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Snapdeal, now bringing shopping to the small screen

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MUMBAI: Looking at the growth of e-commerce sector in India, shopping at a click of a button seems to be the favourite pastime of the millions in the country.

To make the most of it, e-retailer Snapdeal has gone a step further and formed a 50:50 joint venture with Den Networks to extend its reach to television home shopping audiences.

The entities are together setting up a TV channel, which will be used as a marketplace platform for facilitating the sale of branded and unbranded merchandise and services, including vouchers offered by third-party sellers on Snapdeal.

A source from Snapdeal says, “Snapdeal is not only trying to provide for consumers in the metros but also for people in tier II tier III cities and beyond. The current retail environment doesn’t cater to the smaller cities.”

“Digital marketing can really bring a lot of depth in our plans and communications when it comes to top few tier cities but when you really want to go deep down in community, to the next round of cities, television is a medium to choose. Digital is definitely going up and providing great reserves, but television still remains one of the primary mediums,” the source adds.

Snapdeal, which currently has over 30,000 vendors on its platform, will get direct access to millions of households in one go through this collaboration.

Based out of Delhi, Den Networks reaches an estimated 13 million households in over 200 cities across 13 states in the country.

Speaking about the reason behind its association with Den Networks, the source states, “They are the best partners for us in terms of ideation, speed of moving ahead and also the kind of household that they had, so all of that fell in place perfectly for us.”

A separate team is taking care of the channel, which will be headquartered in Delhi. The channel will have full-fledged distribution across the country in the coming six to seven months, adds the source.

After raising $12 million in its first round of funding in January 2011, the company has so far raised $340 million from PE firms. Started in February 2010 by Kunal Bahl along with Rohit Bansal, the company witnessed phenomenal growth in 2013-14, growing 600 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies in India.

Snapdeal’s rival HomeShop18.com, part owned by media major Network18, has a combined reach of over 250 million consumers coming through its integrated television, internet and mobile device channels.

HomeShop18 recently filed its prospectus to raise a total of $75 million through a listing on the New York Stock Exchange including an offer for sale by some shareholders such as its CEO and parent Network18.

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