MUMBAI: Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce business, is planning to emulate Amazon by selling higher-priced items such as furniture and fridges, its co-founder has said.
Sachin Bansal told the Economic Times that Flipkart was aiming to not only create greater depth in existing categories but to introduce new ones. "We want to be the leader in each of the e-commerce categories," he said.
"Currently, there are many big-ticket categories including furniture and white goods like refrigerators and washing machines that we do not sell," he explained, adding: "This year, we are hopefully going to close in on these gaps."
Flipkart has also recently followed Amazon India's lead in other areas by introducing guaranteed one-day shipping in select cities across the country.
And the company's mobile business is growing rapidly, from almost nothing to 20% within the space of a year, said Bansal.
"The difference between the range of products available online and offline is still pretty incremental in India compared to what it is like in China and the US," he noted as he outlined the work needed to achieve "scale and a critical mass". He saw this as his biggest constraint rather than the market.
Earlier, Bansal had described Flipkart customers, saying 90% thought of e-commerce as a secondary source, "where they can go if they don't find something offline". But the situation was changing rapidly, with 10% now regarding ecommerce as a primary channel.
Other online retailers welcomed Flipkart's move into new categories as it was likely to bring increased attention to them.
"They will move the needle and will help create awareness for furniture-buying online," said Jawad Ayaz, co-founder of online home store Zansaar. "For us, specifically, since we source most of our products internationally, their entry won't impact us much," he added.
Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff