Flipkart’s Private Brand business came into being about two years ago, developed with the vision of meeting the dynamic needs of Indian consumers with a focus on delivering quality and affordability. Built on deep consumer insights that map a broad spectrum of consumer aspirations and preferences, Flipkart’s private brands have bridged the need gap effectively to offer immense value to consumers in terms of selection, quality, specifications and price. Further, Flipkart’s private brands are built around the cornerstone of trust. The immense popularity of the e-commerce platform makes it attractive for established global brands to partner with Flipkart to develop innovative product-value constructs tailored to meet the unique needs of Indian consumers.
Flipkart’s Private Brands business is promoting the growth of local manufacturing and small businesses, through its Virtual Private Label strategy. Powering ahead the government’s vision of Make In India, Private Brands have deepened the focus on local manufacturing and small business, contributing to boosting small businesses and local economies by generating employment opportunities.
Through licensee partnerships, Flipkart Private Brands brings global standards of technology to the Indian market by partnering with brands loved by consumers across the globe. Recent partnerships with Nokia and Motorola to launch televisions, air-conditioners, washing machines and streaming devices, underscore this commitment.
Dev Iyer, Vice President – Flipkart Private Brands, speaks about how the business leverages consumer insights to drive a business that is successful, sustainable, and scalable.
Listen to Dev Iyer along with Flipkart leaders Manish Kumar, Nishit Garg, and Nishant Gupta on how their categories are prepared to make this year’s The Big Billion Days truly a #FlipkartForIndia event
In the current pandemic climate, what consumer trends are driving opportunities for Flipkart Private Labels?
There is a new set of needs, wants and demands that we are seeing on the platform. As most organizations extend their work-from-home policies, we are seeing huge traction for products consumed at home. For example, television sales have shown 2X growth. We are also seeing growth in laptops, with children attending virtual classrooms and most corporate meetings now going digital. Demand for dishwashers, for instance, used to be quite muted earlier but has seen a big surge.
With consumers still very careful in venturing out of home, demand has shifted strongly to e-commerce in these categories. In the upcoming festive season, we’re pivoting to launch private brands and license brands in these segments and driving customer growth.
How did Flipkart Private Brands step up to these opportunities?
We worked on developing essential categories like face masks and hand sanitizers, which customers were searching for when the pandemic hit us in the beginning of the year. We had to fulfill this demand. So the team connected with manufacturers and suppliers, our quality teams visited factories to ensure quality standards, and launched these products on the platform. We brought these essentials to consumers at a time when they needed them most
We’re launching close to 320 new products this year alone across FMCG, sports and fitness, baby care, and also in essentials.
What is the value proposition that Flipkart Private Brands offer to consumers in India?
We’ve seen huge traction on Private Brands due to consumer trust in the Flipkart platform. These are quality products made by us directly under the brand name of Flipkart, and customers know that since this is from Flipkart, quality is assured.
With our deep consumer insights, we understand the gaps between what customers want and what the market offers, and have been filling these gaps through selection, quality, specifications, and price.
Our private labels like Flipkart Smartbuy and Flipkart Supermart bring grocery, general merchandise and essentials at value to consumers. On the other hand, our private branded business brings consumers affordable, high quality consumer durables like televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and other technology products like IoT and streaming devices.
In the private brand business, we work directly with factories and brand partners. And because we are able to connect manufacturers directly to consumers, the cost to the consumer is significantly lower.
How is the Private Brands business supporting local manufacturing and Make In India?
From January 2021, close to 80% to 85% of our portfolio will either be manufactured in India or assembled in India with Indian business partners. We are actively working with the local manufacturing ecosystem to build what we call Virtual Private Labels, starting with our furniture brand, Perfect Homes. This vision started in 2018 when, through our Purewood launch, we tied up with local manufacturers in Jaipur and Jodhpur to launch a sheesham range influenced by art and architecture of Rajasthan. Since then, we have onboarded to our online marketplace over 40 such sellers, with more than 50% of them coming from small towns.
We supplement the onboarding effort with free business incubation support for new sellers for 60 days, including equipping them with insights in product support, advertising and speed. Today, 100% of our mattress, sofa and seating range and Purewood range has moved to this model.
The aim is to develop job opportunities, ameliorate cost-effective manufacturing, and skill development leading to competitive advantage and to improve infrastructure, which will boost the productivity of the business and ultimately enable us to offer affordable products.
What are some of the key launches that customers can look forward to during the festive season?
One of the key differentiators for the Private Brands business at Flipkart is what we’ve done to bring a lot of international aspirational brands to India. These high quality, affordable products have been developed with a combination of our deep consumer insights and the brand’s assurance of quality. Moreover, they are made in India. We have the India license for international brands like Nokia and Motorola. We have launched 6 new Nokia Smart TVs for the Big Billion Days sale at affordable price points. With Motorola, we are bringing Smart Home Appliances including smart TVs, refrigerators, air-conditioners, and washing machines.
These products are highly differentiated and pack features that are unavailable in mainstream brands. To give you an example, we will launch a 32-inch Motorola television specifically for The Big Billion Days. This will have Dolby Digital, Dolby Vision and surround sound in a 32-inch TV, at the price of ₹12,999. No brand offers these features at this price point in this segment. So, that’s the kind of innovation or feature-enrichment we’re able to bring. And it’s among the reasons why we are seeing a huge traction for these brands on our platform.