India's largest e-com firm Flipkart has been slowly but surely expanding the product verticals. After buying Letsbuy a couple of months ago that would boost its electronics product catalogue going forward and launching the digital music store Flyte, Flipkart has just expanded into pens & stationery, home appliances and perfumes.
The online retailer which started with just books has slowly and steadily scaled up its business foraying into categories like mobile & accessories, computers & peripherals, games, DVDs & CDs, home and kitchen appliances, personal and healthcare equipments. In the process it has also built a reportedly a business with $100 million in sales.
So where does that leave Flipkart against the world's largest e-tailer Amazon (and we are not talking about size but by category presence)? We posed this question to Ravi Vora, vice president marketing at Flipkart and this is what he had to say:
"Currently we offer products across 12 categories. We have also recently forayed into digital content with Flyte, our online music store. Going forward, we will continue to expand the range of products available on Flipkart. Everything except groceries and automobiles are fair game for us."
He added, "Our aim is to make online shopping an attractive destination for offline shoppers as well. While we expand our portfolio of products, our key consideration is to maintain the quality of customer service we are known for, and not compromise that in our quest for growth."
If we look at Amazon's catalogue, few categories in which Flipkart does not have a presence and may make a move (we feel) is apparel (where a number of standalone e-tailers have cropped up), toys & babycare, health & beauty care, shoes, jewellery, furniture and home tools.
Flipkart would do well to covers all the product categories to compete head-on with Amazon. The world's largest Internet retailer has made a small beginning in Indian e-tailing sector with its shopping search service Junglee but is already preparing groundwork with local logistics set-up (more on that here) for eventual launch of full fledged e-com business (FDI norms permitting).
Watch out for this space for more on Flipkart as it happens.