Snapdeal Takes The Rural Route To Beat Rivals
Snapdeal is set to tap into the rural market in India as part of its ongoing battle to oust rivals such as Flipkart and Amazon India in the e-commerce space. The company has just announced its new partnership with FINO PayTech, one of india’s largest alternate delivery channel. Its business and banking technology platform combined with extensive services delivery channel through which they enable end-to-end customer sourcing and servicing.
The e-commerce company plans to set up as many as 5,000 e-commerce kiosks across 70,000 rural areas in India. Some of the locations that provide assisted ecommerce service include Dharavi (Asia’s Largest Slum), Varanasi, Valsad (Gujarat) Urban Villages of Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Jaipur.
These kiosks will include PCs and tablets for people to go online and shop, and will also act as collection points for packages. A FINO agent at the kiosk will login and help people shop for products across a wide range of categories including speakers, juicers, solar lanterns, diner sets, cameras and mobile phones among others. Snapdeal Co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl believes that by tapping into the rural market, the company will be able to reach around 5-10 crore new customers in the next three years.
“Technology and innovation lie at the heart of Snapdeal and with this initiative we are taking yet another step to revolutionize the e-commerce landscape of India. By leveraging Snapdeal’s nationwide distribution network and reach, we can now try and make a difference to our country, both on the demand and supply side,” he said adding that the companies now aim to provide innovative, yet simple ways to reach and service those end-consumers who are still not exposed to the benefits of online shopping. FINO will assist in sales, payments and delivery of ordered products to customers through its network.
Snapdeal has made headline recently for having raised $627 million from Japan-based Softbank. The company said that it would be using this investment to ramp up its supply chain and technology efforts. It will also increase its fulfillment centers to 30 cities.
Snapdeal isn’t the only company looking to tap into the Indian rural market. Amazon India is reported to be in talks with the government to improve the Indian Postal service, and also use to ramp up its delivery mechanism to within 24 hours anywhere within the country. Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal too recently said that the company was in talks with the government to provide better connectivity in rural areas, which would boost e-commerce in these areas.
The Indian e-commerce industry is sky-rocketing with Gartner saying that the market will touch $6 billion in 2015, a 70 percent increase over 2014 revenue of $3.5 billion. In the next five years, experts believe the market would be worth close to $70 billion.
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