Villcart is a Mumbai based handicraft retailer that has recently launched its ecommerce initiative. The site sells handicrafts and handmade products made in villages of India. The current list of about 1200 products range anything between basic furnishing to food items.
In most cases the products are directly sourced from the artisans, though the company also has tie-ups with NGOs like Sahaj, Magan Sangrahalaya and Dharamitra in Wardha, Gramodaya Sangh in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, Avika in Jharkhand, and Sathi Samaj Sewi Sanstha in Bastar etc..
The basic site is neat but needs a lot of minor changes in terms of copy and flow to be able to become a mainstream ecommerce company.
Shopo and NetHaat are other startups in the same domain. Though Shopo did impress us but both of these haven’t been able to get beyond the initial referral traffic. Discovery is a major concern in this product vertical as such products are mostly impulse based purchases and users may not be looking for them. There might be a bigger play in sourcing such stuff and selling on Ebay or supplying to existing ecommerce players who already have a high click fall. The market opportunity is really huge and it might be too early to conclude what really would work here. Though this play is a lot different from the usual ecommerce known to us till date.
Do try out Villcart and let us know what you think of their offering and the vertical in general.
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]