The consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce which is still at a very nascent stage in India is evolving and a growing number of C2C start-ups are trying to provide a technological platform to the resellers with an intention to organise the space.
The C2C e-commerce market in India is currently pegged at around $9 billion and expected to record a CAGR of 60-70% by 2022, according to research and consultancy firm Zinnov.
The C2C model of e-commerce is a business model where customers can trade with each other. In this, one customer purchases goods from another customer using a third party platform to facilitate the deal. C2C websites and platforms make their money from fees charged to sellers for listing items for sale.
Online reselling being spearheaded by housewives and other unemployed people, using platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp and has a presence of two million resellers. This volume is set to grow 6x by 2022 with the number of resellers rising to around 23 million.
Vishesh Khurana, co-founder, Kraftly, a C2C e-commerce lifestyle platform tells FE, “Homepreneurs and resellers needed a platform as previously they had to go sell their crafts and creations in exhibitions. There was no channel to help them showcase and sell their products, which is why we decided to give them a platform where there is no documentation, entry barriers, rules or regulations.”
“We said, let the market decide and gave them a mobile app through which they could take a picture of the product and upload them. Tier 2 cities dominate because they can source better curated lifestyle and home decor products which are made by creative people for home solutions,” Khurana says.
According to Zinnov, apparel still occupies the top position among product categories with 68-70% resellers selling clothing products which contributes more than 72% of the total commerce volume. Also, one out of every 10 resellers are selling home decor products.
Currently, the tier 2 and 3 cities are doing better than the tier 1 cities as they have most of the manufacturing hubs, making it easier for resellers to tie-up with suppliers and offer more product options. With these towns experiencing improved net connectivity and affordable smartphones there is an increase in the online reselling business with 60% of them being from smaller towns.
Shekhar Sahu, Advisor at Bengaluru based C2C e-commerce marketplace LocalQueen explains that C2C is one-to-one selling with no middleman being involved. “If a businessman in Jaipur wants to expand his business in south India he will come to the south directly to find partners here. So they need to build a local distribution, but if there is a platform which can give him an option like a network of distributors who are primarily resellers he would prefer that. This is how C2C is currently evolving in India as a network of distributors.”
According to Sahu, e-commerce is becoming more and more conversational and C2C is all about conversational commerce.The C2C e-commerce market is expected to reach a size of $48-60 billion by 2022 and it would constitute 5.4% share of the Indian retail market.