E-retailer ShopClues forays into wholesale


For the first time in India, an online retail venture has forayed into exclusive online wholesale retail business.

ShopClues.com, which has investment from venture capital firms such as Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, plans to launch wholesale trade in categories such as fashion and home goods, health and beauty, auto accessories and electronics.

Sanjay Sethi, co-founder and chief executive officer of ShopClues, told Financial Chronicle the company wanted to set up an online platform since retailers were already buying from them.

“We have already registered for this online business. We will provide services to retailers such as credit ad buyback of products,” said Sethi.

The company said wholesale prices on the site are around three per cent lower than retail for mobile phones and other electronic goods.

Industry experts say the foray into wholesale will help ShopClues compete with bigger players such as Flipkart and Jabong. “This is a good step towards getting into organised wholesale retail business. This would help them form relationships with the retailers,” said Jagdeep Kapoor, chairman and managing director of Samsika Marketing Consultants.

In India, sites like IndiaMart list wholesale traders on their sites but do not allow transactions online.

For online wholesale business, merchants can buy products in bulk. The retailers would have to place at least ten orders per product. “We might launch an independent site in future.

The pricing will also be based on different order volumes for the same product,” added Sethi.

According to Harish Bijoor, CEO of Harish Bijoor Consultancy, “Most e-commerce businesses in our country are business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses.” Business-to-business (B2B) enterprises have excellent opportunity at a time when literally everything will move into the Internet,’’ he said.

ShopClues.com is aiming at Rs 350 crore this fiscal year and Rs 1,200 crore next fiscal.

With a rich catalogue and a merchant base of over 32,000 merchants, ShopClues hopes to get good traction on wholesale too just as they do in their B2C business.

Nearly 15 per cent of its sales on the site are in the form of bulk orders which are over 10 orders per product.