FLIPKART - An E-commerce Giant Success Story

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FLIPKART – An e-commerce giant success story

Flipkart – Inception to continuous journey

Flipkart – An online bookseller to one of the largest marketplaces

(Year 2007- 2010)

 

Sachin and Binny Bansal

Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce giant, has started on a rollercoaster journey with notable ups since it was founded. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal founded Flipkart in 2007.  This company was started in a small apartment in Bengaluru to provide online books to retail customers.  Both founders personally delivered books to customers in the beginning days and ensured the best service was provided to customers.

This grassroots approach and relentless focus on customer satisfaction established the foundation for success. Bansal duo identified the potential of e-commerce in India and they started working on it. Their initial focus was booking and later they expanded to more categories with a wide range of products like electronics, fashions, and many more.

Early days of Flipkart

The early days were challenging with limited infrastructure and logistics hurdles. However, their approach led to the growth of the company. It was a time when a lot of people were looking to purchase items but they did not want to use credit or debit cards as well as net banking. They started cash on delivery and it was a game changer. So, the hesitation to purchase online is no more and customers adopted this method and started purchasing the products from the website.

E-Commerce in India

Since India was new in e-commerce there were only two to three companies who were selling products online and were popular. Ebay, Rediff, and Indiatimes were popular companies at that time. However, they have had a very small number of buyers since the payment trust issue, but the cash-on-delivery (COD) payment mode was a stroke of genius to win the trust of the Indian people.

Payment method Introduction

The early days were challenging, with limited infrastructure and logistical hurdles. However, the Bansals’ persistence and customer-centric approach led to steady growth. The introduction of Cash on Delivery (COD) as a payment option was a game-changer, overcoming the hesitations of Indian customers to adopt online shopping due to trust issues related to online payments.

(The year 2011-2014)

Funding from Investors

They got a substantial amount of funding from Venture Capitals in 2011 and invested in technology, logistics, and marketing making Flipkart one of the leading e-commerce companies in India. However, in this period they received criticism as well from different mediums as they were providing very many discounts and attracting customers to purchase items online. The acquisition of Myntra, a leading online portal of Fashions made their position stronger. The emergence of Amazon in the Indian market was a very big challenge for the organization. However, it responded to the competition in the way of making customer service and delivery better and diversifying its product offerings.

Introduction E-Kart

 

ekart

Since they started getting funds from global investors, like Accel Partner and Tiger Global Management. The infusion of capital enabled the company to scale operations, invest in technology, and launch its own logistics arm, eKart. Flipkart’s aggressive marketing campaigns and enticing discounts captured the attention of millions of Indian consumers, propelling it to the forefront of the e-commerce industry.

Big Billion Day Sale

 

Big Billion Days

Flipkart started its biggest sale of the year named Big Billion Day and they are achieving the target of sales of 1 billion in that particular sale time frame. They started informing sellers in August about the inventory pricing and manpower. So, that no order can be delayed and every order is fulfilled on time. Every other e-commerce company is following the same trend.

However, every seller is getting a good profit during that sale period. The festive season of India normally starts in October till November or the end of the year. Please take a look at the offers Flipkart gave on the first Big Billion Day in 2014.  There was also news that they hit $100 million in sales in only 10 hours.

https://www.gadgets360.com/internet/news/flipkarts-big-billion-day-sale-whats-on-offer-602338

There are also a lot of records of sales made on these days. Sometimes, they get orders more than the capacity to fulfill so they block some categories for some areas and some sellers as well.

https://stories.flipkart.com/the-big-billion-days-2022-news-updates/

Some very interesting facts are that since it was a very new concept and everyone was trying to understand the pattern of sales including offline (store) sellers. Ebay India got the highest sales of the year on the same day whereas they had no sales. Since Amazon was new in India they were trying to understand the sale pattern of India. However, first, they took out ads mocking Flipkart and named it a contemporary war of cola and soap.

Amazon and Snapdeal Stand on Big Billion Days

In the same period Snapdeal ran a sale with the tagline “For others it’s a big day. For us, today is no different.” Snapdeal got the highest sales in the same period on Monday and it was almost out of capacity to fulfill.

Amazon also ran a sale on 4-6 October calling it The Mission to Mars Weekend. They tried to follow every step of Flipkart to make themselves established in India and they did and became the major competitor. Amazon never advertised in any other country apart from India.

There was a very interesting story that at the time Big Billion Day Sale, Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon was on an India visit and he saw only the big banners and hoardings of Flipkart from the airport to his office. He decided to advertise in India and be a clear competitor of Flipkart or try to be bigger than Flipkart.  As a result, Amazon invested a lot of money in advertisements in India to establish itself as an e-commerce marketplace.

Exclusive sale of Products

There were a lot of changes in business methods after the 2008 recession and Motorola was one of the leading mobile companies before the recession. But, as the trend changed, they could not find a better place in the market and they made a deal with Flipkart to sell the phone exclusively on their website. It was a huge success and they sold a lot of devices. Later on, Flipkart the exclusive deals of MI, Redmi, and so on.

Brand Value of Flipkart

The valuation of Flipkart touched $15 billion at its peak. The organization expanded itself regularly. They launched “Flipkart First” (a subscription-based loyalty program) and invested in artificial intelligence and machine learning. In 2016, the company reviewed the challenges of amid growth as there were some changes in regulations regarding foreign direct investment (FDI) in the e-commerce business model, which led Flipkart to restructure its marketplace.

Entry of Walmart and Exit of eBay

walmart and flipkart

Flipkart got ownership of eBay India in a deal with parent company eBay.com in 2017 and they got one bigger name which was one of the market leaders in e-commerce. But in 2018, global retail giant Walmart acquired most of the shares approx. 77% for $16 Billion. This move was seen as a good and strategic step to counter the influence of Amazon in India.

When there is an acquisition there will be leadership changes and the same happened with Flipkart. Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart stepped down amid allegations of personal misconduct.  There was one more big impact of the Flipkart-Walmart deal was the closure of eBay India. Since Walmart got the maximum share they can not allow their competitor brand with their organization. So, Flipkart closed eBay operations in India.

Flipkart’s acquisition of Phonepe, a digital payment platform was a huge success in the fintech sector. The company’s focus on technology and innovation remained intact as it sought to provide a seamless online shopping experience.

Acquisition by Flipkart

Flipkart acquired almost 22 companies and those are ANS Commerce in 2022, Yaantra in 2022, Sastasunder in 2021, Cleartrip in 2021, Scapic in 2020,  Mech Mocha in 2020, Walmart India in 2020, Upstream Commerce in 2018, Liv.ai in 2018, F1 Info Solutions and Services in 2017, eBay India in 2017, Jabong in 2016, Phonepe in 2016, FX Mart in 2016, Appiterate in 2015, AdIquity in 2015, Myntra in 2014, Jeeves in 2014, Letsbuy.com in 2014, Chakpak in 2011, MIMI 360 in 2011 and weRead in 2011.

Armband of Flipkart

Flipkart Smartbuy

Flipkart has always an armband to get the benefit of the market apart from selling. In the beginning, they were selling with the partner company WS Retail on their website and started a logistic service named eKart which got a very good name in logistics services. Nowadays, Flipkart uses its brand to sell items with different names in different categories like fashion, and electronics. It is named as Flipkart Smartbuy.

Flipkart journey during the pandemic – challenges and hurdles

COVID-19 posed unforeseen challenges for all companies and the same for Flipkart disturbing the whole supply chain and also impacting consumer behavior The company quickly adopted all methods required to fulfill the orders and started fulfilling orders for essential items. Since, essential items were only allowed in the first lockdown, and very hard to deliver all the items due to the disturbance of the supply chain.

Despite its resilient response to the pandemic, Flipkart’s journey has not been free of obstacles. Regulatory hurdles, concerns about counterfeit products, and intense competition continue to shape the company’s trajectory. However, Flipkart’s collaborations with local artisans and manufacturers through initiatives like ‘Samarth’ demonstrate its commitment to inclusive growth.

Flipkart IPO Announcement

https://www.livemint.com/market/ipo/walmart-readies-for-10-bn-flipkart-ipo-11607300769974.html

As economic activities gradually resumed after the pandemic, Flipkart announced plans for an initial public offering (IPO), indicating its ambition to enter the stock market. The IPO preparations marked a significant milestone in Flipkart’s transformation. The anticipation of Flipkart’s IPO and its post-pandemic recovery underscored the company’s determination to maintain its momentum. By diversifying its services, leveraging data analytics, and nurturing partnerships, Flipkart aimed to solidify its position in India’s burgeoning digital economy. The company’s journey continued to be shaped by the evolving dynamics of e-commerce, technological advancements, and changing consumer preferences.


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How do companies like Flipkart actually work?

Companies like Flipkart operate as online marketplaces, connecting dealers with customers through their platforms. They facilitate transactions, provide logistics and fee processing offerings, and provide customer service. By leveraging era and partnerships, they permit seamless buying reviews, providing an extensive range of merchandise at competitive expenses.

What is the Flipkart Big Billion Day?

The Flipkart Big Billion Day is an annual sales occasion hosted through Flipkart, providing large discounts and deals on a wide variety of products, which include electronics, style, domestic goods, and more. It targets to attract customers with exclusive offers and promotions, using high volumes of income and sales.

Conclusion

Flipkart’s journey has been one of remarkable ups and challenging downs. As reflecting the dynamic nature of the e-commerce industry and the complexities of operating in a diverse market like India. The company’s ability to innovate, adapt, and reinvent itself has allowed it to not only survive. But also, thrive amidst fierce competition and changing landscapes. As the e-commerce sector continues to evolve, Flipkart’s journey remains an inspirational tale of resilience, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence.

#flipkart #flipkartjourney

Digital Marketing Services and E-Commerce Solutions in Delhi, India

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AuthorFarhanul Haque

This article is written by the Founder of Digitamizer who has been working in the e-Commerce Sector Since 2006 and is also a certified Digital Marketing Professional from IIT, Delhi, India.

3 thoughts on “FLIPKART – An e-commerce giant success story”

  1. This article brilliantly captures Flipkart’s journey in the Indian e-commerce scene, from its modest origins to its hopes for an initial public offering (IPO). It’s an engaging story that highlights Flipkart’s capacity for adaptation, its use of cutting-edge tactics like the Big Billion Day Sale, and its fortitude in the face of rivalry. An essential read for anyone wanting to comprehend how Indian e-commerce has developed.

    Reply
  2. Commendable blog post encapsulating Flipkart’s remarkable journey. From humble beginnings to becoming an e-commerce giant, the insights shared are enlightening. Flipkart’s innovative approach, challenges faced, and strategic growth inspire budding entrepreneurs. A concise yet informative read that captures the essence of Flipkart’s evolution.

    Reply
    • Very informative article on Flipkart’s journey from a beginner company to becoming an e-commerce giant. Lots of good details and lessons for anyone interested in learning in depth. Highly recommend it!!

      Reply

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