afaqs! news bureau

Club Factory launches chat feature on its app

The new 'chat' feature is intended to enable direct interaction between sellers and customers.

Chinese e-commerce company Club Factory has just announced the launch of an “Instant Messaging” feature on its app. The new feature allows sellers to communicate directly with customers. Using the chat feature, sellers can directly take order details and cater to the customisation requirements of users. Almost 70 per cent of the sellers on the Club Factory platform have started using this feature. These include sellers in women's clothing, mobiles and accessories, and home categories.

Speaking about the announcement, Vincent Lou, founder and CEO, Club Factory says, “Club Factory is the only e-commerce player in India that does not charge any commission fee, passing on the cost-benefit to the users. We are also happy to include a chat feature as part of our bouquet of offerings. The option allows customers to directly interact with sellers to discuss any product-related query and place special requests for their orders. Unlike some of the other e-commerce platforms, we believe that sellers need to be empowered to own their consumers and end-users. These initiatives make us a comprehensive online-marketplace facilitator, building to an era of FAC - Flipkart, Amazon and Club Factory to lead the future of e-commerce in India.”

The company claims to be the only e-commerce player in India that does not charge any commission fee from sellers, allowing them to achieve 20-30 per cent cost savings when selling on the Club Factory platform. Club Factory also claims that it does not charge any marketing or promotion fee from sellers. It undertakes promotion of seller stores and designs banners for specific categories on its own accord. Sellers get increased visibility and reach for discounts offered to consumers.

“We have not only exempted sellers from paying any commission charges, but have also made it cheaper to sell on our platform with the help of our lower rate of payment gateway and other logistics charges. Our philosophy of not charging the sellers any commission also enables us to ensure smooth communication between sellers and buyers, which would otherwise be impossible. Any commission fee charged from sellers might hinder them from ethically engaging with buyers, as they would try to bypass the platform and offer to sell directly to the buyers, to recover the commission fee charges. Therefore, it won't be possible to safeguard the consumer's interest, avoid fraud transactions and ensure a better customer experience if e-commerce players charge commission fees while also allowing sellers to talk to consumers directly. This initiative from Club Factory is not merely a marketing campaign, but proof of our dedication to building an ecosystem where SMEs can own their customers. Our goal is to provide a fair marketplace where both the sellers and buyers can benefit,” Lou adds.

Club Factory has announced its new scale-up strategy with plans to on-board over 10,000 sellers in 2019. Club Factory has already met the target of on-boarding 10,000 sellers who joined the platform since the program’s launch. The company opened its Recruitment Programme in India recently for sellers offering products in the lifestyle, fashion, accessories, gadgets and electronics, and home categories. Currently, over 70 per cent of the orders on Club Factory are executed by Indian SMEs with a strong focus on products made in India.