Snapdeal offering wide range of technology products and plans to evolve into a technology company

The platform, according to a senior executive of the company, will be open to the e-commerce ecosystem, including brands.

Snapdeal offering wide range of technology products and plans to evolve into a technology company

NEW DELHI: Snapdeal, India’s largest online marketplace, is building its big data platform, as the New Delhi-based firm looks to evolve from an e-commerce venture into a technology company, offering a suite of products and services.

The platform, according to a senior executive of the company, will be open to the e-commerce ecosystem, including, brands, market research companies, banks and technology ventures, to provide deeper insights into the Indian consumer behaviour, and help them formulate brand strategies as well as develop technologies, relating to apps, payment gateways and logistics.

“We have close to 25 million users, and we want to make their shopping experience relevant. We have so much information, so how do we make it relevant to people outside the company?” said Ankit Khanna, senior vice president – Product Management, Snapdeal.

The development comes at a time when e-commerce, which still counts for only about 1% of India’s $500 billion retail sector, is however growing at a rapid pace, driven by a combination of larger mobile penetration, affordable devices and a wealthier middle-class.

A number of global brands, such as Motorola and Diesel, have, in recent times, launched their products exclusively on India’s premier e-commerce companies, such as Flipkart and Snapdeal, as an increasing number of shoppers log in to purchase products, ranging from books and electronics to apparel and apartments.

“The basic idea is to what kind of insights can we draw from the data? We can help them to build products, price them appropriately, find out preferences of people shopping in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. the possibilities are endless,” said Khanna.

The company, which will not be making formal launch of the platform, plans to roll it out by the end of the current fiscal.

Snapdeal, which recently crossed a billion dollars in gross merchandise sales, caters to more than 50,000 sellers, and sees daily visits of up to 9 million.

Cross-town rival Flipkart, too, works with its sellers providing them with information relating to market trends.

“This kind of prior market intelligence helps them position their products accordingly and provides them with higher chances of success,” a Flipkart spokesperson said in reply to a email questionnaire sent by ET. The company did not specify if it plans on creating a separate big data platform, and open it up to outsiders.

Snapdeal’s Khanna, however, specifies that the data provided will not be the master or transactional data. It will be canned, filtered and aggregated before it is made available.

“We will not be exposing the absolute data, but only the insights,” he said.

The strategy loosely follows that of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which uses big data to assist its small-loan business determine whether customers that use its sales platform are a good credit risk.

In August, Snapdeal launched Capital Assist,, an initiative aimed at providing sellers on its platform access to funding, as they look to expand their businesses.

“There can be collaborations beyond this. The idea is that big data is just the starting point,” Khanna.

Original Source: Economictimes Indiatimes

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