Indian e-commerce companies may run into more competition in the months ahead with global entities such as Alibaba, Rakuten and Walmart seriously eyeing the Indian market.
Founded by two ex-Amazon employees Sachin and Binny Bansal, Flipkart has been changing its formats and strategy over the last year with Amazon’s entry.
Vipshop, a Chinese online retailer that sells quality branded items at discount, on Wednesday reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter ended on 31 March 2014. Total net revenues surged 125.9 percent over the prior year period to USD701.9 million, primarily driven by growth in the number of active customers and total orders. Active customers grew 129.3 percent from 2.8 million to 7.4 million and total orders rose to 20.2 million from 8.8 million last year.
E-commerce will soon be larger than brick-and-mortar in India, and the trend has already started showing in pockets. That may look like a startling claim coming from an e-commerce company, but Flipkart chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Sachin Bansal believes that is true. The company, which recently hit the run rate of USD1 billion in gross merchandise value ahead of the target date, is the largest mobile phone retailer in the country, counting online and offline stores, estimates show. Flipkart has confirmed that.
After reporting losses of close to USD200 million in the holiday quarter, Radio Shack, the US chain of electronic retail stores, announced last week that it would close a fifth of its 5,000 stores. Competition from online majors, especially the largest in the world, Amazon, is said to be behind the decline of Radio Shack and many others across product categories.
Amazon India is aggressively strengthening its product portfolio. The online marketplace that entered the Indian market with just books and electronics has extended to handbag category with over 2,500 styles across 50 global brands such as Malaga, Michael Kors, Coach, Armani Exchange, Kate Spade, and popular Indian brands like Hidesign, Fastrack, Da Milano, Baggit, Caprese,and Lavie.
Indian online furniture retailer Pepperfry.com, which started out as fashion and lifestyle portal, said it was seeing significant clicks in the home assortment category as more people were shopping for "non-standardised" products online.
"We shifted to furniture retailing after insights revealed that consumers were buying bulky items like beds and side tables online. Since these are non-standardised products, it gave us better gross margins. Additionally, the ticket size is also much higher," said Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing Officer.
Are you a fan of online shopping? You have reason to cheer. You can bank on it for your last-minute purchases as e-tailers are now promising to offer same-day delivery. While international retailers such as Amazon are looking at drones to deliver a product in 30 minutes, Indian e-commerce players have many miles to go before they can hope to replicate the same.
Several e-tailers in India are testing the waters to garner more clicks. Industry players, however, say this may bleed the not-so-profitable firms further.
Online fashion retailer Zalora said on Thursday that it will launch marketplace in the first half of this year. With over 15 million visits per month to Zalora, marketplace will give independent fashion designers and sellers a platform to expand their business to Zalora's massive customer base and will increase the product assortment available to customers.
Online retailers in India have stolen the thunder from big malls and jazzy retail outlets this holiday season.
Offering discounts from 10 to 60 percent, and sometimes even more, e-commerce players such as Snapdeal, Flipkart, Jabong and Yebhi have reported more business in December than they did in any other month. Big malls are feeling the heat though, for people are eating and watching movies, but are not shopping.
The ''tip-tap'' of someone tapping away on a mobile phone is certainly less jolly than the tune of sleigh bells or a chorus of carol singers, but the unmistakeable beat of fingers rapping against a touch screen is rocketing up the charts as shoppers make it a very mobile Christmas this year.