Amongst the very few dot com companies that survived the dot com bust of beginning of the last decade was Bazee.com. This was basically an online marketplace where buyers and sellers could meet and transact and pay a percentage of the transaction as the facilitation charges. Ebay.com which is the US based second largest E-Commerce company in the world (Amazon.com is the biggest!!) took over baazee.com and renamed and re-launched it as EBay.in
For many years after its Indian Foray, ebay.in was the undisputed leader. There was hardly an VC funding happening and entrepreneurship in E-commerce and dot com field was to the minimum with the memories of the previous dot com bust and subsequent carnage still fresh in memories of the most. However with economies looking up, exponential growth of internet using population and internet penetration thanks to internet on mobile changed the scenario completely. While there were many companies already in the field like homeshop18.com, rediffshopping.com, indiatimes shopping portal, none of them were really serious and failed to take off. Then came flipkart.com, a company founded by two friends who started their online business selling books from Bangalore. When they achieved substantial goodwill and name in the field, they decided to cash it in by diversifying into almost all of IT and electronics products. Their years of hard work eventually paid them off when they received VC funding valuing their company @ Rs 1000 crore rupees. Close on the heels were many others like letsbuy.com but the above deal simply galvanised the entire B2C field and made the E-commerce segment a red hot one. Soon there were many of them. Some of the notable ones being babyoye.com, firstcry.com, indiacod.com, Bestylish.com, Myntra.com, TImtara.com, greendust.com, Yebhi.com, Sosasta.com. To be fair to a few of them, they do have a great potential and differentiating factors but a large number of them are ME-Too ones which are bound to fall by the way side or will get sold into the bigger ones. In fact many of them actually hope to encash their websites and all the efforts are mainly diverted to that end. This is not a good trend and will eventually lead to distress sale or simple make them vanish, the way many did in the previous bust. Those of you of that era will not forget websites like khuljasimsim.com, saasbahu.com, bidorbuy.com, eindia.com amongst others.
Finally Ebay.in had an equal and deserving competitor. However it seemed that they took the competition too lightly and did not react in good time. Only when they saw their business truly and significantly shifting to other websites, particularly flipkart.com that they woke up and tried to push things but making the terms harder for the sellers to provide a better buying experience. The move however is likely to backlash since a large number of sellers now are angry and desperate and will shift loyalty at the first available opportunity which is most likely going to emerge with the entry of Amazon.com to India.
Flipkart.com in the meanwhile continues to increase its market share nibbling away the business of almost all the e-commerce websites. Though the entire pie of the market grew substantially, the % increase of the market share has been at the cost of the others. The company is likely to emerge as the largest E-commerce B2C Website of India overtaking Ebay.in unless the leader does something drastic to protect its turf