With India’s ecommerce market aiming to touch $220 Bn by 2025, benefitting from this – the online housewive resellers are going to touch 21-23 Mn by 2022 says a latest Zinnov report.
The majority of ecommerce market in India is been dominated by large ecommerce players like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon. However, slowly and steadily, a new niche of ‘online resellers’ has started emerging from the almost invisible segment of our society – the women homemakers.
As per a recent report released by Bengaluru-based consulting firm Zinnov, 2 Mn women homemakers across the country registered $9 Bn gross sales by selling apparels and lifestyle products adding to the online resellers community in the country.
The report also stated that online resellers space has been projected to grow to $48 Bn-$60 Bn by 2022. The number of online housewive resellers will increase from the current 2 Mn to 21-23 Mn by 2022. Also, the market share of online resellers is expected to rise from the current 1.2% of the Indian retail market to 5.4%.
Online Reseller Market: Key Findings From The Zinnov Report
- Overall, clothing is the most sold category (60-65%); while accessories come second (28-32%) and home decor third (5-10%).
- More than 60% housewife resellers sell Indian ethnic wear as their core product including – salwar suits, kurtis, dupattas (34-38%); lehengas and bridal wear (10-14%), sarees & blouses (48-52%).
- In accessories, jewellery is the most sought-after category (45-50%) while handbags, watches, sunglasses (35-40%), and footwear (14-18%) come later.
- More than 60% of the housewife resellers hail from Tier II/ Tier III cities.
- Facebook adoption is marginally more than WhatsApp.
Online ReSellers: An Emerging Concept In Ecommerce
The ‘Online Reseller’ is a relatively new term and can be described as a group of sellers comprising of Housewives, ex-SMEs, college students, unemployed males, etc. The Zinnov report focussed exclusively on women homemakers, with an aim to show the shift and a new trend the Indian women are bringing to the platform.
Although, there exist ecommerce SaaS platforms like Shopify, Zepo, Martjack and more, the typical housewives in our country, cannot afford even the minimum fees requirements to start with their own. Plus, these resellers work with typically low volumes and putting up an entire website may not be a feasible option for them.
Platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook form an ideal destination for these players just like for any other ecommerce player, giving them the ease and flexibility of doing business anytime, anywhere. A typical sales cycle followed by an ecommerce retailer looks like this:
Talking about payments, as per the Zinnov report, online resellers do not prefer cash-on-delivery (CoD) as the preferred payment mode. Therefore, while earlier the tradition online payment methods like net banking, NEFT, etc were popular, a surge has been seen in the adoption of newer models like that of digital wallets such as Paytm, Freecharge, and Mobikwik – just like in the case of ecommerce.
Distribution Of Indian Resellers: By Product Category And Location
As per the report, 68%-72% of the resellers selling clothing contribute more than 72% of the total commerce volume. Here, Jaipur has emerged as a destination to source jewellery and other accessory products, while Surat is the prime hub to source clothing.
Furthermore, it has been identified that 40%-50% of the online women resellers in Tier I cities contribute more than 50% of the total commerce volume. While the sellers in Tier I cities capitalise on rising technology and greater adoption of social media tools, the Tier II/ Tier III sellers bear an edge on the supply chain as the majority of manufacturing hubs are present in these cities.
Moreover, a key finding also states that monthly commerce volume for emergent resellers is over three times the same for new resellers across product categories – indicating the opportunity to create a stable and scalable business in the long run.
Opportunities, Roadblocks For Resellers: Key Findings From The Zinnov Report
The online resellers are presently capitalising on the personalisation, trust, and unique products being offered to the consumers.
With Facebook, WhatsApp being the most dominant social media portals in the country, the ease to directly chat with the sellers, getting instant advice and feedback from loved ones and the convenience of shopping just by looking at a post on Facebook or WhatsApp message – offers a lot of options for the buyers.
However, as with every coin, there is a darker side too. With no return-exchange mechanism in place, no CoD and, at times, poor sales service – leads to a drop in the purchases.
While these online women resellers are playing a pivotal role in flourishing nicely within the overall ecommerce and online retail segment, a few startups are also working in a similar direction. For instance, Bengaluru-based Meesho offers an app which helps merchants to manage their ecommerce businesses on WhatsApp and Facebook. Businesses can create an online shop, share on WhatsApp and Facebook. They can keep customers updated with new products, get new customers leads in real-time and collect payments over chat. Meesho presently claims to have over 1,000 small business availing its app services.
Also, there is another startup Jumper.ai, wherein a consumer can make purchases on social media channels using hashtags. For instance, on Facebook, one just needs to put “#displayed product name” in the comments section.
As stated by Meesho founder Vidit Aatrey to ET, “We are not looking for revenues from this set of sellers. The fact that such a market has been created already with 2 Mn active resellers shows the potential of the opportunity, The total market for women resellers is expected to grow at 40%-50%, annually, for the next five years. This means it would be over 5% of India’s total retail market.”
As the Zinnov report suggests, without building any website or an app, these Indian women homemakers are generating billion-dollar revenues using ecommerce. In the coming years, the sector offers a huge opportunity with the increased adoption of AI, data analytics and Machine learning in our lives. But till then, the need of the hour is to make the bumpy road of Indian online resellers smooth, thereby removing the roadblocks of patchy after sales service, or no CoD (in a country that is largely cash-dominant) among other issues, at a rapid pace.