The spread and connect of e-commerce beyond the top metro cities is evident not only from the buyers’ side, but increasingly also from the sellers’ side too.
Half-way into its first Diwali Sale (16-20 October), Snapdeal, India’s leading value-focused online marketplace, has shared that 65 pc of the orders placed in the sale so far have been received by sellers located beyond the top 5 metropolitan areas of the country.
While sellers located in Delhi NCR, Mumbai Metropolitan region, Kolkata, Chennai & Bengaluru account for nearly 35 pc of the total number of orders received so far, it is the sellers from smaller cities who have received a greater share of online orders this year.
A large part of these orders will be served by sellers based in well-established commercial hubs in non-metro cities like Jaipur, Surat, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore etc. However, these orders are no longer centered only around these cities.
Snapdeal’s ‘Kum Mein Dum’ sale has also seen more orders flow to smaller centres like Avinashi in Tamil Nadu for textiles, Palitana in Gujarat for footwear, Rewa in Madhya Pradesh for gaming accessories, Muktsar in Punjab for herbal products, Birlapur in West Bengal for home decor products etc.
According to Snapdeal Spokesperson, “Ahead of Diwali, we had conducted an extensive outreach to on-board sellers from more than a hundred smaller cities, previously under-represented on India’s e-commerce map. We are gratified to see orders flow to these new sellers, all of whom without exception are very small enterprises. From Kalol in Gujarat to Birlapur in West Bengal and from Hansi in Haryana to Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu, e-commerce is changing India, one order at a time.”
“We believe this represents the second stage of e-commerce growth into Bharat – from predominantly metro cities a few years to a growing connect with smaller cities starting nearly three years ago. We now see that connect going deeper into smaller towns and cities, engaging not only buyers, but also sellers,” Snapdeal added.
During July – September ‘20, Snadpeal has also on-boarded nearly 5,000 manufacturer-sellers from production hubs like Meerut, Ludhiana, Tirupur, Jaipur, Panipat, Surat, Rajkot etc to offer a direct link to the consumers for popular products like kitchen gadgets like juicers & food processors, steel & copper utensils, crockery items, bed linen, fashion accessories like watches & wallets, apparel including kidswear, sarees & suits and casual wear like T-Shirts, Track pants etc.
Ahead of Diwali, Snapdeal had opened 25 logistics centres to serve the expected surge in orders, especially from smaller cities. With these centres located closer to seller facilities, this is now helping move the Diwali orders faster. Snapdeal expects 80 percent of the orders from non-metro cities to be shipped within 24 hours, and 90 percent of the orders within 48 hours of receipt – despite the larger physical distances to be covered.
As part of its network expansion, Snapdeal has consciously chosen to work with multiple smaller logistics players who specialize in their respective cities and states. Such decisions are guided by twin considerations – of supporting local businesses and also benefiting from their city-specific expertise. Earlier in July this year, Snapdeal had opened a customer care centre in Shimla by tying-up with a local business – the facility supports local jobs in Shimla and has helped increase availability of customer service agents who are adept at vernacular support.