(This is a sponsored post)
India is a nation of unorganized markets and small merchants and sellers. E-commerce has arrived and made its presence felt but small merchants still hold an overwhelming presence and that is not likely to change. Only 10% of the population in India still buys online and the number is going up. But over time, we’re seeing more and more of a convergence. It is not online v/s offline, it is not e-commerce giants v/s the small merchants.
Technology is coming in to organize sectors and it’s likely to be beneficial for both parties. The top 5 e-commerce players in India have SMBs high on their agenda and they’re pushing hard to bring everyone online. Most recently, Flipkart, India’s largest online marketplace, announced the launch of one of its largest campaign for sellers--‘Apne Sapne Jee Kar Dekho’. The campaign aims at educating entrepreneurs/manufacturers/SMEs about the advantages of getting their business online.
Paytm which is mobile focused commerce platform has tied up with Capital Float to provide easy access to business loans. The association will help the 50,000 sellers enlisted on the platform to fulfill their working capital requirements conveniently and at cost-effective rates. The partnership will also contribute to Paytm’s overall objective of onboarding a total of one-lakh merchants on its marketplace by the end of 2015 and help them in scaling their business.
For e-commerce companies, the agenda is to get more merchants on their platform but for the small merchant, the aim is to increase sales. And online is a great avenue for this. Apart from listing on the platforms, the first step for a merchant would be to register a .COM domain name and get a website. The following steps can be followed:
- Brainstorm your name!
- Pick the right top level domain
- Select a registrar
Nitin Purswani, founder of Zepo, says, “SMEs in India contribute more than 60% to the Indian GDP while their spending on IT is less than 30% of India’s total IT spending. So the numbers clearly suggest where we stand in terms of digital literacy amongst small businesses.” The point is that although there is exponential rise in the penetration of internet, the advancement is a little slower in the rate of adoption of internet technology by SMEs. And the small enterprises will need to change with the changing times to stay relevant.
MySmartPrice is another interesting startup which bridges the online-offline chasm and has raised $10 million in Series B round of funding led by Accel Partners with participation from Helion Venture Partners. The funding will allow the company to expand its hyper local shopping services to over 50 cities across the country, enable over 100,000 local retail stores reach their customers online.
“We are building an omnichannel platform which will facilitate users to search, decide and buy any product from any store, whether online or offline. Our vision is also to enable millions of small retailers and entrepreneurs to improve their businesses by truly digitising them,” says Sulakshan Kumar, Co-founder & CEO, MySmartPrice.
All these developments clearly suggest how aggressively forces are moving to get more and more merchants online. Even Google is targeting to bring 20 million SMBs online in next 2-3 years. Nitin of Zepo adds, “You see, for any business not going online is not a choice anymore, unless scaling is not in its roadmap.”
If you are manufacturer, dealer, seller, etc. and still weighing your options about getting online, the time is right now. And it is important to get the domain right. As per this Forbes article, recent study by Searchmetrics found only 11% of the web is actually visible. They analyzed over 100,000 domain names, and 75% go back to .com, which are by far the most visible TLD in a keyword search.
There are a lot of avenues to market your product and all you need to do to get your own website is to book a .com domain and get cracking!..
Register your .com at www.gobigwith.com
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- World Wide Web
- online marketplace
- Electronic commerce
- Helion Venture Partners
- Small and medium enterprises
- ecommerce players