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Small-town India big on Whatsapp e-commerce

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Bikayi, a homegrown Whatsapp integrated e-commerce startup, has released a report on how India shopped during the pandemic. The report revealed that in the period July – October 2020, 53 per cent of sales on the platform have come from tier 2 and tier 3 towns like Guwahati, Surat, Bahriach, Dhenkanal, indicating a preference for buying products over Whatsapp from local merchants in small-town India. Bikayi, a one-stop Whatsapp integrated e-commerce platform with a vision to empower merchants in India to run a sustainable business online, revealed that electronics (27 per cent of total sales) followed by grocery (25 per cent of sales) and food (12 per cent of sales) were the top bought categories. A product was bought on Bikayi every 4 sec.

The survey of 20.92 lakh customers revealed that while Kasaragod in Kerala was busy buying most electronics – top products being wireless Bluetooth earphones, Thane West was hoarding groceries – lemon and potato and Bhubaneswar was lapping up delicacies like Chicken Tikka and Mutton/Chicken Biryani. Interestingly, the sales increased 2.5 times in October 2020 as compared to July 2020.

Sonakshi Nathani, Co-Founder & CEO, Bikayi, said, “The pandemic has pushed the majority of local merchants and retailers to look at digital businesses. The trend has caught on more in smaller cities where transactions happen over WhatsApp. It is exciting to see how both merchants and consumers are choosing the platform, which is convenient and a part of our daily lives, to run a sustainable business and shop online respectively. In just the last four months, we have witnessed 53 per cent sales from small-town India and believe that this number is only going to increase in the coming months.”

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