Snapdeal has doubled the number of sellers to three lakhs in one year and is on track to meet its target of five-lakh sellers by the end of 2016, a senior executive said.
The marketplace has been adding sellers at a quick pace, riding on a $200-million (Rs 1,320 crore) investment earmarked for three years to strengthen the ecommerce firm's supply-chain capabilities. The race for the largest seller base has seen Indian marketplaces battle it out on the field through outreach programmes, technology innovation for sellers and working capital assistance, among other benefits.
The marketplace expects as many as 10,000 sellers on its platform to post sales of at least Rs 1 crore each, he added. Recent definition of marketplace and guidelines issued by the government are against large merchants dominating the marketplace.
"The cost of seller acquisition has come down by almost 50 per cent since last year. The new sellers onboarded are largely in the unstructured category of general merchandise or home and fashion," said Vishal Chadha, senior VP of market development.
"The government has chosen to bless the marketplace model with some safeguards that the marketplace should not act like the retailer," said Vivek Gupta, partner at BMR Advisors. In this scenario, it pays to diversify the seller-base on the marketplace. Pure-play marketplace models are banking on unstructured categories to bulk up the seller base.