Online marketplaces dominate retail e-commerce in many countries. In the two biggest e-commerce markets in the world, Alibaba (China) and Amazon (U.S.) set the tone. In India, the dominant online marketplace, Flipkart, had been in talks to acquire one of its chief competitors, Snapdeal, but the smaller company rebuffed an $850 million deal that most experts believed would be completed.
After a spate of M&A activity around e-commerce in India in recent years, a challenging environment has slowed down investment. But the potential of India continues to attract players and the continued existence of Snapdeal provides another outlet for merchants that want to sell through marketplaces in India.
For e-commerce sellers interested in foreign markets, perhaps no country is as intriguing as India. While retail e-commerce there generated less than $25 billion last year, it is set to explode on the back of a population of more than 1 billion with significantly growing smartphone adoption, according to many watchers. Recent reports suggest that a market that is less than a tenth the size of the U.S. will grow to surpass it in only 15 years.