Flipkart witnesses 150% Y-o-Y growth in sale of STEM toys

Yatti Soni | | Updated on: Nov 15, 2021
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The company onboarded over 100 new brands on the platform in the past year

E-commerce major Flipkart has recorded a 150 per cent year-on-year growth in the sale of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) toys such as such as building blocks, learning tabs, flashcards, puzzles and scientific toys.

E-commerce grows

The company claims to have onboarded over 100 new brands on the platform in the past year. Some Indian STEM toy brands listed on Flipkart include Smartivity, Imagimake, Genius Box, Butterfly Edufields, Play Panda, Skillmatics, Mechanix and Play Shifu. Sellers on Flipkart are said to have added 1000+ new products on the platform in the past three months.

PlayShifu co-founder Vivek Goyal told BusinessLine that in comparison to pre-pandemic days, the company has grown roughly 300 per cent to 400 per cent in terms of sales. He added that the growth in online sales has been more in comparison to offline.

Also see: Desi building blocks for kids inspired by Indian mythology

Talking about the growth in its various sales channels, Goyal said that after the pandemic, the split between online-offline sales has changed from earlier 55 per cent online and 45 percent offline to 70 per cent online and 30 per cent offline, showing the growing use of e-commerce.

Tier 2 demand rises

Similarly, co-founder of Tinkerly, Sharad Bansal, said that the sales of the company’s STEM kits have grown 3x month-on-month in the last six months. Tinkerly’s kits are primarily listed on e-commerce marketplace Amazon and are also sold directly through the company’s website.

Further, Flipkart noted that while the maximum demand for such toys came from metros like Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai, the e-commerce major has seen recent surges from Tier 2 cities including Bhopal, Agra, Nagpur, Surat, and Mysore.

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This has also been reflected in the sales of companies like Tinkerly and PlayShifu. Tinkerly saw 60 per cent of its demand coming from Tier 2 cities, while PlayShifu reported a growth from 15 per cent in 2019 to about 28 per cent today.

“Earlier, parents were hesitant in buying our STEM kits because they assumed that involvement of parents would be significant. So, only well educated parents like doctors and engineers were buying such products. During Covid, we launched live classes in addition to our kits, enabling students to work with Tinkerly kits even without the support of parents. We have also made these live classes available in Hindi which has further helped in increasing demand from Tier 2 cities for our products,” said Bansal.

Regional growth

Navneet Education-backed Tinkerly is now working on adding live classes in more regional languages to increase the company’s growth in India. It also plans to target international markets like the Middle East by making content in Arabic language.

“Our (PlayShifu) price points are much higher than the average consumer market in India. Our median price range is about ₹2,700 to ₹3,000 rupees whereas the mass market in India is ₹500 to ₹600. So, we didn't expect such a response from Tier 2 cities. But looking at the trends, we will continue to double down on expanding our reach in these regions,” said Goyal.

Also see: Do e-comm sites squeeze SME vendors?

The company plans to open multiple stores and launch new product lines exclusive to India. PlayShifu has already doubled its manufacturing capacity in India because of strong local demand. Going forward, the company sees India as one of its biggest focus markets for the next two to three years along with North America.

Published on November 15, 2021

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