Rise of Social Commerce Startups During Pandemic
Entrepreneur magazine|April 2021
In recent years, India has witnessed a massive spike in the usage of social commerce platforms like Meesho, Shop101, GlowRoad and Bulbul
Aditya Rangroo

India’s social commerce sector has seen an upsurge in recent times, especially last year 2020 which was gripped by the frequent lockdowns announced by the government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The rise of social commerce startups was inevitable given the fact that the country’s smartphone users’ base coupled with free data offerings has played a pivotal role in boosting the social commerce sector. In recent years beginning from 2018, the country has witnessed a massive spike in the usage of social commerce platforms like Meesho, Shop101, GlowRoad and Bulbul. Indeed, the traditional e-commerce industry has mainly been dominated by Flipkart and Amazon India, however, theses startups are setting the fresh wave of digital commerce majorly targeting the next 500 million netiziens in Ties 2 and Tier 3 cities. In fact, local social commerce startups in the country on-boarded more than 10 million resellers, and bagged $100 million in funding in the last 15 months, as per the industry statistics. Top VCs such as Accel Partners, SAIF Partners, Omidyar Network, Naspers, Sequoia Capital, Kalaari Capital, CDH China, Korea Investment Partners, Go-Ventures, and even Facebook led equity deals in the sector in 2019.

Pandemic Woes: Companies like redBus, Edelweiss, WhiteHat Jr have not only managed to continue doing business during this pandemic, but also break new grounds in their industry. Salesforce CRM has played an integral role. Know what it is. At the onset of COVID-19, especially during the lockdown, all e-commerce companies had to grapple with short-term halt in their business operations. Even subsequent opening up of essentials services only meant peak online demand to be met through limited manpower and operations resources.

Even supply chains of essentials were affected and even more so, in Tier 2-3 cities where there was a huge challenge in providing the basic necessities. Companies like ShopG took up this challenge by sourcing essentials from Tier-1 cities like Bangalore and delivering to smaller Tier 3 cities like Tumkur, Sira, Madhugiri, Kunigal etc, to address their household needs.

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