Management, Price Crawlers, Supplier Portal and BI/ Dashboard Analytics. Vin eRetail Suite has ready integrations with -: Leading Marketplaces ( eBay, Amazon, ShopClues etc), 3PLs ( Aramex, BlueDart, Fedex, GoJavas etc). Additionally, Vin eRetail Analytics offers KPIs and Dashboards which are operationally intuitive and provide key insights to executive decision making.
Today one of the challenges to expanding in an e-commerce market which is growing at a compound rate of 34 per cent a year, and which saw online retail sales of $1.6 billion last year is delayed deliveries and logistical infrastructure. Close to 90% of goods ordered online in India are transfer ed by air which are subject to removal, to make room for passengers on the airlines.
Most e-tailers use sometime unreliable third-party delivery firms, more than half of sales are paid for with cash-on-delivery, return rates are high and orders made to fake addresses are all too common.
As a marketplace seller, one can bank on the logistic improvements of marketplaces by utilising their warehouse facilities and shipping services to reduce the shipping time.
As an individual seller, one could utilise the services of specialised e-commerce service providers like Delhivery and Ecom Express to ensure speedy delivery to their customers.
With this perennial problem, Flipkart, is aggressively growing its in house logistics arm E-Kart. Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, is pumping up the capacities at Amazon Logistics. That’s in addition to existing partnerships with third-party logistics firms including GATI, Blue Dart and FedEx Corp.
Sahil Barua, started Delhivery, a Delhi-based logistics firm on 2011 offer his online partners the freedom to channel their orders from any number of sub-sellers they have on-board. Delhivery will integrate and take care of all the deliveries from all such merchants. He claims that after picking up the goods, Delhivery can deliver them in a short span of 12 hours. Backed by Times Internet, Delhivery had raised $5 million from Nexus Venture Partners in 2013. It claims to be present in more than 100 cities and covers around 2,200 pincodes.
Online bus ticket booking platform abhibus.com, run by Hyderabad-based AbhiBus Services India Pvt Ltd, has partnered with the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) to sell tickets for its network across all the regions where it operates the service. According to the company, the partnership with the APSRTC will take its total inventory to 8 lakh seats from the current 5.5 lakh seats daily, and will add over 9,000 bus services to the platform. Currently, abhibus provides bus ticket inventory for over 1,500 operators and 15,000 routes
Founded in 2007 by Chirra, a BE in electronics and communications, abhibus provides end-to-end software services and solutions to public transport departments as well as private bus operators across India. Its solutions include online passenger reservation system, e-ticketing system, fleet management solutions, vehicle tracking systems, passenger information systems, and logistics management. The firm claims that currently, three large state-run transport undertakings and over 200 private operators use its solutions.
Amazon is pumping up Amazon Logistics, in addition to partnerships with logistics players like GATI, Blue Dart and FedEx Corp. Also, it is building its own warehouses and doing trial tie-ups with kirana stores and petrol stations as pick up points for customers. Far flung areas in the country are catered to with the help of Indian Postal Service.
Snapdeal is gearing up to extend its own logistics platform Safeship to rival sellers in a few weeks’ time. Other ecommerce companies will be able to access and use this service to take care of their logistic requirements at a nominal usage fee.
Blue Dart has a vast serviceable area and it provides the best, reliable and quickest deliveries across the India. Though it is slightly expensive, it offers the best service till date.
They charge approximately Rs.55-75 per 500 grams and depends on the service area. For COD service they charge Rs.80 or 3% of the invoice value, whichever is higher.
DTDC is a franchise model, which necessarily means that although all shipments go through the DTDC network, there is no standard rating that would apply to all DTDC channel partners. DTDC does offer higher rates than other private solutions and untimely deliveries and loss of shipments are some of the common problems.
DTDC has launched DotZot, India’s first pan-India delivery network exclusively for Indian e-commerce companies. Dotzot has three different services for e-commerce companies – Express, Economy and Premium services. DotZot Express service will probably be the most-opted service managing to deliver within 2-3 working days. DotZot Economy service will offer best rates while Dotzot premium will offer services like same day or next morning delivery at higher costs.
Aramex provides one of the best logistics solutions for ecommerce ventures. Aramex is a global logistics and transportation services company based in Amman, Jordan. Aramex India is the Indian wing of Aramex headquartered in Mumbai. It provides the best logistics solutions for the eCommerce ventures.
They charge approximately Rs.60 per 500 grams and for the COD it charges Rs.75 per 500 grams or 4% of the invoice value, whichever is higher.
India Post does offer one of the most competitive logistics solutions and they top it up with one of the most expansive serviceable areas. India Post offers Express Parcel Post – EPP service which works out best for small businesses and entrepreneurs sending consignments all across India which weigh less than 35 kg with a free pickup facility under this scheme. Though their rates are on par with other private players, their good service and domestic reach make it worth it.
The price is from Rs.30-90 per 500 grams depending on the distance and the COD options is offered as VPP and for COD it charges Rs.25 per order.
FedEx for domestic deliveries
FedEx is an American based global courier delivery service company. FedEx India is the part of Indian service of the FedEx. FedEx India offers two reliable domestic services, FedEx® Priority Overnight and FedEx® Standard Overnight. Both these services are backed by the international service
characteristics of FedEx:
Priority Overnight (PO): For all your documents and parcels (value < INR 5,000)
Standard Overnight (SO): For all your commercial shipments (value > INR 5,000).
That said, FedEx does not have the same extensive coverage pan India like its competitors, though it can boast of good service in the areas it does service. Also, the same FedEx account can be used for domestic as well as international deliveries. Although their prices maybe a little steep, you can get them to drop prices upto 60-70%.
First Flight has the long standing establishment as a courier service. The prices are reasonable for the general shipments but when it comes to the
eCommerce sector the prices they charge are higher when compared to the other logistics partners.
It offers the COD as a value added service and the customers can request for an online pickup. The charges are higher and they charge Rs.60-210 per 500 grams depending on the delivery zone.
Other logistics service providers worth a mention are TNT, Deccan, Maruti Courier. They have better performance in certain specific areas, and you would like to ask around about them.
A new logistics venture called BookMyPacket.com is a service being run by eGroup Solutions, which is a three month old startup. BookMyPacket.com is an online portal where you place an order for a package/courier to be delivered anywhere around the world. A user has to log onto the website, give details of package pickup location, delivery location, package weight and volume etc.. Based on the information entered, the website suggests shipping vendors like Blue Dart, Aramex, FedEx and other.
They are already associated with e-commerce majors like Dhamaal.com, Jaipan Industries, 99Labels, Infibeam and others.
Delivery to a metro can be accomplished in 24-40 hours while delivery to a smaller cities is estimated to take 40-72 hours. The website also claims that it can deliver your packages to international addresses in between 3-5 working days. The company claims to offer deliveries to around 17000+ Indian pincodes and is looking to add even more destinations to its network. Internationally, it delivers to 200+ countries. The company accomplishes this by having tie-ups with various shipping and logistics companies across the world. The list includes India Post, Blue Dart, Aramex, FedEx, UPS, First Flight and TNT.
These online shopping retailers are also supported by offline vendors and one such market leader is
Dynaflex Pvt.Ltd. Established in 1985 is one of the handful manufacturers of security and tamper evident envelopes & bags.It is one of the few companies approved worldwide by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) for making of aviation security bags and among the first in India. The company serves clients like Blue Dart, DHL, Reliance Industries, Amway etc. Online shopping envelopes are used by e-commerce companies for the secure movement of their goods and items purchased online by their customers. These envelopes are manufactured with flap which has a hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive strip for easy and permanent closure.
There are courier bags, stebs, packing list envelopes, security envelopes, tamper evident envelopes and bags.
Latest Developments in the Online retail world
Sharing some of the key developments in the Online space, Anand Ramanathan, Associate Director, KPMG says
eCommerce in India has grown from USD 4 Bn. in 2009 to USD 13 Bn. in 2013, continuing in the same tread to nearly USD 17 Bn. in 2014.
While travel holds an estimated 70%% of the market share, online retailing, or “eTailing”, has been touted to be the key driver in furthering eCommerce growth.
eTailing in India currently stands at approx USD 3 Bn. and is expected to grow at over 50% to reach USD 36.5 Bn. by 2020.
eTailing is estimated to account for 2.2% of overall retail in India, a figure that is forecasted to increase to 3.5% by 2020.
Despite the Indian eTailing market posing challenges for the players in the space, social, technological and infrastructural developments present positive trends that would bolster the industry in the future:
Increasing internet & broadband penetration and scaling of internet penetration through the wireless / mobile means, especially with the emergence of economical Smartphones.
Lowering of data tariffs by telcos and innovative schemes to induce trials, such as Rs. 1 downloads.
Development of payment gateways to facilitate safe transactions
The space is also continuously witnessing evolution of consumers and businesses models:
Steady increase in trust in eCommerce as a way of shopping.
Growing participation of lower tier markets, with companies like Snapdeal reporting 50% of orders emanating from lower tier markets.
Consolidation of players at the top with a long tail of eTailers forming.
Evolution of business models such as the movement from inventory to marketplace or hybrid models allowing companies to offer greater variety while
being able to manage inventory costs and complexities.
Coming together of online and offline modes, in the form of brick-and-mortar to form omni-channel presences.
Rise of apparel as a category driven by the need for variety, high margins and, in a way, the unique experience that online retailing sites offer.
Emergence of eCommerce specific logistics service providers (such as Delivery, ECom Express) and traditional players beginning to take note of the
industry and engineering customized solutions.
eTailing players extending presence across the fulfillment value chain, with companies like Flipkart opening their own payment gateway and logistics
service, owing to the control on consumer experience that such a move would provide .