Evolution in E-commerce: Impressing Modi with Chai Carts

Times of India reports that with Paytm and Shopclues posing serious competition to the established order of Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal, the current e-commerce race is not only about acquiring customers, but also chasing sellers to list on their platforms.  The stated goals are ambitious — Flipkart and Amazon aim to more than double their merchant numbers to 1 lakh sellers by the end of the year. Snapdeal is hungry to onboard 10 lakh sellers in three years—a target Paytm's five-month-old marketplace aims to reach in two years.

"The game is evolving from just being about acquiring merchants to staying relevant and meaningful continually for these sellers," said Vishal Chadha, senior vice president, market development at Snapdeal. "It is not difficult to get new sellers on board as of now as long as your brand proposition and promise is absolutely clear."  Just as customers are not loyal to specific e-commerce sites, nor are sellers who are hungry to garner as much business as possible, and hence list on multiple platforms at once.

This only antes up the competition between e-commerce platforms to vie for sellers' attention. To lure them, online marketplaces are running a variety of initiatives, such as exclusive fulfilment and warehousing facilities and Amazon's Chai Cart programme that seeks to spread awareness among local small entrepreneurs and sellers in small cities and towns.
Amazon trying to impress Narendra Modi with its Chai Cart. E-commerce is evolving so fast that even recent players such as Flipkart are not immune from competition of newer startups. The rate of digital disruption is speeding up.


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