Tuesday 4 July 2017

Flipkart top-brass to meet customers to gain insight; Amazon to form Cloudtail-like seller entity

Ecommerce biggies 
Flipkart and Amazon are busy talking these days; the former with buyers and the latter with Indian MNC families. Different approaches but same goal – expand their ecommerce business’s revenue and reach.

Flipkart’s executive to meet customers from small towns & cities

The home-grown etailer is soon going to launch a program, wherein Flipkart’s top executives including the CEO would interact with customers. In the month-long program, the company’s managers would reach out to buyers from tier 2, 3 and 4 towns in order to gain insight into new customer buying behaviours.
The feedback from these customers would help Flipkart to design its next phase of growth. Small towns and cities would be at the centre of this plan.
While speaking about this program, Flipkart’s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said,
“Customers are at the heart of everything we do, which is why all our work in the past decade was done to simplify and bring value to our customer’s life. As we dedicate this month to our customers, we would like to get to know them better by personally interacting with them.”
During the 2015 Big Billion edition, Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal had turned into a delivery boy for a day with an intention to interact with buyers and get their direct feedback.

Amazon looking to create a seller entity like Cloudtail

Rival Amazon isn’t far behind as far as drafting strategies to increase business reach is concerned.
It is common knowledge that Amazon India’s biggest seller Cloudtail is a joint enterprise of Amazon Inc. and Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures.
The US-based online marketplace is planning to enter a similar partnership with other Indian MNCs. According to sources, Amazon is in talks with Burman Family Holdings that operates Dabur and Kris Gopalakrishnan, executive vice-chairman of Infosys.
An insider revealed,
“Talks are continuing with the Burman family and a deal could get hammered out in the next couple of months. Discussions with the other groups have reached an impasse.”
After the ‘FDI 25% cap on sales from one seller rule’ was implemented, Amazon had introduced a new batch of sellers to handle their best-selling brands to reduce reliance on Cloudtail.
But a joint venture like Cloudtail would allow the marketplace to have more control over the inventory and quality of service. In addition, it is good for the business; Cloudtail’s growth is a proof of it. Even the business houses benefit from this arrangement, as the ecommerce industry is growing at a jet speed.
Satish Meena, an analyst at Forrester Research stated,
“Cloudtail has been doing well. These ventures help Amazon comply with the DIPP norms and exercise greater control over inventory, manage customer experience and comply with the regulations of GST for tax collection at source.”
But wouldn’t a new in-house seller like Cloudtail affect other sellers listed on Amazon India? In the past, various seller associations have accused Amazon of under-cutting sellers. The etailer’s seller count is increasing but where’s the level-playing field?

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