In quality & choice drive, Flipkart not to cap sellers

K Giriprakash Bengaluru | Updated on January 16, 2018

Anil Goteti, Head, Marketplace, Flipkart

Marketplace Head says the firm wants more sellers who can compete with each other

India’s largest e-commerce company, Flipkart, which is taking several initiatives to upgrade the quality of products and services of its sellers, has said it will not confine itself to 3-4 sellers.

Anil Goteti, Head - Marketplace, Flipkart, told BusinessLine that the company wants to have as many sellers as possible who can compete with each other, resulting in higher benefits for the customers. “We are quite clear that no single or even 3-4 sellers will have a higher share of business from our platform,” Goteti said.

He said in the case of certain categories that have limited products, such as laptops, the strength of the seller will come into play. Earlier reports said that Flipkart was planning to get at least 90 per cent of its business from 4-5 sellers.

Goteti said the company has started an initiative which encourages good sellers through several incentives. Those who are not able to make the cut are being taken off the platforms for not meeting the quality thresholds. In certain cases, extreme actions, such as filing a police complaint, is also undertaken. “We have been focussing a lot more on quality. ”

Cost of return

One of the steps Flipkart has taken is to pass on the logistics cost of return of products to sellers, which it hadn’t resorted to earlier. More number of returns results in higher cost for the sellers and hence it is an incentive for those who are able to keep the returns to the minimum. “Marketplace is about competing with each other and good sellers are able to compete even better than before,” Goteti said.

He said the firm categorises the sellers on three parameters — how much sales they are able to generate, the cost the sellers incur on their platform and ease of using Flipkart’s platform.

On its part, Flipkart is trying to gradually bring down the cost the sellers incur by negotiating with vendors for a lower price. Flipkart has been able to get packaging material at a far lesser price without compromising on quality, he said.

It has also decided not to allow the same customer to return a particular product twice to avoid abuse of the platform as well as for the benefit of the seller.

Flipkart has also automated payment to the sellers. The money collected from the customer gets automatically credited into the account of the seller in 7-14 days depending upon their location.

The e-commerce major has pegged the commission it charges the sellers at 1-20 per cent depending on the type of product. Loans are also being extended to the sellers without any collateral. It expects the quantum of loan to go up to a total of ₹200 crore by the end of the season.

Published on September 09, 2016

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