Leading e-tailers like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are turning to the country’s 47 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to host a unique assortment of products on their online stores. They are providing specialised training, logistics, infrastructure and technology support to these SMEs to enrich their product selection in categories like apparel, jewellery, handicrafts, fashion accessories and leather goods. Flipkart plans to on-board 50,000 SMEs in the next two years while Snapdeal is inching close to the 100,000-seller mark, a majority of them SMEs. Amazon already has 10,000 sellers on its platform, many of whom are small units.
“We see ourselves as an enabling company for the over 1,000 businesses built on Snapdeal who do more than Rs 1 crore in annual sales. Before we came in, small businesses saw the internet as a threat but that’s changed,” said Rohit Bansal, Co-founder, Snapdeal. The company has already tied up with the Karnataka government to help the state’s SMEs sell online.
Besides, Amazon has tied up with the Federation of Indian Export Organisation, Manufacturers Association of Information Technology, Trade India, and Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts to identify SME clusters and to popularise the benefits of selling online.
Such tie-ups are helping SMEs gain access to an otherwise elusive market and an association with the likes of Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal leading to prominence and confidence among their consumers. It also helps them cut through intermediaries like wholesalers and retailers, thus streamlining payment processes. On the other hand, it helps e-commerce companies by letting them offer a large selection of products.
This is a win-win situation for both the parties as it helps e-commerce companies by letting them offer a large selection of products and the SMEs by giving them customer reach.