Flipkart, Amazon boost payments capabilities, infra ahead of festive sales

Flipkart, Amazon boost payments capabilities, infra ahead of festive sales
Photo Credit: Reuters
14 Oct, 2020

Days before the first festive season sale since the coronavirus outbreak, ecommerce companies have stepped up their efforts to make up for the lockdown-induced losses.  

Flipkart said on Wednesday that it has partnered with 17 banks, NBFCs and fintech companies to offer cashback, discounts and e-gifting services during the Big Billion Day sale, which is expected to benefit 70 million customers. The Walmart-owned firm said in a statement that it looks to focus on driving affordability in tier II markets and beyond.

Additionally, it has launched a gift card store, listing 60 brands such as Joyalukkas, Croma, FabIndia and KFC, to enable purchase of both physical and digital gift cards at a discount. It has also rolled out the Digital Suraksha Group Insurance in partnership with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company to safeguard customers against  cyber frauds, as per the statement.   

Flipkart rival Amazon too has reportedly partnered with 25 banks and financial institutions to cater to 50 million customers, offering no-cost credit to tier-II customers.

The Jeff Bezos-run company, in a separate statement on Wednesday, announced the launch of its largest fulfillment centre in West Bengal. The centre, with a 1.2 million cubic foot capacity, is expected to cater to 25,000 sellers in the state. 

Amazon India has also tripled the storage capacity of an existing specialised fulfilment centre for large appliances and furniture in the state to more than six lakh cubic feet, the statement said. 

With the latest expansion, Amazon offers a storage capacity of more than 3.4 million cubic feet across five fulfilment centres.  

The company had in July announced plans to add 10 new fulfilment centres and expand seven of its existing sites across India. 

“West Bengal is a very important market for us as its strategic location enables us to better serve customers in the region and neighbouring north-eastern states. With this expansion we will be able to support small and medium businesses, while creating hundreds of work opportunities for locals in the state,” Akhil Saxena, vice president of customer fulfilment operations for APAC, MENA and LATAM regions at Amazon, said.

Last week, Flipkart expanded its last-mile reach with over 3,000 facilities to strengthen its presence across tier-III cities and beyond. It said that it added over 3.4 million square feet space across its supply chain assets, including fulfilment centres, mother hubs and delivery centres throughout the country. It also reportedly acquired a 140-acre land to set up its largest fulfilling centre in Asia at Manesar, Gurugram.

Amazon and Flipkart are expected to begin the sales on October 17 and 16, respectively.