My products has been luckily part of sales at most of the online channels. At my own i.e simbacart.com, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, eBay, Shop clues and handful of more budding in the market.
I am not going to point out any brand in my article though it must have been more fruitful otherwise. No offence ! So I am going to share my general experience.
The marketplace model is when product selling at e-commerce site are provided by multiple third parties, whereas monetary or logistics transactions are processed by the marketplace operator.The marketplace model is very much similar to drop-shipping , the only difference is that marketplace involves the suppliers branding themselves to the consumer during the purchasing experience, while a drop-shipping platform involves the eCommerce retailer branding the supplier’s products as their own. If the consumer cannot identify the supplier’s brand, it’s generally a drop-ship model.
Focus of eCom: It is quite obvious and clear that nowdays eCommerce is focused on two major things : 1- The count of potential customers 2- The count of potential sellers. All their advertisements are very much around these two figures. The brands are giving their best shots in terms of digital marketing to pull the target audience to their portal and this has been done by all. The re marketing funda is a magic, infact !
My question is again ! Whatever India starts new , before any profit to masses it turns to a business! The rich becomes richer , the poor becomes poorer.
What is positive ?
Its positive that online channels are giving platform to the small retailers to sell their products at a larger platform. A person from a mid town can display its product to lacs of potential buyers. The next positive thing is the eCommerce looks a big shopping e mall , where count of products is near to limitless.
The real challenge is for the mid sellers , who aspire to sell online. Here I am not talking about the big giants , who buy products in bulk from china in thousands and lacs of quantity and no matters out of those lacs if thousands they have to dump. I am talking about the common seller. With hope of daily sales of 5-10 products or sale of few hundreds , he has to go through the long and tedious processes at online channels, which includes preparation of catalogs , the photography , the photo editing , he has to keep stock separate for online channels. There is big big competition for sellers too online , the two kinds of sellers win at online channels - The low priced or The seller who keeps variety i.e hundreds of products.
For every task which is required to make seller online at eCommerce , the industry started with new businesses in-spite of helping sellers or supporting them. There are companies who started with multiple channels at one place , the companies who makes catalog excel , who do photography , edit pics for a cost and their target market is the mid sellers who aspire for some more profit in their business. The worst part is when your money get stuck in online channels for days , they also offer money lending services at a particular interest.
Dont take the credit that the eCommerce is supporting small sellers. eCommerce carry such policies that its difficult to swallow for a normal seller. Just to make live 100 products , either seller needs a new staff at his end or he needs separate time for it.Coordination all over call is hectic. Separate inventory is must , otherwise eCommerce gets a chance to fine the seller , even if he never earned a single rupee.
The panels themselves needs loads of improvements , the financial reconciliations are poor infact. Its just like we are not ready but still launched our systems with heavy bucks in our pockets. The ultimate sufferer are the sellers.
To many departments sellers do not have direct access. The stories keep on running on mails and the seller has multiple other tasks too in his offline work and the story ends " We did not get any response from you , we have closed the issue at our end" and the story restarts.
There is need to invest a bit at the seller end too rather than creating many new businesses wherever seller lacks some knowledge. The big giants can definately bring big revolution if they focus a bit on uplifting the sellers - of course the genuine sellers!! Just in case of customers - eCommerce need to turn up every stone to retain sellers too!
At Simbacart , we have tried our level best to give comfort to sellers in terms of registering with us. No cost for listing products , our separate prepare catalogs , we click and edit images for them. We know they are a startup like me in terms of selling through online channels , We are not charging them for cancellations. We are focused to target mid sellers , who never registered at any online channel , We are trying to Uplift!