Reliance Industries Joining the E-Commerce Bandwagon with 1.5 Lakh Vendors

Ecommerce marketplace in India is growing at the pace of almost replacing the real ones. The growth of eCommerce has been such that offline vendors are feeling real pinch. Even though eCommerce still accounts for a small percentage of overall retail sales, it’s growth rate in higher double digits is in multiples of their offline counterparts.

Now Reliance Industries, one of the biggest private conglomerates in India has announced that they are joining the eCommerce bandwagon by the end of this fiscal year and plans to enroll over 150,000 small and medium sized vendors on its platform.

With Reliance entering the fray, competition for incumbents like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal is going to intensify further.

According to a ET report, the platform will be geared towards electronic products, and is ready for deployment.

Many a times, e-portals boast of having many sellers, however, not all of them are active. So it gets difficult to figure out the number of sellers as some offer multiple products. The number which is stated by Reliance is too good to be true.

RIL’s plan for having 150,000 sellers by end of this year is quite aggressive – In comparison, Amazon has 50,000 sellers after 2 years in operation, while Snapdeal is said to have 200,000 sellers after 3 years of opening up the marketplace for sellers.

Officials told analysts on Friday that Reliance will also start to sell groceries online, for which it has put in place infrastructure, including fulfilment centres.

What’s different at Reliance’s venture is that at the very beginning its coming out with a lot of things ranging from electronics to grocery, which its competitors took time to bring up. It is also bringing in international brands from countries such as Singapore, Australia, Russia, Switzerland, China and Turkey on board.

Not all e-tailers have been successful, like Future Group, Shoppers Stop and others, but those who have, for them, there has been no looking back (though profitability still remains distant for most). Reliance has a variety of stores offline, spread differently under names like Reliance Trends, Mart, Digital and so on. To have these on a common platform will be a good deal for the brand loyalists.

Interestingly, Tata is too taking charge to make an entry into this sector soon and is putting in investment. A February report by The Boston Consulting Group and the Retailers Association of India estimated that the size of India’s ecommerce market (including travel and other services) would swell to $60-70 billion by 2019 from about $17 billion in 2014.

With that number, its not surprising why everyone wants to jump in the sector!

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