How Indian smartphones and electronic accessories resellers are making their mark in the international market, thanks to eBay
In the present day, shopping is a cakewalk. There are numerous platforms that provide users with features that make shopping easier than ever. And while it is easy for customers to find whatever they are looking for, it hasn’t particularly been easy for sellers to become visible. The competition to become a trusted seller on e-commerce websites is fierce, and it takes a mammoth effort from sellers to make sure that they can make an impact on the market.
One such seller was Himodak Arora, who used to own a smartphone business with his brother in his hometown Zirakpur before he was introduced to an e-commerce website. Currently, Himodak is a million-dollar seller and his products are in demand in countries like the US, UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Having associated with numerous consumer electronic brands, he has a great inventory at his disposal.
Foray into the international market
While he was completing his studies in financial advisory, Himodak and his brother decided to start an offline smartphone business called One.Stop.Shoppee. Curious and ambitious by nature, Himodak wanted to try out new avenues to sell his products. Eventually, his friend, a seller on eBay, introduced him to the platform. Selling products through the e-commerce platform made Himodak realise that it would help him reach out to more customers on a bigger scale.
It was in 2015 that he started selling in the United States on eBay, and he quickly built up an impressive inventory. While he was initially dealing in limited brands for mobile phones and accessories, he started sourcing apt products eventually and started earning quarterly GMV sales of over $30,000. He started to realise that it was his product portfolio that hampered his sales performance and didn’t help his GMV sales progress over the years.
Once One.Stop.Shoppee came across the radar of the eBay team during their quarterly screening process, the team at the e-commerce platform helped Himodak understand the platform, and made him realise the potential of his products on the platform.
Apart from that, he was given insights into various brands and products that were in demand in the United States, Canada and Australia. This helped him decide what kind of products were needed to be sourced, and eventually, he added more than 250 variants of smartphones, laptops, and DSLRs to his inventory. According to eBay, smartwatches are one of the top-selling items in Himodak’s portfolio.
Finding the cheer of geo-expanding in the festive season
Come 2016, Himodak added limited brands to his portfolio and enjoyed usual business growth. This growth in FY2016-17 and FY2017-18 helped him set up a solid base for the upcoming fiscal years. In 2019, once he started adding more variants of electronics to his inventory, One.Stop.Shoppee rapidly penetrated into mobile and accessories brands for markets like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
In the Q4 festive season in 2019, Himodak geo-expanded to the markets in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. This helped him double his sales in the quarter as compared to other phases before. The COVID-19 pandemic failed to hamper One.Stop.Shoppee’s growth because of geo-expansion to the Germany (DE) and France, Italy and Spain (FRITES) markets in the third quarter of 2020.
While the geo-expansion was done as a business recovery plan for the COVID-19 lockdown, One.Stop.Shoppee quadrupled its growth in the third and fourth quarters of FY2020. This made him a top-rated seller and helped grow One.Stop.Shoppee into a million-dollar business. In 2021, Himodak forward-deployed his products in the US warehouses to gain a competitive edge over local sellers.
Himodak says that he is planning to help other eBay sellers by becoming a formal financial advisor with the help of his background in finance. With plans to work with the Forward Deployment Project Fulfilment by Bombino, he says he wants to assist upcoming sellers with their queries as they begin their journey on the e-commerce platform. He says, “Venturing into the digital business model would have been a tough challenge without the support and encouragement I have received from the eBay team. Whether it be the listing of new products or better features on my profile, the eBay team was there with me every step of the way, guiding me in the right direction.”
Just like Himodak, eBay has helped numerous other sellers make their mark on the international market. With the introduction of their campaign, ‘Sirf Local Nahi, International Seller’, the brand is capturing the unique stories of sellers who have overcome all adversities and proved that sky is the limit. It features stories of how local sellers moved beyond the boundaries of India to make the international markets their own with the help of the cross-border platform. The campaign has also helped in encouraging more local Indian sellers to thrive globally through stories of people who dared to dream and were helped by eBay to grow their businesses. To know how you can become an international seller, click here.
Commenting on the same, Pavan Ponnappa, Head of Categories & Marketing at eBay says, “The market opportunity for consumer electronics is huge. With the emphasis of the Government of India to boost electronics manufacturing through PLI and other schemes, the value of electronics manufacturing is targeted to reach $400bn (source) by 2025. We are convinced that this segment is well poised for growth, in fact, even during the pandemic, it witnessed robust demand from the international markets across eBay marketplaces”.
“We are extremely happy to be part of Himodak's journey. Our ‘Sirf Local Nahi, International Seller campaign’ is a way through which we want to encourage thousands of such Indian businesses to broaden their aspirational horizon and to adopt cross-border e-commerce as a channel to transform them into proud international businesses,” he adds.