The value lifestyle e-commerce market size is projected to increase from $7.4 billion in 2021 to $39.4 billion in 2026

After filling for its IPO in 2021, Snapdeal appointed Himanshu Chakrawarti as its President where he is leading various functions at Snapdeal to drive the company’s Bharat-focused, value commerce strategy and steer various growth-related and operational initiatives.

Before joining Snapdeal, Mr. Chakrawarti was the CEO of Arvind Lifestyle Brands’ value retail chain Unlimited Fashion where he looked after everything, from pricing strategy to guidance on designs.

India has been witnessing tremendous opportunity in the value fashion sector of Tier-II & III cities and towns, a consumer segment often defined as ‘Bharat’. But the nuances of penetrating this market are perplexing and plenty. Simply put, the aspiring shopper from Bharat seeks the fashion and quality of Tier-I at the price of Tier-II/III, but the complexity doesn’t end there.

Our conversation with Himanshu Chakrawarti, President, Snapdeal – the e-commerce platform that is focusing its energies on the value-focused shoppers of Bharat – helps get answers to the what, why and how of this emerging market.


Interview of Himanshu Chakrawarti

The growth of Indian e-commerce is being fuelled by price conscious consumers from the country’s smaller cities and towns. As per a recent RedSeer report, the number of online buyers from India’s Tier-II and smaller cities and towns - which account for more than 80% of the country’s population - will triple in five years from roughly 78 million in 2021 to nearly 256 million by 2026. These emerging shoppers do a lot of analysis before they make their purchase - they are less brand-sensitive but seek good quality. The Snapdeal platform is designed with assortment, platform experience and service delivery as its three main pillars to cater to the needs of value shoppers. With over 200 million downloads, it is one of the top online lifestyle destination Apps. As a pure-play value e-commerce platform, we draw more than 86% of our orders from outside metro cities, with more than 72% of our orders coming from buyers living in Tier-II+ cities and towns. By targeting value conscious consumers, we are catering to this growth in the ‘Bharat’ shoppers’ base.
The value-savvy buyers need the assurance of getting both good quality and a good price. To enable this, the price range for each sub-category is based on the principles of good, better and best while keeping it limited to the price range that is relevant for the value shopper. We have a stringent quality process for on-boarding any seller or product on our platform and we take customer ratings on each product very seriously. We work closely with a limited number of sellers, unlike other platforms, thereby ensuring quality and value pricing for our customers. The assortment is built with the value shopper in mind and our team spends a lot of time on customer research and feedback. We have further boosted the experience of our customers with a clutch of very relevant power brands. Each of these power brands is tailored for specific customer needs/ categories based on our deep data and research-based customer insights. We partner with top-quality sellers and manufacturers who have our support on trend analysis, quality guidelines, packaging guidelines and guidelines on brand standards/brand books.
The current experience of the value lifestyle e-commerce shopper is on platforms that are largely targeting high-end metro consumers even while they carry the entire range from economy to luxury. These platforms have a huge selection which can be overwhelming for new online shoppers. The navigation on these platforms is tailored for the seasoned e-commerce shopper making the journey for emerging shoppers quite daunting. Our App and m-site are specifically built for the value lifestyle shopper. The range is curated, search is easy and the feed is personalised for every shopper. The key product benefits are highlighted in easy-to-understand language and the App itself is available in 8 Indian languages. The experience is also visually rich, discovery-led and powered by AI/ML. The post-purchase notifications and messages are in simple intuitive language and the customer support (agents at the call centre and on chat) is primarily in the vernacular languages. For any post-purchase (and pre-purchase) requirements, customers can reach us through chat, WhatsApp and the customer support centre. In addition, to cater to the diverse preferences of consumers spread across more than 90 per cent of pin codes in the country, we offer a range of payment options that include cash on delivery (COD), credit & debit cards, wallets & UPI. However, COD is the most preferred option among our users. Similarly, we reach out to the customers through social media vehicles, SMS, WhatsApp, emails, notifications, etc., to keep them abreast of the status of their order, return, refund or even the new exciting products and events. Our brand campaigns, in various Indian languages, are also devised around the needs, desires and motivations of everyday users and reflect India’s contemporary milieu. We are also building assisted buying for the emerging shoppers to help them place their orders (filling in the usual information fields relating to name, address and explaining product features, delivery and payment options, etc). We also encourage our regular shoppers to build communities through an easy referral programme, posting of selfies, etc.
The value lifestyle e-commerce market size is projected to increase from $7.4 billion in 2021 to $39.4 billion in 2026. We seek to capture a slice of this fast-growing market by making Snapdeal the most relevant platform for the needs of value shoppers. In a market that is growing this fast, competition plays a very important role in bringing greater depth and expanded choice for users, and we appreciate what competition offers to the customers. Customers value clarity and consistency. We are building Snapdeal exclusively for the value segment and we are doing so by collecting and analysing deep customer insights and attempting to build for these identified needs and solve for these problems. Offering consistency in the product range, quality standards, price predictability and a consistently efficient platform experience is part of our user offering that builds both familiarity and trust. We also focus on what matters to our customers. For instance, we don’t charge any shipping fees irrespective of how far the customer’s location is from our seller’s storage location or how big or small the customer’s cart size is. And we have no hidden charges for customers. The price displayed on the product page is what the customer pays. No charge under any other name is paid by the customer.
We have seen significant growth across all the value lifestyle categories we operate in. We have also seen a very high level of App downloads and adoption, significantly high repeat rates and, most importantly, a continuously improving customer NPS score (which gives us the most satisfaction). We intend to continue this journey to keep attracting an ever-increasing number of value lifestyle e-commerce shoppers.

Himanshu Chakrawarti

President, Snapdeal

Present Company Snapdeal
Indian Institute of Management


Indian Institute of Technology


• President

   (Nov 2021 - Present)


Unlimited, Arvind Lifestyle fashion brands ltd.
   (Feb 2019 – Oct 2021)


Hicare Services Pvt. Ltd.
   (May 2015 - Jan 2019)

• Ex CEO

The MobilStore Limited
   (April 2011 – April 2015)


Landmark Limited
   (2005 – 2011)

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