Social Media Giant, Facebook is eyeing to enter a larger piece of country’s e-commerce market which is currently gearing up a faceoff between world’s largest retailers and arch-rivals Flipkart and Amazon.
The company is ongoing talks with several businesses and brands to list on Facebook Marketplace. As per the sources are to be believed, it will begin testing business to customer transactions on the marketplace this month ahead of the soft launch tentatively titled to happen in June.
A person familiar with the matter said: “Facebook will build more tools (on its marketplace) for businesses to upload products and manage inventory and orders, and will also add payments to it by the end of this year.”
The Facebook marketplace was announced in India six months ago as a consumer to consumer interface which unfortunately received a lukewarm response to its attempt at creating a domestic advertising platform that could compete with startups such as Quikr and OLX. To make things sure, Facebook has even confirmed that it is testing ways to feature content from shops on its marketplace.
A senior company official stated,
We came up with Marketplace in India last November, and since then we have been continuously learning and evolving the experience to meet people’s needs. We’ll continue to explore new ways to help these communities connect through commerce.
Forrester Research has estimated a growth of $27 billion this year in India’s retail sector which has registered a sales worth $19.6 billion in 2017. While, Walmart too has acquired 75% stake in India’s largest online marketplace, Flipkart, Amazon has committed to invest $5 billion in its India operations.
Meanwhile, Google too is gearing up to tap country’s domestic market after recently investing in Dunzo, a Bengaluru-based personal concierge app and e-commerce company Fynd.
Market Analysts believe that it will take some time for customers to realise that Facebook also as an ecommerce platform.
An Industry executive requesting anonymity said, “Facebook Marketplace is going to compete with Flipkart and Amazon because all of them are ultimately fighting for the same customer. But, it is a good news for sellers and brands because it adds another distribution channel for them.”
The Facebook marketplace is currently available in 70 countries and has more than 800 million people visiting each month to buy and sell goods.