While its competitors are making acquisitions, Snapdeal is now planning to strengthen its logistics, and has thus opened six logistics hubs, according to The Economic Times.
The company plans to launch 3 centres in the Delhi-NCR region and one each in Lucknow, Hyderabad and Kolkata. This step is to ensure that the e-commerce firm strengthens its warehousing and delivery process, especially before the festive season.
The new centres will have an added advantage. The warehouses, which have in total 1 million sq ft of warehousing space, are designed such that there will be an integration in warehousing, quality control and transportation. This means that all the processes, including receipt of stocks, quality inspection, preparation for dispatch and return handling, will be done at the same place, thus easing things for the sellers.
Currently, the firm ships 80 percent of its orders through its fulfilment centres.
The upcoming centres will be owned by Vulcan Express, a fully owned subsidiary of Alibaba-backed Snapdeal. Altogether, Vulcan Express now owns 10 warehouses based out of Chennai, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, among others. In total, Snapdeal will now have more than 69 warehouses across the country, including the ones owned by third-party logistics partners.
In 2015, Snapdeal took the hyperlocal route and launched ‘Snapdeal Instant’ to allow delivery of packages to customers within an hour of placing the order. Snapdeal also launched four-hour delivery, card-on-delivery, and 90-minutes reverse pickups in the same year.
Here is a look at the logistics landscape for the e-commerce companies in 2016,
Snapdeal's new step comes at a time when the e-commerce fashion industry has witnessed a major acquisition. When the speculators were guessing at who would be the final contender for the acquisition of Jabong, the Aditya Birla Group (which owns the ABOF fashion portal) and Snapdeal were the popular choices; however, Flipkart-owned Myntra acquired the fashion marketplace, which has strengthened its position in the ambivalent online space.
In order to ramp up, especially in the fashion business, major initiatives from Snapdeal are needed at this juncture. The company must ensure that it stays on par with its competitors.