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Joom Marketplace offers a global window for sellers from India

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Joom Marketplace, a global mobile marketplace launched in 2016 in Latvia, Europe has been actively onboarding Indian sellers, helping them reach out to international buyers 

Maxim Belov, head of Asia-Pacific Business Development, in a tete-a-tete with Phygital, shares its journey over the years and opens up about its experience and expectations from the Indian market.[bs_input_restrict]

Let’s begin with understanding the journey of Joom

The company has 400+ million downloads worldwide, speaks 26 languages, is available in almost 200 countries and offers around 30 million products from Europe and Asia. With 95% of its transactions made on mobile, it allows sellers to reach a completely new audience. We not only provide our customers with relevant and quality products from around the world at attractive prices, but assure their privacy and make their experience fun, easy and flawless at any point. Reliability and accessibility also guide us in developing our services to sellers.

Users can order goods from China, Turkey, South Korea and Japan, as well as from local sellers and brands in Europe, including world-famous ones. Users can also subscribe to brand news and offers, as well as bloggers reviews, and receive personalized recommendations and discounts.

The convenience sellers and customers have on Joom?

For businesses, Joom makes sellers’ lives easier and provides them with tools and services nobody else has to offer, such as access to as many markets as possible with one interface, localisation, customer support, advertising & marketing activities, and sociality. Joom Marketplace is mobile first: 80% of our staff are mobile developers, and 95% of all transactions are made via our app. We are also responsible, which is demonstrated by our strict quality control, a reliable rating system, our “Verified by Joom” tag and local CSR projects.

For customers, Joom Marketplace helps make shopping easy and entertaining and gives access to high quality goods from around the world at best possible prices. Our app offers more than just online shopping, it encourages customers to have fun while they browse for products. Customers can be entertained even without making a purchase thanks to Joom Marketplace’s quality content and frequent lotteries.

Moving over the Joom’s entry in India, please share the launch details and journey thereon?

First sellers from India were onboarded on Joom in Jan 2022. As we needed to figure out the peculiarities of sales from India, i.e. popular types of products, their quality, and logistics solutions, Joom was then available only for a selected number of sellers from India. However, starting from this year, we are more open to sellers on-boarding, even though sellers still need to pass the screening by our moderators, we have eased the requirements. In the first priority we are checking the assortment, which the seller operates with, in order to understand whether it will be interesting to Joom customers or not. Besides, as we pay special attention to the quality, we check that seller’s reviews on other ecommerce platforms – we do not accept products with low ratings. Finally, the seller joining Joom should have cross-border experience by that moment/or we can skip this part if the seller has a very interesting and unique assortment. Currently, we have 400 sellers, and around half of them are actively selling.

Any particular Indian brand that has surpassed your expectations?

The Indian origin, that has already made it to the top-5 origins on the platform, on the whole is surpassing our expectations. Indian sellers show an average increase of 50% per month since their launch. We are really excited to see the enthusiasm and active position of these merchants. It’s amazing that the very first promotion of this region (Indian weeks promo held a couple of months ago) showed 6X growth of the origin, with some sellers’ growth going up to 10X! That is the most impressive result among all the countries I have launched on Joom.

Global markets where Indian merchandise is well accepted and in demand?

Europe and the CIS region. For now, the top-5 countries are: Russia, Germany, France, Israel and Moldova, followed by Switzerland and the UK.

Logistical challenges that you may want to highlight in India?

Logistics is for sure one of the biggest issues we are facing in India. 

  • The export procedure from India is quite hard and bureaucratic. It takes sellers a lot of time and effort to do the export clearance, which actually delays the fulfillment time. 
  • India post is the best solution in terms of pricing and makes cross-border much more attractive. However, the delivery time and especially the way it works with IOSS number for the EU makes the solution hard to work with especially for EU countries. India post doesn’t have an aligned process of collecting the IOSS number, which helps the shipment easily pass the EU customs without necessity for the customer to pay any VAT. As Joom collects VAT at the checkout and pays it itself, IOSS simplifies the life for EU customers. We are currently working on the solution for this issue by introducing local warehouses or dedicated logistics channels.

Wishlist for policy makers in India for smoother global business transactions?

As I mentioned above, our main wish is for the export policy to be simplified and to pay more attention to crossborder logistics within India. I can see some good signs, as India Post has recently introduced IBC, but it’s currently available in Mumbai and New Delhi only and still requires a lot of digitalisation to make life simpler for the sellers.

Do’s and don’ts for merchants that you may want to share (those who wish to be associated with Joom)

  • Do not underestimate the EU customer in terms of pricing. For example, we onboard sellers with a very good assortment and they are selling let’s say t-shirts for 300 rupees in India. However, they consider the EU as a wealthy market where customers won’t notice some overpricing, and may upload the very same t-shirt with a price of 1200 rupees to Joom (excl logistics). We usually block such products immediately, as these items won’t be sold and at the same time will negatively affect our company image. One of the main reasons for users shopping cross-border is buying something cheaper than they can find on the local market. And India has a big advantage of giving better alternative to the products sold on the local market. And the t-shirt for 300 rupees could be sold thousands of times, but the one for 1200 rupees won’t be sold, because the EU customer can buy it cheaper in local shops.
  • Do pay attention to the content you make. Product picture quality plays a significant role for users in making a purchase decision. Providing the customers with informative pictures and descriptions may increase conversion up to 2 times.
  • Be collaborative. Here at Joom, we don’t just open an account and then forget about the seller. Our support team and key account managers are constantly looking for the solutions to grow the seller’s business and give suggestions on what is better to do in terms of promotions and what kind of products are better to upload.

The major differentiating factor between Joom and other eCommerce marketplace that provide opportunities to Indian brands to sell globally?

We are helping sellers with the marketing. We collaborate with hundreds of bloggers across the target regions. Our sellers can request the blogger review on Joom absolutely free of charge. This can help not only get the first and qualitative review on the platform, but also increase your brand awareness. Moreover, we specially highlight products from India. All the products from India are highlighted with the Indian Flag + we have a special section of products from India. Besides, once a month we are sending discount coupons to all the Joom customers for the best products from India. So, we are promoting India as a brand on our platform. Finally, for the sellers with competitive prices and quality products, we are doing special marketing activities outside of Joom on our expenses, including collaborations with top-tier bloggers, facebook campaigns, etc. [/bs_input_restrict]

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