India’s most famous E-commerce company Flipkart (they aren’t the biggest, that would be mjunction) has been around since 2007. Over the last 5 years, they have emerged as a clear favourite among customers owing to their almost delightful customer service.
Indiamart introduced Cash-on-delivery back in 2001 and then discontinued it in 2003. Flipkart reintroduced Cash-on-Delivery and this feature has now become one of the most crucial payment methods for Indians shopping online.
The point here is, back in 2007, Flipkart started with selling books online. Five years later it has steadily scaled its business by foraying into categories like computers & peripherals, CDs & DVDs, games, home and kitchen appliances, mobile & accessories, personal and healthcare equipments ( I am sure there they have added more recently, the latest being baby products).
Indians can be frugal by nature, and getting deep discounts with the added benefit of free home delivery drove Indians to shop online. Along the way, Flipkart managed to delight its customers with fast deliveries.
Now in the 3rd quarter of 2012, things look different. Flipkart now wants its customers to shop for a minimum of Rs 300/- to avail of free delivery (Flipkart website – How much are the delivery charges? Flipkart provides free delivery on all items if your total order amount is Rs. 300/- or more. Otherwise Rs. 30/- is charged as delivery charges.)
Flipkart is also no longer the cheapest options available online. Below are some screenshots of randomly selected products from Flipkart’s top selling categories:
This brings us to an important junction, if people came to shop on Flipkart for price concessions and delivery convenience, why are they still here. The answer to that could very well be Flipkart’s most important product category yet, “Trust”. Flipkart has managed to build a Reputation (dependable and quick), which has created Brand value (reliable and delightful), which over time has built consumer Trust in the brand.
It is this trust in the brand that is being subliminally reinforced by their newest Advertising campaign “Don’t shop it, Flipkart it” (the complete Flipkart Advertising Campaign, August 2012)
Another perspective by Alok Kejriwal - Flipkart ads on TV – are they building the online category at their own cost?
Do share your thoughts.
- Flipkart – More of a Window Shopping portal… (trak.in)
- Flipkart – Received $150M in Venture Round funding from Tiger Global Management and Naspers (8/24/12) (sfluxe.com)
- India’s online retail giant Flipkart raises $150 million from Naspers (buzzom.com)
- Indian e-commerce service Flipkart shoots for profitability by 2015, after mammoth $150m round (thenextweb.com)