Online pharmacies and wellness marketplaces in India have been steadily evolving over the years. An online pharmacy is a website that sells health-related products & services. Up until recently, they were perceived as a niche e-commerce category. Many e-commerce sellers did not consider these as viable platforms for selling non-medical products. It made sense then, as such marketplaces were visited only by “patients” requiring lab tests & medicines. And of course, by fitness enthusiasts who were looking for supplements.

Regulatory requirements to sell medicines online were complicated & hence formed barriers to entry, for companies wanting to set up similar sites. There was also the on-going lobbying by brick & mortar pharmacies against online selling of medicines, as it affected their business.  However, the COVID pandemic in 2020 changed all that.

A Paradigm Shift with COVID-19: Popularity of Online Pharmacies

A boarder set of audience is buying health products online with Covid

Owing to COVID, such marketplaces & e-pharmacies saw record growth in site traffic & sales, overnight. Tele-medicine came into focus and government authorities realized the importance of such services for the population at large. Medicines & medical services come under the ‘essential’ category. Online pharmacies were already primed and ready for home-delivery, in-effect allowing people to access labs & medicines from the safety of their homes.

Not Just Medicines! Why you should consider selling your products on Online Pharmacies

A popular misunderstanding that e-commerce sellers have is that e-pharmacies sell only regulated & over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and medical products. But here is more to them than that. Firstly, there are non-medicinal OTC products such as supplements, face-masks, hand sanitizers, etc. Post-COVID, anyone, and everyone started selling them; e-pharmacies became the most credible source to access these.

Other (Non-Medical) Categories

A lesser-known fact is that the online pharmacy sites also sell products from categories such as personal care (skincare, hair care), baby care (diapers, feeding equipment, etc.), health foods & drinks (protein bars, protein shakes, muesli, etc.), fitness apparel, and fitness equipment. To draw an example, a wellness marketplace is a perfect platform for a manufacturer or reseller of dermo-cosmetics and gym accessories, to sell their products as such platforms lend a perception of trust.

Complementary Categories

Further, online wellness marketplace platforms are careful about the categories they place on their sites. The categories are complementary in nature. It is almost like walking into a large-chain brick & mortar pharmacy such as Wellness Forever or a large-sized Apollo Pharmacy. It is normal consumer behavior to pick up say a bottle of honey, baby diapers, and a protein bar. Wellness marketplaces have replicated this digitally. It is hence highly recommended that e-commerce sellers recognize this opportunity and begin selling on such platforms.

High Growth Industry

As per a report by RedSeer Consulting, the Indian e-health sector will expand to $16 billion (Rs 1.17 Lakh Crores) in revenues by the year 2025. Owing to the pandemic, more consumers have started buying online from e-pharmacies. The government too is expected to lax regulations. To make the best of this opportune time, Flipkart in fact tied up with e-pharmacy leader 1mg to sell medicines. Amazon has applied for licenses and begun a pilot project within Bengaluru.

Top Online Pharmacies & Wellness Marketplaces in India

1mg on Browntape


1mg was initially launched in 2013 as an online store for AYUSH products (Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, etc.). In 2015, the founders, Prashant Tandon, Vikas Chauhan and Gaurav Agarwal, rebranded it into an online pharmacy. 1mg’s key proposition is providing reliable & affordable medicines and its key target group earlier used to be just patients. To propel growth, they later ventured into diagnostic services, online consulting. Of course, now they have a long category line-up that goes beyond healthcare.

The opportunity for e-commerce sellers is the claimed 150 million-plus visitors and their capability to cater to 1000+ cities across India. It has positioned itself as a leader in e-healthcare. Further to its partnership with Flipkart, there are talks of the Walmart owned entity looking to purchase a stake in 1mg.

Non-Medicinal Categories You Can Sell on 1mg

To begin selling on 1mg, you can explore their business partner terms here.


Healthkart finds its place among wellness marketplaces than online-pharmacies. Incidentally, it shares a common founder with 1mg- Prashant Tandon, apart from Sameer Maheshwari. While they started it a platform to sell supplements & protein powder products manufactured by them. Muscleblaze for example is their flagship brand and they also focus on importing authentic supplements. The focus of the e-commerce site is on wellness products such as muscle gainers, weight loss products, and vitamins.

However, they have opened doors for other sellers to participate. Apart from their own brands which are developed post heavy R&D, Healthkart sells about 200 brands from enlisted authorized sellers. They cater to a younger consumer group.  A point to note is that the wellness marketplace has an omnichannel model. The company operates about 93 offline stores in 36 Indian cities. They also provide services like weight loss & weight gain.

The benefits for a seller to sell on Healthkart include their promise of secure packaging, fast delivery, and easy payment options. They claim to partner with premium logistic partners to ensure smooth service delivery. Additionally, they have a 14-day return policy. The wellness-marketplace is strong in its marketing activities to drive site traffic and this benefits participating sellers.

Non-Medicinal Categories You Can Sell on Healthkart

To begin selling on Healthkart, you can explore here.


Netmeds which calls itself ‘India ki Pharmacy’ was founded by Pradeep Dadha in 2010. It initially sprung as an extension of his 100-year-old family-owned pharmaceutical business called Dadha & Company. However, it quickly evolved into a web & mobile app-based marketplace, inviting external sellers to sell their products via the site. Due to its eventual success & the undeniable growth of online pharmacy marketplaces, Reliance India Limited acquired a majority stake in the company in August 2020.

Netmed’s key proposition is convenience, reach & low price. The marketplace claims to service even tier 2 & 3 towns and rural villages. The company promotes generic alternatives to well-known brands- in effect attracting consumers from all economic groups; generic medicines are cheaper than branded alternatives. Understanding the demand for other OTC products, the marketplace also sells wellness items, diet & fitness supplements, massage equipment, diabetic products, cosmetics, baby care products & more.

Non-Medicinal Categories You Can Sell on Netmeds

To become a seller on Netmeds, you can explore here and here. 


PharmEasy was founded in 2015 by Dharmil Sheth, Dr. Dhaval Shah & Mikhil Innani with the objective of delivering authentic medicines to patients via local pharmacies. The company expanded its footprint and now claims to deliver medicines to 98% of pin codes in India. Apart from its network of pharmacies & distributors, the online marketplace has multiple warehouses in various cities that provide same day delivery to customers. Like other online pharmacies, the company offers diagnostics tests & OTC products.

The company promotes products via discounts, promotions & wallet based cashbacks. COD is also a feature that is available on the platform. To build loyalty among customers, the site sends regular reminders to customers to refill their prescriptions or purchase their frequent requirements.

Owing to exponential growth in the e-pharmacy space, there are take-overs & mergers taking place. Incidentally, PharmEasy is due for a merger with another well-known online pharmacy- Medlife. CCI has approved the merger where PharmEasy will acquire 100% of Medlife equity shares and the promoters of Medlife will get a 19.95% stake in return. While the merger is operationally still underway, both online pharmacies continue to exist in their current online form- as distinct websites.

Non-Medicinal Categories You Can Sell on PharmEasy

To become a seller on PharmEasy you could explore here.


Medlife is an online wellness marketplace which was founded by Prashant Singh, Tushar Kumar and Ananth Narayanan, in 2014. While the platform was initially created to provide health care services such as clinical visits etc., it quickly adopted the e-pharmacy and wellness marketplace model. The company still does provide services like doctor consultations and lab tests.

The company claims to have catered to more than 10 million customers to date and has the bandwidth to do about 25000+ deliveries per day. The delivery network currently stretches to 4000+ cities in India. It won the ‘Best Healthcare Startup’ award in the  2019 Edition of the FICCI Healthcare Excellence Awards. The online pharmacy offers deals & packages on medicines & lab tests. 

Non-Medicinal Categories You Can Sell on Medlife

To become a seller on Medlife you could explore here.


Despite being a relatively new entrant in the online space, we have included SastaSundar due to its imminent expansion plans & heavy marketing. The platform is owned by NSE & BSE listed parent company- SastaSundar Ventures Limited. The company is headed by founder & executive chairman- BL Mittal and CEO- Ravi Kant Sharma. Launched it 2013, it operates via a hybrid model of online & offline retail. Their offerings include their own ‘digital first’ brands, OTC/FMCG products and also prescription medicines. 

Witnessing a drastic change in consumer behavior, post-pandemic; the platform decided to increase the reach of its online service network. It took its offering pan India and currently services 15.5K pin codes. Despite sprouting from a traditional business, the company has proven its digital effectiveness. The website commands an Alexa country (India) rank of 120 as of 8th February 2021. The SastaSundar app was chosen by the Government of India in the ‘Digital Indian AatmaNirbhar Challenge’ as one of India’s best AtmanNirbhar Bharat App. Fundamentally, SastaSundar has a strong business model and claims to be almost breaking even in its online business. It is important to note, however, that the platform is not a marketplace. It does provide offline franchise opportunities. 

Non-Medicinal Categories Sold on SastaSundar

Sell on Multiple E-Pharmacies via Browntape

As most e-commerce sellers would know, Browntape is an easy-to-use & effective cloud-based software. It allows online sellers to sell on multiple platforms via a single dashboard. Browntape currently supports marketplaces (Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, etc), carts (Shopify, Magento), courier services (Shiprocket) & more. Recently, we have integrated the top three e-pharmacies into Browntape; namely 1mg, Netmeds, and Healthkart. If you are a seller selling on these sites and wanting to simplify your daily operations & grow your business, sign up for a demo through the tab on the top right of this page.

To summarise, online pharmacies are a fast-growing platform, owing to the windfall gains they had due to the COVID pandemic. They have expanded the categories they sell and this evolved further during the COVID-related disruptions. So, they are not just about medicines but multiple other categories. A seller wanting to expand his current reach can look at online pharmacies as an effective platform to so. Currently, there are some top players as listed above, and Browntape has integrated with three of the largest wellness marketplaces. And we are sure to integrate more due to demand from our clients. Our tip? Consider online pharmacies as a source of growth for your e-commerce business.

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