With support from the Government of India, Weavesmart has started another new initiative for the weavers of Varanasi. This time, it is about training the weavers in e-commerce.

The training module designed by Weavesmart covers areas such as what is e-commerce, how to register as a seller on various e-commerce websites, how to upload a product, how to describe the product, return policy, packaging and couriering, managing customer queries, pricing the product, etc. Training was carried out in Hindi as that was the preferred language of the participants.

The first set of training sessions have been rolled out in the weaver hubs of Ramnagar and Cholapur in Varanasi. Participating weavers were quite curious and asked several questions around e-commerce.

While overall weaver response to the training was positive, we see many challenges:

  • Poor education levels of most weavers and limited knowledge of English. Most e-commerce websites are in English and requires that the user has basic read /write knowledge of English
  • Non unavailability of e-mail ids with weavers
  • Non availability of Pan No with weavers, which is must for seller registration on most e-commerce websites
  • Fear of designs being copied if posted online
  • Challenge in managing customer queries due to limited knowledge of English
  • Cumbersome and lengthy registration processes for most e-commerce websites. The process should be simple and concise and user interface should be more user friendly.
  • Stringent requirements for product display photographs such as on a few websites display of saree on a model is mandatory. Weavers typically don’t like to open their sarees and absolutely avoid draping on a model for the fear of saree getting spoiled or damaged. Also, weavers can’t afford to get models and support provided by e-commerce players would be economically unviable for the weavers.

While India may be one of the largest hub of information technology professionals and our metro cities may have the best of the internet connectivity, the scene in the rural India is quite dis-heartening. Our target group hardly use computer systems, smart phones and are also a victim of poor internet connectivity.

Despite all challenges being faced on ground, Weavesmart is quite determined to train the weavers in e-marketing so that tomorrow they can directly sell on various online market places.

To know more about us, visit http://www.weavesmart.com

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