What has schooling got to do with retail? India's top e-retailers are running free 'universities'

August 18
8:46 PM 2015

Millions of retailers in India are starting to get the hang of selling products online, and the platforms where they offer their products are giving them free training on how to properly prepare and sell their products. Free "universities" are becoming a fast growing trend among India's top online retailers.

There are 200,000 merchants selling products in Shopclues, one of India's top online marketplaces. To make sure that these merchants are selling products properly, the owners of the site also launched a free educational system called Shopclues University.

Gurgaon-based ShopClues chief business officer Radhika Aggarwal, along with her co-founders, set up ShopClues and Shopclues University in 2011.

Some 40 percent of the merchants in this site have taken the video courses offered in Shopclues University, which teaches subject on how to properly create product catalogs, writing product descriptions, conducting photo shoots, marketing promotions, managing customer returns, and packaging their products.

Besides Shopclues, the rest of the big online retailers in India offer free online "universities" for their merchants. Other big online retailers in India that offers free education for their merchants are Amazon India, Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal, and more.

Aggarwal wants their sellers to be properly trained and guided to be efficient in the online selling platform. InGovern Research Services Founder Shriram Subramanian said the success of the marketplace is not just about the products, but more importantly, the quality of sellers. Flipkart Chief Business Officer Ankit Nagori said, teaching sellers how to sell their products and expand their reach to wider customers is very important.

Most of the courses offered in these free "universities" are under the scope of e-commerce 101. But there are a lot of merchants who graduate to higher forms of online marketing education. There are more advanced lessons that teach the students how to manage inventory online and how to bring offline customers online. Some of the merchants get what they learn and apply them. These merchants can be considered successful in e-commerce now.

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