How etailers like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal are wooing merchants to sell on their marketplaces

Picture5With Paytm and Shopclues posing serious competition to the established order of Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal, the current ecommerce race is not only about acquiring customers, but also chasing sellers to list on their platforms.

The stated goals are ambitious—Flipkart and Amazon aim to more than double their merchant numbers to 1 lakh sellers by the end of the year. Snapdeal is hungry to onboard 10 lakh sellers in three years—a target Paytm’s five-month-old marketplace aims to reach in two years
“The game is evolving from just being about acquiring merchants to staying relevant and meaningful continually for these sellers,” said Vishal Chadha, senior vice president, market development at Snapdeal. “It is not difficult to get new sellers on board as of now as long as your brand proposition and promise is absolutely clear.”
Just as customers are not loyal to specific ecommerce sites, nor are sellers who are hungry to garner as much business as possible, and hence list on multiple platforms at once.
This only antes up the competition between ecommerce platforms to vie for sellers’ attention. To lure them, online marketplaces are running a variety of initiatives, such as exclusive fulfillment and warehousing facilities and Amazon’s Chai Cart programme that seeks to spread awareness among local small entrepreneurs and sellers in small cities and towns.
Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal are also offering heavy promotional rates for commissions per order and delivery charges they levy on sellers, as well as temporarily waiving fees pertaining to subscription, packaging, and inventory storage. Shopclues levies only a service fee and delivery charge per order, and Paytm is promoting itself as a zero-commission platform, although it charges marketing fees on each sale.

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