Flipkart, an e-commerce market place is aiming to ramp up the number of categories of items for sale and connect with more vendors from different parts of the country. The company has set a target to have one lakh sellers hawking their products on its portal.
This year, handloom, home and local artifacts will emerge as prominent categories. They are confident that they will see more sellers from these categories to join them and reach out to a wider range of customers nationally, Flipkart Senior Vice president (market place) Ankit Nagori said.
Flipkart is also looking to make a headway into small towns such as Kundli, Tirupur, Panipat, and Pondicherry to source sellers.
Flipkart has tied up with government bodies such as the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises, Directorate General of Employment & Training and Development Commissioner for Handlooms to enable more artisans to explore the online platform and boost their topline and bottomline. Flipkart also offers support to sellers in the form of training programmes and working capital.
Talking about West Bengal, Nagori said that it is well-known for its unique range of home dÃ©cor, handloom, and clothing and handicraft products. With thousands of local artisans/entrepreneurs in this region, Flipkartâ€™s primary focus will be to educate and empower these sellers, and help them understand the benefits of selling to the customer directly via the online platform. They see huge potential for sellers from this region and as this is one of their key markets, it is important that they support and nurture them. With a current seller base of over 3000 sellers from this region, they expect this number to double in the year 2015.
The company plans to have several focused seller engagement initiatives in the state. Among the products sold by sellers within eastern region, apparels, jewellery and leather products see a majority of demand - almost 60 per cent - by Indian customers. While the market demand for other categories like home dÃ©cor, furnishing and handicraft products is estimated to grow by 30 - 40 per cent in 2015.
The company, which ships around 80 lakh items per month, has 30,000 active sellers of which 10 per cent are from Bengal. Flipkart is also planning to have more vendors from Siliguri and Durgapur in West Bengal.
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