Several years ago, The Hindu featured an article about two brothers, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who founded a startup company called Flipkart, which was originally intended to be a shopping comparison site. Since there weren’t enough Indian shopping sites to make a comparison site lucrative, they decided to develop an e-commerce site for the burgeoning Indian marketplace. The Bansal Brothers, both graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology, began their start up after cutting their teeth at such notable places as Amazon. Flipkart, a catchy name that connotes the idea of “flipping things into your cart” built up to 50,000 book titles in its first month of business. With a small investment of just 4 lakh rupees, Flipkart has grown into a multi-million dollar business in just seven years and was featured in Business Today as one of the top 25 startups of 2009.
Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce company headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka initially focused on online sales of books but has since expanded to electronic goods and other products. It started off with three distribution centers across India and eventually moved to number one status of ecommerce sites throughout India.
Flipkart has continued to expand its product offerings. From the initial book titles, they added media to their catalogue in 2010, which included music, movies and games, and very importantly, mobile phones and accessories. In 2011, Flipkart launched an even broader array of products, including cameras, computers, pens & office supplies, computer accessories, home and kitchen appliances, personal care, health care, gaming consoles, audio players and televisions. In 2012, they expanded into health and beauty products, lifestyle products (including watches, belts, bags, and luggage). One can quickly see that Flipkart is the online go-to destination for any product a consumer might need. In 2012, Flipkart expanded into toys, posters, and apparel retailing. These seems to be no vertical that they haven’t reached!
Flipkart has also innovated its technology: a Slideshare deck highlighting key product moments for the company notes that in November 2011, Flipkart launched a new electronic wallet feature that allows shoppers to purchase credit to their Flipkart account using credit or debit cards. Notably, Flipkart integrated Chakpak.com, a Bollywood news site that offers updates, news, photos and videos to keep the content fresh and alive.
In 2012, Flipkart purchased letsbuy.com, India’s second largest e-retailer in electronics. The acquisition of letsbuy.com signals FlipKart’s ambitions to capture the domestic online market. With the growing consumer class, and people becoming more comfortable shopping on the web, Flipkart is well positioned to become India’s next Amazon.
Also in 2012, Flipkart extended its reach into the digital domain by acquiring Flyte, the portal’s recently launched paid music download service. The music service offers the MP3 format and over 700 genres, and 55 languages. The files, which are digital rights management (DRM) free, can be played without any restrictions on any type of device and for an unlimited number of times.
Flipkart Is Synonymous With Customer Service
Known for its customer first philosophy, Flipkart offers a variety of payment methods, including credit card, debit card, net banking, e-gift voucher, and cash on delivery. Notably, the cash-on-delivery model adopted has proven to be of great significance to their success, since credit card and net banking penetration are very low in India.
The founders’ passion for the consumer Internet space manifests itself in the brand, which is synonymous with customer service and satisfaction. ‘Don’t count your customers before they smile’ is the company’s operating mantra, and it’s a mantra they’re applying successfully alright! Consistent customer service is the hallmark of Flipkart.
For customers seeking special deals on Flipkart items, Flipkart coupons are the answer. With the convenience of shopping at home and avoiding long lines, customers can browse and choose the items they’re looking for. Best of all, Flipkart coupons can be found on mydala.com for a variety of products, from electronics to books to mobile phones.
The Expansion Of Flipkart
Just this month, Business Intelligence launched an article on the Flipkart of today, which touts more muscle and authority than it did a mere few years ago. Today, Flipkart has almost one fifth of the share of the online retail market in India, with 10 million registered users, half of whom have shopped at least once in the last 12 months, and averaging about 100,000 shipments per day.
With an eye on the large digital traffic to Myntra and Jabong, Flipkart intends to expand its presence in fashion and apparel that will increase its online traffic as well as its margins.
As the market continues to mature they are looking at innovative ways to improve customer retention and give customers a reason to come back. They are beginning to look at behavioral analytics and use predictive models to determine what items a customer would like.
Their game plan, though succinct, is in no way simple: attention to the mobile experience as more and more traffic is coming in through this platform, and continuing to improve the performance of this traffic source and conversion rates through responsive design; continue to increase product categories and inventory; continue to grow its customer base through such channels as flash sales and coupon sites; and use data to personalize the shopping experience and make predictive analytics.
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