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Festive season : Many online sellers are not happy

Update On :14 September 2016

Festive season : Many online sellers are not happy

Diwali has come closer and online sellers are preparing for the same but it is not going to be like previous years as a lot has changed in the back-end of e-commerce platforms over the past year which created a great impact on them. While large sellers have been able to absorb the impact, the sentiment among other sellers has taken a hit and many are not very upbeat about the upcoming discount period.

The most significant development since the last festive season was the new policy by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in April, which curtails e-commerce platforms from influencing prices and limits sales from one entity to 25%. Marketplaces have been grooming alpha-sellers to take on a large ake on a large chunk of the business as a consequence. 

Sellers had to adjust to recent changes in commission structure across platforms like Flipkart, Amazon India as well as in rules related to shipping and packaging and return policies on some sites. Sellers say the changes have shot up their costs, resulting in a cautious Diwali.

Sanjay Thakur, spokesperson of eSeller Suraksha, a group of online sellers said that costs have increased from the range of 2% on higher GMV categories to as much as 20% on low GMV items. There may not be steep discounts this time, but it is not likely to affect sales as consumers have realised there is a change when it comes to online shopping.

According to a spokesperson of All India Online Vendors' Association (AIOVA), many of the members are not likely to increase inventory drastically this festive season. Many will increase stock by just 10%, since there is scepticism if there will be a major spike in sales during the festive season, especially among the smaller sellers. 

E-commerce players are likely to focus more on the bigger sellers to meet most of their orders. Industry observers say there has been a clear consolidation of sellers across categories where a few sellers have been selling more.

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