Retail eCommerce sales in India were $5.3 billion (roughly Rs. 33,661 crores) last year, according to eMarketer estimates of digital and brick and mortar retail sales around the world. This year, it is expected to grow by 45 percent to $7.69 billion (roughly Rs. 48,840 crores). Ecommerce companies are fighting tooth and nail to grab a bigger pie of this growing business, and the most important aspect to success is to have a bigger number of sellers on their platform.
The challenge is the same as that of customer acquisition – bringing the thousands of small scale business owners to adapt to the digital world. Online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Paytm, etc. are on a growing spree wooing small business owners to start selling online, following a long spell of attracting customers.
The latest to join the bandwagon is ShopClues.com that raised $100 million in funding this January. The company said it planned to bring 10 million sellers and 1 billion products in the next three years. ShopClues has rolled out a TVC aimed at the sellers in the country. Conceptualised and created by Enormous Brands, it illustrates how a lamp seller can increase his sales if he gets onto the online marketplace with orders pouring throughout the day.
A series of destructive events occur one after the other: a boy playing cricket breaks the lamp, a pet dog stumbles over the lamp, a maid’s carelessness breaks the lamp, and so on. In the next cut, we see this happy lamp seller selling away lamps to these guys while the voiceover says how imagine being on Shopclues and receiving more of these orders from all over the country.
It ends with the lines made popular in the winning ShopClues 2014 TVC: ‘Ting se leke tong, aur ding se leke dong, sab kuch bechiye on ShopClues.com.’
ShopClues is following the steps taken by other major online marketplaces of wooing the traders in the country. Along with a robust advertising campaign on television, it would have to look into the training and online adaptation behaviour for offline traders.
Flipkart, one of India’s largest online marketplace, has established training centers in small towns to help local merchants sell online. On digital it has followed a storytelling route to showcase seller success stories. With the hashtag #GrowWithFlipkart, the brand recently uploaded a seller success story from Jaipur which showcases how local entrepreneurs are bringing the handicraft industry to a bigger scale.
Amazon India put up ‘chai carts‘ with trained staff, to create awareness about e-commerce and to initiate conversations with local small business owners over a cup of tea. On digital, the brand started talking about seller stories since early last year. The YouTube channel Amazon India Seller University has playlists which have a bunch of inspiring seller stories. The below embedded video is a story of a young girl from Anand, Gujarat who started as a small seller of mobile accessories and today has grown her business with the help of Amazon India.
Snapdeal roped in Aamir Khan and made an ad film featuring its real sellers. They are shown using Snapdeal to grow their business, by catering to customers across the country. At the end Khan appears in the ad and states, “Jab aap ka aur customer ka faasla kam hoga, tab aapke sapne, aur kareeb aayenge. Karo Snapdeal par business. Yahan hain 4 crore se zyada customers” (When the distance between you and your customers reduces, your dreams will come closer. Do business on Snapdeal, home to over 4 crore customers.)
This was also followed by a series of entrepreneur stories who have built their dreams with Snapdeal. The three minute video is the story of R. K Verma, Founder at Prasad Toys Pvt. Ltd who is fulfilling digital growth for his 30-year-old offline business.