Its that time of the year again! With the festive season around the corner, every retailer — be it small or big — is gearing up to lure in customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt millions of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), who lost a major part of their business due to the various phases of lockdown at the beginning of the outbreak.
Dusting themselves off the ground, these MSMEs are now at the last stage of preparation ahead of the festive season sale. This year, in fact, businesses expect to recover their losses, driven by increased ecommerce sales.
Amidst this cut-throat competition due to the presence of big ecommerce players in the market, small businesses need strong and impactful marketing to scale up their business while reaching the right audience.
For this, small businesses would require branding units, merchandising designs like stickers, posters, personalised stamps, gift bags, etc., to gear up for the festive season. At the same time, with the new normal which has forced everyone to go digital, these businesses would also need a platform to reach out to a larger customer base.
Here are a few platforms that are helping small businesses to reach a larger audience.
Mumbai-based eJOHRI is an Indian omnichannel marketplace for fine jewellery, which provides a common platform for jewellers to market and showcase their products to a wide customer base in India and abroad via offline and online channels.
Co-founded by Shailen Mehta, Jignesh Mehta, and Jitandra Singh in 2015, eJohri envisions to empower jewellers and improve productivity and efficiency of the overall jewellery industry.
To simplify the process of product photography — an otherwise tedious process for retailers, which requires professional photographers — eJOHRI recently launched eJPHOTO, an app to click and upload high-definition jewellery pictures. This way, it helps jewellers to market their products themselves, and position it as a business USP.
Apart from this, it enables customers to choose from a wide range of 30k+ certified jewellery products, from over 200+ jewellers and 300+ stores spread across more than 130 cities pan-India.
The platform, which is addressing the complexities and challenges of online jewellery commerce, claims to witness 10 lakh monthly visitors on its marketplace.
Vistaprint, a global ecommerce platform, was launched in Mumbai in 2012. The custom printing services startup empowers millions of small businesses and individuals to market themselves professionally by providing a wide range of quality products that can be customised.
Vistaprint India has significantly scaled up its product offering in the last three years by launching new categories, including pens, stamps, folders, canvas prints, branded apparel, and masks. It has also introduced more offerings within its existing products like visiting cards, t-shirts, signage, and marketing materials, among others.
The startup claims that its customisation process is fast and easy, allowing small businesses to either choose an appropriate design from a wide range of design templates or upload their own design. Vistaprint has a large customer base of SMBs, who have adapted its easy online customisation solutions.
B2B online marketplace TradeIndia is providing a reliable platform to local buyers and sellers for identifying trustworthy business partners. Started in 1996 by Bikky Khosla in New Delhi, the platform today has 5.5 million registered users.
TradeIndia has also upgraded its mobile app in six vernacular languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Telugu, Marathi, and Odia, making it an ideal forum for businesses from across India. Through the app, businesses can interact with each other to operate smoothly, securely, and effectively.
As the shift from offline to online accelerated amidst the pandemic, TradeIndia’s client relations team has been helping SMBs with the required tools to digitise their business operations and make them future-ready.
ANS Commerce is a full-stack ecommerce enabler, launched in 2017 by Vibhor Sahare, Amit Monga, Nakul Singh, and Sushant Puri. The startup helps brands sell on the brand store (their own website), as well as on marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, etc.
Equipped with end-to-end ecommerce solutions, ANS Commerce is also helping small brands like kirana stores and retailers, who don’t have an online presence and are keen to make the most of the festive season, to set up their online presence amidst the pandemic.
Providing a unique full-stack platform that includes brand store tech, performance marketing, marketplace management, and warehousing, it covers all the ecommerce needs of brands who can scale their online sales through these services. It has a customer base of 90+ SMBs, who have adapted its easy online customisation solutions.
“This festive season will be crucial for small businesses, and they are making ecommerce central to their approach. Brands are adopting tech and improving catalogue, selection, offers, and processes to make the most of the impending consumer spends,” said Vibhor Sahare, CEO and Co-founder, ANS Commerce.
Aimed at young entrepreneurs and SMBs, Singapore-based technology startup Shopmatic services include integrating payment and delivery systems, managing selling channels, adapting to evolving technology, and digital devices.
Founded in 2014 by Anurag Avula, Yen Ti Lim, and Kris Chen, Shopmatic provides a code-free interface so that anyone can build their preferred store by using 60+ free store designs. Moreover, the platform provides linkages with Amazon and eBay so that clients can sell on those platforms as well.
Recently, it partnered with Singapore-based retail management solutions startup Octopus to disrupt the retail market in the Asia-Pacific region, with a suite of services to address the pain points of offline businesses in going online.
”Since a lot of users are shifting focus to online shopping, keeping the safety and social distancing norms in mind, it is imperative for local retailers to consider the offline to online transition with immediate effect. Digital visibility not only helps secure new customers but also offers the ease of conducting business across geographies.
“Since the pandemic has resulted in no seasonal festive bazaars this year, it is more important for local retailers to explore the benefits of the ecommerce landscape. We have seen an upsurge in ecommerce adoption, and believe that the upcoming season will help fuel growth even further,” says Anurag Avula, Co-founder and CEO, Shopmatic.
Within five years, Shopmatic has built a customer base of over 5.7 lakh small and medium enterprises on its platform.
Edited by Suman Singh
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