“The year 2016 will be a defining year for ecommerce in India with regards to SMEs. We foresee thousands of them getting online to leverage the growth of India’s flourishing digital economy,” had affirmed Rohit Kulkarni, Senior Manager – New initiatives, Amazon India while speaking to Indian Online Seller.
It is indeed going to be a year of SMEs if we look at the seller initiatives launched by ecommerce leaders.
Flipkart and Amazon both launched a similar seller service on the same day. Both services, Flipkart Spotlist and Amazon Tatkal will enable small and medium businesses across India to open their online store within few hours. While there are many seller initiatives by online marketplaces that have helped thousands of SMEs to come online, Spotlist and Tatkal are unique merchant programs.
‘Tatkal’ is synonymous with instant railway ticket booking in India. Now Amazon is going to let merchants sell online instantly with this tatkal seller service.
Amazon Tatkal van will travel to nooks & corners of India starting from Delhi, interact with enterprisers, artisans, manufacturers & merchants and assist them to sell online in real-time. The pilot project was launched in Jalandhar and Ludhiana a month back.
Amazon India’s Director and GM – Seller Services, Gopal Pillai revealed, “Amazon Tatkal is a vehicle which will help register sellers with us in 60 minutes. Any seller can walk in to get their products photographed and catalogued.”
Some features of Amazon Tatkal are:
- Specially designed studio-on-wheels with registration, cataloguing, listing & photography service
- Basic seller training mechanisms will be provided
- The service is free of charge as of now
Just like Amazon, under this project Flipkart will hit the road in Spotlist-branded vans/bikes with its cataloguing & listing crew in tow to sign-up sellers. The company executives will list down the products and finish product shoot on the spot as the vehicles are equipped with cataloguing tools, cameras, half-mannequins, photo-boxes and other essentials.
Reports suggest that the initiative has already been implemented in 5 cities since November last year. But the announcement of nationwide launch of Spotlist came only now, mere few hours after Amazon’s Tatkal launch.
Speaking about the service, Flipkart said, “It will give instant access to list their products on Flipkart in a timely and professional manner. Spotlist enables sellers to avail these processes conveniently on their premises. It aims to provide sellers with infrastructure and training that are vital to improving their visibility and competitiveness on Flipkart’s e-commerce platform. Spotlist enables sellers to catalogue their selection in the shortest possible time.”
So far over 1000 sellers from cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune have used this service by Flipkart.
Small sellers get attention
The objective of both the initiatives Spotlist and Tatkal is essentially the same, i.e. reaching out to as many SMEs as possible and assisting them to sell online on their platform instantly. It’ll be interesting to watch how it pans out ultimately. What’s great though is that small sellers are getting plenty of attention.
Online sellers, what’s your opinion about this service? Do let us know through your comments.