In order to help offline merchants opt for cashless transactions and bolster their overall growth, e-commerce major ShopClues has launched a bouquet of services under its Business Edge initiative.
Of many services, one such initiative that will allow brick-and-mortar retailers and consumers a hassle-free cashless transaction is 'Reach'. It is an easy-to-set-up payment gateway that demands neither of the transacting parties (retailers and consumers) to download the application and can be used for payments of all scales and sizes.
The SMS-based three-step payment mechanism eliminates the intermediary digital wallet by directly transferring the payment to the beneficiary’s bank account at an introductory rate of 0 per cent TDR on transactions. The facility is available for both ShopClues-affiliated merchants as well as offline merchants who are not associated with the platform at a cost effective introductory rate of INR 99 per month.
The company which generates 70 per cent of its orders from tier 2, 3 and 4 cities, currently has over 5 lakh merchants and 2.5 crore consumers registered on its platform. Out of this 5 lakh merchants, 3 lakh (approximately 60 per cent) are from tier II and III cities, while 40 per cent of these (2 lakh) have offline stores as well.With the launch of these technology services, the company is not only helping merchants overcome the current cash crunch post demonetization of higher denomination but is also looking to serve its big picture goals of enabling SMEs to digitise their businesses so that they can participate in the India's internet revolution.
"We started a pilot of reach even before demonetization happened and the response was phenomenal. We already have about 10, 000 retailers using our reach services and the intent is to get to almost to 1 lakh merchants by the end of financial year," CEO and Co-Founder, ShopClues, Sanjay Sethi said.
Apart from Reach, the Business Edge initiative is categorized under three buckets, namely, ‘Grow Your Business’, ‘Build Your Identity’, and ‘Manage Your Operations’. The three buckets offer the ShopClues’ retailers an array of premium services like the ‘Sales Booster’, ‘Capital Wings’, and ‘AdZone’, which retailers can individually subscribe to as per their business requirements.
The charges vary according to the type of services and the company offer assistance in terms of training and education to enable merchants to better navigate these services.
The company which aims to turn profitable by mid-2017 is also looking at earning an additional non-transactional revenue from these technology services and improve merchant stickiness on its platform.
"The current contribution of the non-transactional revenue in the total revenue is about 10 per cent and with the addition of all these services, in the next 18-24 month, we expect our non-transactional revenue to go up to 30 per cent of our overall revenue," Sethi said in response to an Indiaretailing Bureau query.
"Since these services are a high gross margin business, it might not add too much to the top line but it will add very significantly to our bottom line. Moreover, it will decrease the merchant's churn on our platform and make retaining them easier for us in the long-run," he added.