Amid acquisition of Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart by Walmart, Facebook is eyeing a larger piece of the country’s fast-growing ecommerce market where the world’s largest e-tailer Amazon is already betting with huge capital infused in its Indian business.
According to a report by Economic Times, the social networking giant is in talks with several brands and businesses in India to list on Facebook Marketplace. It will begin testing business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions on the marketplace this month ahead of a soft launch planned for June.
The report further said that, Facebook will build more tools on its marketplace for businesses to upload products and manage inventory and orders, and it will also add payments to it by the end of this by the end of this year. For now, Facebook will start with directing consumers to sellers’ (Facebook) pages or websites.
Launched in October 2016, Facebook Marketplace is a flagship platform by Facebook to sell items on the social network platform.
To recall, In India, Facebook launched its marketplace as a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) interface in November 2017. The social network however received a very cold response to its attempt at creating a domestic C2C marketplace, competing with other C2C marketplace startups such as Quikr and OLX.
Facebook Marketplace is available in 70 countries and has more than 800 million people visiting each month to buy and sell goods.
E-commerce industry of India is estimated to grow at 60 percent to about $28.5 billion in terms of gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2018, according to a report by Redseer. While, according to Morgan Stanley estimates, the Indian e-commerce market will be worth $200 billion by 2026.
While Walmart is already close to acquire a majority share in Flipkart and Amazon and has promised to invest more money in its India operations to compete with new competitors. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, may also invest $1-2 billion in Flipkart if the Walmart deal goes through.
Alibaba-backed Paytm had also come up with its own e-commerce arm called ‘Paytm Mall’. Launched in 2016, PayTM Mall is also giving a quite a good competition to these e-commerce giants, replacing Snapdeal as the third largest player after Flipkart and Amazon India. Just last month, PayTM Mall raised close to Rs 3,000 crore in a financing round led by Japan’s SoftBank along with participation from existing PayTM investor Alibaba.
Facebook Marketplace, along with Flipkart, Amazon and PayTM, will be in cut-throat competition with each other because of the very fact that all of them are ultimately fighting for the same customers. But for sellers and brands, these different platforms will give different distribution channel for them to sell their products, which is a good thing.
According to the Forrester’s report called “the Indian Online Retail Market”, H1 2017, India is the fastest-growing online retail market in the world. As per the report, e-commerce sales in India will reach $64 billion by 2021, growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.2%.