This startup is enabling online shopping in small towns just like in the metros

The metro cities enjoy the luxury of sitting at home and buying things online. While most of the online sellers claim to reach all customers across the country, there is certainly a big gap that keeps people from smaller towns aloof from the trend. The result is a major loss for online sellers who lose out on the customers who prefer buying from physical stores. Last financial year, Ken Research has reported, only eight metro cities have generated major sale online besides 3,133 Tier II and Tier III cities including 1,233 rural hubs. This is a clear indication of the potential that smaller towns posses when it comes to online sales. But then there is something that is keeping these places remote from the major sellers.

Bengaluru based tech start up SHOPX intends to shift this ecommerce dominance from just a small percentage to the overall retail pie, the Indian mass market. The basic aim of SHOPX is to enable every town in India to shop online.

In an exclusive chat with Business Insider Amit Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder of ShopX, said how the market dynamics in smaller towns work.

What made them come up with the idea?

Research indicates that the middle-income mass market in India is not comfortable speaking in English and majority of them are not comfortable shopping online. The general population of Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns, will consider the suggestions of their kirana store owner before making a purchase. Trust and comfort are two factors that affect buying decisions. Technology and the ‘human touch’ becomes a solution to this problem- small retailer can become the point of contact not just for purchase but also for delivery of products.

Since its inception in 2015, SHOPX has grown in reach, distribution, and engagement with retailers across 10 states and 220+ towns in Tier 1, 2, and 3 cities across India. Over the years, SHOPX has grown with 45,000+ retailers across South and West India.

Due to the increasing demand of premium brands in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns, SHOPX has consolidated a wide range of products in various categories, such as FMCG, mobile phones and accessories. One such example is the launch of iPhones on the technology platform in January 2017. They sold more than 300 units of iPhones, out of which 70 percent of the shipment is iPhone 5s.

SHOPX is backed by strategic investor, Nandan Nilekani and mentors including Jagdish Kini [ex- CEO, Airtel (South Region), Managing Director, Gillette India], and Pramod Varma [former Chief Architect, UIDAI Aadhar Project, CTO Sterling Commerce.]

The SHOPX app is disrupting the traditional retail ecosystem with a differential approach. It enables the retailer to offer a better experience to their consumers. The benefits for the retailer are low investment, zero stocking, and increase in income opportunities. SHOPX enables retailers to earn 30-40 percent more than the traditional retail model.

SHOPX offers various digital services like mobile and DTH recharge, bus and flight booking, utility bill payments, SHOPX Suvidha (lending service only for SHOPX distributors) along with a wide range (more than 50,000) of physical products in categories like FMCG, mobile phone and accessories, fashion etc.

Localise Last Mile Delivery

We have launched last mile delivery (the last leg of the logistics cycle where parcels are delivered to the end customers) to address the challenges of scaling up logistics and supply chain. Instead of relying on national logistics providers (who tend to be expensive and often slow in last mile), ShopX does its last mile delivery through its local partners. This allows faster speed, lower cost, and more reliable delivery. While there is a stiff competition from market players like Just Buy Live, StoreKing, SnapBizz and Amazon Udaan Sharma is quite confident of the game.


Consumers can access the SHOPX app at 45,000 retail outlets who have partnered with us. More than 50,000 products are available on the SHOPX platform along with various digital services like mobile and DTH recharge, and travel ticket booking. We have easy order and return policies to provide consumers and retailers a hassle-free shopping experience.

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