How e-Commerce Giants like Flipkart are Helping Small Traders Dream Big & Write Their Success Stories
Apart from digital payments, the evolution of tech-led innovations like hyper-local logistics, mass customer engagements and digital advertisements have enabled the e-commerce industry to grow speedily and enable sellers to grow their business at a fast pace.
For medium and small enterprises with a brick and mortar presence to a successful online transformation, e-commerce has changed the fate of many sellers in eastern India. Business has gone beyond geographical boundaries with e-commerce giant Flipkart being the first to change the way people looked at shopping online in the country.
Digital solutions like credit and debit card payments and Paytm have also helped people gain confidence to consider these as viable and secure options. Apart from digital payments, the evolution of technology-led innovations such as hyper-local logistics, mass customer engagements and digital advertisements have enabled the e-commerce industry to grow speedily and thereby, enable sellers to grow their business at a fast pace.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman’s announcement in the Union Budget about the government’s vision to spread internet connectivity across every panchayat in the country would further boost the sector. At present, over 2 crore Indians are digitally literate, Sitharaman said.
Besides, digital payments have come as a shot in the arm for e-commerce companies looking to make inroads into more rural and Indian households. Sops, including no merchant discount rates or charges on customers for digital payments for businesses with a turnover of Rs 50 crore, will further encourage merchants and customers to prefer e-payments.
In fact, many small traders have wrapped up their offline sales mode after e-commerce translated into a higher revenue earning model.
For example, Kolkata-based Balkrishna Lakhotia who started his kidswear brand, Beekay Enterprises, in 2015, went online with Flipkart two years later. The initial hesitation from being just an online shopper to becoming an online seller translated into a success story for Lakhotia.
“I was familiar with the benefits of shopping online. Flipkart changed my business completely. I went from having 35-40 orders a day to currently catering to more than 300 orders daily. The volume and demand became so much that I put all my focus into the online business. I enjoyed understanding the online process which has led me to shut down my offline business to operate solely on Flipkart,” he said.
In a bid to realise their dreams, Lakhotia advises every trader to try the online mode of reaching out to thousands of households across the country.
Another case in point is Mohammad Sabeeluddin and his cousin Rameezuddin of Dolphamiles who took their 30-year-old family business online in 2014 with Flipkart.
From being just a footwear brand, online selling helped them expand to starting a clothing line, as well. The idea was to build the business so that their footwear products could reach every household. Today, Dolphinmiles receives orders from all regions.
“We did not want to invest too much in developing our own website and hence, tried Flipkart. From being a small company, we have become one of the biggest sellers on Flipkart in the whole of eastern India. The work is very rewarding, being able to help shoppers all across India, while sitting in Kolkata. This venture is a dream come true for us,” said Sabeeluddin.
For these sellers, it is no longer just about expanding their business, but also about enjoying the thrill that online selling gives them. Sabeeluddin’s message to other young sellers looking to establish themselves with a strong foothold is that they should opt for online selling.
“It is not an easy field and one might witness a few failures. But face them like a challenge which can be overcome with hard work and confidence of building a brand online,” he added.
Flipkart looks at small sellers and brands as the backbone of the Indian retail landscape. According to a spokesperson, with over 1 lakh sellers in more than 80 categories, offering over 80 million products, this e-commerce marketplace plays a key role in bridging the gap between sellers and customers.
As the e-commerce sector continues to develop, these medium and small enterprises will play a crucial role in powering the growth of Indian retail. For sellers from far-flung areas in the country wanting to reach every household, e-commerce is the way forward.
The eastern region is extremely important, both in terms of seller and customer bases, the Flipkart spokesperson said. The e-commerce giant aims to bring more Indians online in the near future.
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