Snapdeal.com, India’s online marketplace, has introduced a new platform – ‘Launchpad’ for innovators and inventors across the country to showcase products on the website. The platform will help entrepreneurs and startups market and reach their products to nearly 25 million Snapdeal users in over 5,000 cities and towns.
Products will be put through an internal screening on a variety of parameters including innovation and marketability.
“With the introduction of this new platform, we aim to bring forth the creativity of individuals and smaller groups of innovators whose products address the needs of end consumers, but don’t have access to nationwide distribution. We look forward to receiving submissions of out-of-the-box products, which will help consumers address needs that they do not even realize exist,” said Kunal Bahl, Co-Founder & CEO, Snapdeal.com.
It has followed the Wal-Mart’s direct distribution model where small traders can also sell their products nation-wide alongside the giants.
To enter, innovators need to develop a working prototype, which will be screened initially by the Snapdeal team. All eligible entries will be listed on Snapdeal, from where customers can purchase the products. Winners will be chosen through public voting.
The winning innovation will be highlighted across all channels including media and online promotions. Snapdeal Launchpad’s endeavour is to empower innovators by eliminating the requirement for scouting distributors in specific geographical regions, heavy capital investments, high marketing costs and unsold inventory.
The Indian e-commerce space is buzzing with all the players trying to grab the consumer’s attention through innovative offerings. In a marketplace model, it is important to educate small traders on sending emails, clicking and uploading a picture as well as warehousing and inventory management. Many e-commerce players have started providing digital literacy to get more merchants online like Amazon that has set up a small business accelerator across cities and eBay, which organises webinars every week on how to sell online.
For the record, eBay, earlier this year, lead a new US$133.77 million round of funding in Snapdeal, raising its stake in the company. eBay had initially invested US$50 million in Snapdeal in 2013.