Indian Housewives generate $9 bn sales through Whatsapp, FB

meesho

With the growing internet and retail market, Indian housewives are increasingly using social media like Facebook and Whatsapp to take advantage of the e-commerce rise and reach customers. As many as 2 million online women resellers are doing business of various lifestyle and clothing products on these platforms, says a report by consulting firm Zinnov in possession with Entrackr.

These housewives are clocking business worth about $8-9 billion in gross sales, which is projected to grow to anywhere between $48-60 billion in size by 2022.

Online housewife resellers are married women using social sites Facebook and Whatsapp for reselling business. Lifestyle products include home decor and accessories like handbag, jewellery and foot wear.

Resellers sale the products by sharing the picture of products on social media platform like Facebook, Whatsapp. If a customer likes the product, resellers place the order. When the sales is closed, resellers use multi-channel payment methods and prefer mobile wallet solution like Paytm or Mobikwik over conventional payment methods
in order to provide a better experience, making the transaction process simpler and transparent. The re-sellers, make 15-20% of order value as commission for selling these products.

Almost 68%-72% of resellers selling clothing products contribute more than 72 % of the total commerce volume, whereas 30-32 % resellers in accessories contribute 18-20 % of the total commerce volume. 40-50 % of online women resellers in tier I cities contribute more than 50-60% of the total commerce volume. Tier II cities also
contribute 40% of total commerce volume.

Adoption of FB is marginally 46 % more than Whatsapp 44% by new online housewife resellers. Primarily, because FB allows access to bigger customer pool, resulting in more viewers for a post, in compare to Whatsapp.

Zinnov, in its study, did a combination of primary and secondary research to collect insights towards the scope of the engagement. It also interview 10 housewife customers of resellers to understand their likes, dislikes, purchase pattern from reseller.

The study was done in collaboration with Meesho, a Y Combinator startup, which offers tools to such women to help them start their businesses through WhatsApp and Facebook. Entrackr tried to reach Meesho for their response, but calls remained unanswered.

What Meesho does?

Meesho mainly creates online pages for merchants which can be managed from its mobile app. Sellers can share these links on Facebook and WhatsApp with customers. The customers can browse through the product collection and chat with the sellers. The sellers get real­time updates of the shop visitors and the products they are
visiting. They can start a chat on WhatsApp with these customers right from the app.

Earlier in 2016, it had raised an an angel round from Kashyap Deorah, co-founder of HyperTrack and author of The Golden Tap, Rajul Garg, founder of Global Logic and Maninder Gulati, chief strategy officer of Oyo Rooms. It has utilized fund in marketing and enhancing technology. It currently works with over 1,000 merchants.

SMBs in India

Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) is not a small market in the country. India has almost 5 crore registered small businesses. At present, merely 2 percent (10 lakh) of them are online, selling through social site Facebook and messaging app WhatsApp. This offers big opportunity for anyone entering the space to tap the potential
merchants.

Companies catering to SMBs are Shopo, launched by struggling marketplace Snapdeal and KartRocket.

However, unlike Meesho which leverages more of social media, KartRocket provides companies web and mobile-phone sites, payments and logistics capabilities and marketing and promotion tools. Online retail is expected to increase to $48-60 billion by 2020 from $4.47 billion in 2014, according to a report by UBS.

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