Ahead of the festive season, e-commerce firm Snapdeal said it has opened 130 new distribution hubs since January 2021 across all of India, covering 26 states and two union territories. It added that most of these hubs are in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh. In addition, Snapdeal has augmented its logistics network in Jammu & Kashmir and in the North-East.
The network expansion is serving the growing demand for online shopping from smaller cities such as Baramulla (J&K), Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Khammam (Telangana), Alwar (Rajasthan), Sambalpur (Odisha), Tumkur (Karnataka), Latur (Maharashtra), Dimapur (Nagaland) and is designed to speed up deliveries for customers in these cities and in surrounding areas.
The expanded network is also designed to cater to the surge in demand that is typical of the festive season starting in India from early October.
“The new hubs are located in areas where there is either growing buyer demand or higher seller concentration. The new facilities are designed towards rapid pick-ups from sellers and faster deliveries to buyers”, a Snapdeal spokesperson said. “The network expansion will also reduce the distance that some of our shipments travel by helping fulfill some of the demand from within the region”, the spokesperson added
With the addition of these new hubs, Snapdeal now serves over 26,000 pin codes, reaching over 90 per cent of Indians across India, including metros, Tier 1 and 2 cities, and most of Tier 3 and 4 towns of India.
The growing importance of online consumers from India’s smaller cities in driving India’s e-commerce growth was highlighted in a recent report by global consulting firm Kearney. The report shared that aspiring & mass households earning less than Rs 10 lakh per annum account for nearly 70 per cent of India’s non-food, value-driven retail demand. However, this segment today accounts for only 16 per cent of value e-commerce demand. This is expected to grow to 38 per cent by 2026 and to nearly 50 per cent of value e-commerce demand by 2030.
Growing internet adoption and whittling away of resistance towards online shopping during the pandemic is driving online adoption in this segment. The Gen-Z users in India’s smaller cities are digitally savvy. The joining of millennials as independent shoppers is expected to accelerate the growth of value e-commerce in India.
The rise of value-conscious shoppers, especially beyond the bigger cities in India is expected to be one of the key drivers of value e-commerce growth in India, the Kearney report added.