Social media giant Facebook will kick off testing business-to-consumer transactions on its marketplace in few weeks.
Facebook, which is also eyeing a bigger pie of India growing e-commerce market, plans to build tools (on its marketplace) for businesses to upload products and manage inventory and orders, and will also add payments to it, said ET report quoting persons aware of the development.
Importantly, it also plans to soft launch the programme by June.
Marketplace, which is already up and running in reportedly 35 countries, was piloted in November last year in Mumbai.
The Quikr-Olx kind of platform lists various sellers across categories such as electronics, entertainment, housing, vehicles and five others. It also lets buyers use filters such as price and distance in a particular city. At that time, Facebook mentioned that Indian users are primarily buying and selling jewellery and accessories, household goods, electronics and apparels on the platform.
Karandeep Anand, director- product management of Facebook had said that the platform charges no fees to buyers or sellers and aims to make it easy for users to trade mostly secondhand goods.
India is a home to around 270 million Facebook users.
Given that people in India spend significant time on the social network and they already leverage various groups on Facebook to buy and sell used goods. Facebook Marketplace is slated to give stiff competition to incumbents like Olx and Quikr.
According to Forrester Research, India’s online retail sector is expected to grow to $27 billion this year after registering sales worth $19.6 billion in 2017.
Besides e-commerce, rising digital payment space has turned out to be a fledgling battleground for global and local companies including Google and the Mark Zuckerberg led company.
The social media giant had launched a beta version of messenger where select users can recharge mobile phones and other prepaid services including DTH and broadband amongst others. It will offer peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant payments.
Meanwhile, Facebook-owned instant messenger platform WhatsApp UPI payment is currently under beta testing and soon to be opened for its 250 million user base. It’s expected to disrupt the UPI-powered payment ecosystem when it would get open for all.