eBay India released its Online Business Index yesterday and it has good tidings overall for online sellers and merchants in the country. The Index tracks the various aspects of the e-commerce business in the country, its growth, the optimism surrounding the business and some challenges that the business will face in the short term. The Index has been compiled by surveying 703 eBay India merchants who had an annual turnover ranging from $60,000 to $6.4 million. This survey was conducted in July, this year. Here are some of the important points to note in the report.
Types of merchants on the platform and what they sell:
There are mainly 2 types of online merchants – Domestic Entrepreneurs and Retail Exports Entrepreneurs
The domestic entrepreneur sells their good within the country. The Index reports that Mobiles, Gadget Accessories, Laptops & Tablets and Jewelry are the popular product categories among sellers of this type. Mobile occupies the largest part of the pie with a 35% share while Home decor comes in second with 28%. They are followed by Gadget Accessories (24%), Laptops (21%) and Jewelry (19%).
The retail exports entrepreneur sells more of Jewellery (48%) than anything else. Apparel is another significant product category with a 33% share. Other preferred categories include Collectibles (14%), Home Decor (13%) and Perfumes, Cosmetics & Health products (7%).
You can see the distribution in the infographic given below:
Confidence in E-commerce:
The Index also notes the confidence that has arisen in the e-commerce business with a majority of the Ebay India sellers (53%) having opted to only sell their goods online without investing in an offline shop.
There are some convincing reasons why a majority of eBay Sellers only want to sell on eBay India. They are depicted in the infographic below.
It is wise to not put all your eggs in one basket. With this in mind, many online sellers have decided to follow a multi-channel strategy which helps them to have a good mix of sales from different channels.
Domestic sellers report that a majority of sales come from Ebay India (38%), their offline shop (29%), other online marketplaces (14%), their own website (12%), Social Media (3%), Shopping comparison websites (2%) and mobile sites/apps (2%).
The trend is similar in retail exports sellers with Ebay India giving them the majority sales (44%) followed by Offline shop (27%), other online marketplaces (9%), own website (11%), social media (4%), shopping comparison websites (3%) and mobile sites/apps (2%).
Selling on multiple online marketplaces expands the reach of your customer base and will thus help you drive more sales and increase your profits.
Selling online is generally profitable for sellers because of the reduction in overhead costs as opposed to physical shopping. The reports depicts the profitability of Indian sellers, both the domestic and retails ones.
Selling on marketplaces like eBay India is the most profitable route followed by the other options depicted in the image above.
Growth of E-commerce:
As more people buy online, the growth rates in the e-commerce business is good for sellers. The domestic sellers are growing at a good rate with 36% of the domestic entrepreneurs reporting a 20% growth, 24% stating growth of 21-40%. A good 15% of the sellers have reported a growth rate above 100%
In the retail exports section, 36.1% sellers reported a 20% growth rate and 31.1% reported a growth of 21%-40%. However, only 1.8% of the sellers here reported 100% plus growth rate. This shows the growth boom happening in the domestic e-commerce market.
Generation of employment:
The report indicates that currently domestic entrepreneurs employ an average of 4.8 full time staff and 1.6 part time staff. This is projected to increase to 5.2 full time staff and 2.1 part time staff over the period of 1 year. The retail export entrepreneurs employ 5.3 full time staff and 2.2 part time staff which is projected to increase to 6.1 full time staff and 2.6 part time staff over the course of one year. Since, there is a general increase in sellers getting online, this means that on a national scale, the e-commerce business is giving rise to a significant amount of employment opportunities.
Excitement about Mobile Commerce:
Mobile is the future for e-commerce. Many domestic online sellers are excited about mobile commerce and a majority (59%) see it playing an important role in the year ahead.
Retail exports entrepreneurs have a similar opinion about mobility with 55% expecting it to play a big role soon.
The primary excitement for both kinds of sellers is the need to attract new customers and the improvement in Internet bandwidth and infrastructure.