Indian offline retailers are joining hands to launch their own e-commerce portal “Bharatemarket”


Indian offline retailers are joining hands to launch their own e-commerce portal “Bharatemarket” to take on rival e-commerce stores like Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal. The platform aims to help offline retail sellers to sell their products online without having a middleman.

They have already taken the domain name and the website should be live in the coming weeks. They promise to enroll around 1 crore retailers on the platform in the coming months. Initially, the pilot program will be launched in cities like Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, and Bengaluru. With time, it will be rolled out to more cities.

“The portal is a byproduct of experiences gained by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) while working with DPIIT to ensure supply of essential goods in containment zones during the periods of lockdown,” said Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, CAIT.

The business model of this e-commerce portal will be similar to how Reliance aims to operate its JioMart. Sellers will not be charged any commission for selling through this portal. The website is likely to be developed by the Indian government. So, it will be interesting to see how it will manage to compete against rivals.

This move was long expected after e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon started giving preferences to their partners and sellers. Back in December 2018, Indian govern int announced the policy that prohibits e-commerce platforms from any preferential treatment to any supplier. The government has also limited any single vendor revenue on any e-commerce platform up to 25%. But e-commerce stores always find loopholes.

Offline retail sellers find it really hard to compete against e-commerce stores because of an aggressive pricing. If they decide to sell online, the high commission deducted by the e-commerce giants makes it hard to earn the profit.

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