Snapdeal today launched a new app called Shopo, a zero-commission marketplace which lets sellers register for free and interact with buyers via chat messages.
The Shopo app, which is available on Android and iOS, a buying-selling app, but different from Olx and Quickr (online market places that help buyers and sellers meet) or even Snapdeal which is a large e-commerce platform. The Shopo app is a mobile-only platform, which the company says is aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs) who can’t register on bigger e-commerce portals.
According to Snapdeal, Shopo will serve as a chat-based app which will allow these SMB sellers to connect with buyers and fulfill a niche shopping need.The market place model is non-commission model and all logistics of delivery, rates, timing of delivery, offers will be handled by the seller and not Snapdeal.
Snapdeal cofounder Kunal Bahl said that the idea was to help those small businesses which are unable to get onto e-commerce portals because of the hassles involved.
“India has over many SMBs and not all of them are online. As mobile becomes one of the key drivers of buying/selling in the country, we want to create a platform for these SMBs to help take their business online and we wanted to make sure that they could it in a hassle-free way,” he said at the launch of Shopo.
He added that Snapdeal hopes to see over 1 million online ‘shops’ on the Shopo app by the end of the year.
Bahl pointed out that for a lot of the SMBs registering online could be a tedious process and that many were too small to pay commissions. With Shopo, the sellers will get directly in touch with the buyers and thus bring their business to more consumers.
“So much e-commerce is happening on WhatsApp already in India to give an example. Our aim with Shopo is to formalise that e-commerce that has anyway started happening,” pointed out Bahl.
The Shopo app will let a buyer and seller chat with each other, a buyer can make a bid on the price as well and a seller has the option of rejecting or accepting the bid. Once a sale is confirmed, delivery point has to be decided between the seller and buyer themselves and the app allows both parties to share location, contact number as well. The app’s categories are ‘hand-picked’ by the Shopo team and buyers can also rate sellers.
When asked how Snapdeal would ensure that sellers who deliver sub-standard products are kept out, the company’s execs said that sellers with lower ratings would get pushed further down.
“We will have a system of checks and balances,” said Bahl though he did not elaborate on how the company would deal with sellers who didn’t live up to promises. “Legal systems will be in place. However, legal accountability will rest with the seller,” he added.
On questions over revenue model with Shopo, the company said for now it was a no-commission app and that they were focusing on the service and product.