Snapdeal's C2C marketplace Shopo, which was launched in July 2015, is planning to come up with a monetisation model in the next quarter, Sandeep Komaravelly, senior vice-president at Shopo, told reporters at a press briefing.
"We are looking at advertising on the platform to generate revenues," he said.
There are around 50 million small and medium businesses in India, but only 5 lakh businesses are selling online. Shopo is trying to address this opportunity by creating a platform where it is easy for shop owners to set up their shop. Many home-based entrepreneurs and small sellers are not able to sell online on large marketplaces due to complexities and higher commissions. However, Shopo is an open platform with no need for registration. One can set up a shop and start selling in less than a minute," Komaravelly said.
The zero-commission marketplace claims to have nearly 200,000 sellers with over 5 million product listings on its platform as of June 2016. Shopo—a chat-based platform which is targeted at small sellers—enables merchants to directly chat with prospective customers and close transaction either online or offline by agreeing on a mutually convenient mode of delivery.
Moreover, in order to expand its reach, Shopo—which was earlier an app-based platform—has also launched its website.
The platform has further integrated FreeCharge as a payment option to ensure seamless transaction for sellers and buyers. Shopo has integrated FreeCharge wallet on its app which offers escrow protection for buyers and sellers transacting on Shopo. Buyers' money will be held in an escrow account and the money will be released to the seller only after the ordered item is delivered to the buyer.
Shopo does not provide logistics, but gives references to sellers on the kinds of logistics partners they can use. According to the company, 43% of its sellers are from metro and tier I cities and 57% are from tier 2 and 3 cities. Around 50% orders come from metro, 20% from tier I cities and the rest from tier 2 and 3 cities. Currently, fashion accessories and jewellery are top selling categories on the platform.
Shopo—which sees cross pollination of sellers between parent firm Snapdeal and itself—is eyeing to have 1 million sellers on its platform by March 2017, and even looking to outpace Snapdeal in terms of the number of sellers soon. In September last year, Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl said the e-commerce marketplace will invest $100 million in the zero commission platform, which it acquired in 2013 and re-launched in July last year. Shopo is inspired by Alibaba's Taobao model.
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