Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Etailers reach out to Covid 19-hit offline sellers with tech solutions

Online grocery retailer Grofers is reaching out to offline traders and retailers, asking them to become a part of its network to avoid the disruptions of lockdown-like restriction.

E-commerce marketplaces are trying to get offline businesses to join their platform as restrictions on physical outlets across states due to the second Covid-19 wave are hurting such sellers.

Online grocery retailer Grofers is reaching out to offline traders and retailers, asking them to become a part of its network to avoid the disruptions of lockdown-like restrictions.

Through three programmes, the company is looking to grow its merchant base, bringing offline stores online and also partnering with entrepreneurs to open omnichannel retail stores.

“The team at Grofers is in a unique position to not only help local businesses adapt to the current situation but also be ready for a future which is going to be online and technology-led,” Albinder Dhindsa, Founder and CEO of Grofers, said.

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Each of these platforms is trying to woo merchants by promising them ecosystem benefits and technology to make them future-ready.

Grofers’s Market initiative to open an omni-channel retail store imparts training in point-of-sales handling, customer retention and data algorithms, which help in inventory planning.

Amazon India’s Local Shops, which launched in April last year, offers a ‘Prime Badge’ to an offline merchant on registration to improve discoverability in the store’s locality.

More than 50,000 offline retailers and stores from metros to tier-II and tier-III cities were part of the programme as of March 2021. Product categories span fresh flowers to home and kitchen goods.

Walmart-owned Flipkart also offers merchants “higher visibility” in nearby pin codes, as well as the benefits of its supply chain.

Social commerce platform Dealshare, which primarily relies on its army of WhatsApp groups and community influencers to sell household basics, is onboarding new local manufacturers across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

“In the current scenario, the need to support local businesses has become even more important. Our close association with state indigenous brands has also enabled end consumers to get access to quality products at a price point that is affordable to them,” said Sankar Bora, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Dealshare.

The startup is doubling down on bringing businesses online in towns with under 500,000 population.

“Through this, we are helping local businesses to be a part of the e-tailing landscape. Our plan is to onboard 1,000 franchises across 50 cities by December 2021,” Bora added.

Social commerce platform Meesho, which has ambitions to bring 100 million small businesses and entrepreneurs online, has initiatives in the pipeline to help sellers who have limited exposure to online selling. It is also designing strategies to drive higher conversions from offline sellers.

Reliance-owned JioMart’s online grocery delivery has made steady strides in onboarding corner stores (kiranas) in the past year.

JioMart service saw 3x growth in kirana partnerships and added 10 new cities to its existing 23 cities, according to regulatory filings.

The platform has scaled up its product offerings by 3x and onboarded 650 new brands and added 2,265 cities.

“The digital commerce business led by JioMart continued to scale up on portfolio, traffic and customer base, while new commerce continued to onboard merchant partners across consumption baskets with extended geographical coverage,” the company said in the BSE filing for the previous fiscal year.

Amazon India has announced fee waivers and refunds for existing merchants on its platform for May.

It is also taking steps to mitigate the negative impact on sellers’ performance metrics due to defaults caused by the pandemic and the resulting restrictions on seller accounts, Manish Tiwary, VP, Amazon India wrote in a blog post on May 1.

“Our number one priority right now is to help save lives and extend support to communities across the nation including our employees, sellers, delivery associates, other partners and their dependents in this time of crisis. We understand this situation is impacting small and medium businesses (SMBs) the most and we are taking a host of measures to help our sellers navigate the economic challenges caused by the pandemic,” Tiwary said.

SourceET Retail
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