The Flipkart category expansion timeline

Flipkart, horizontal multi branded retailer has recently expanded to women’s apparel in its category section. The available market was currently captured by various other horizontal and niche etailers such as Jabong, Yebhi, Tradus, Myntra, Fashionara, DonebyNone, Zovi and more.

A quick overview of Flipkart’s portfolio expansion in this table gives us a clearer picture of how Flipkart has expanded in its category offerings with the Indian market demand by observing market patterns and even generating the need.

Event Month/Year Detail
Flipkart launch

Sep-07

Started as Online Book Retailer
Series A Funding

Oct-09

Accel Partners($1M USD)
Category Expansion

Jun-10

Music, Movies, Games
Series B Funding

Jun-10

Tiger Global($10M USD)
Category Expansion

Oct-10

Mobiles and Accessories
Category Expansion

Feb-11

Camera’s and Computers
Series C Funding

Jun-11

Tiger Global($20M USD)
Category Expansion

Jul-11

Mp3 players, Personal & Health Care
Category Expansion

Aug-11

Home Appliances
Category Expansion

Oct-11

TV & Video
Category Expansion

Nov-11

Pens & Stationery, Kitchen Appliances
Category Expansion

Feb-12

Flyte Digital Music Store
Category Expansion

Apr-12

Fragrances
Category Expansion

May-12

Belts, Bags & Luggage
Series D Funding

Aug-12

MIH (Naspers), ICONIQ Capital, Accel Partners and Tiger Global($150M USD)
Category Expansion

Aug-12

Baby Care & Toys
Category Expansion

Oct-12

Clothing(Mens), Footwear, Sports & Fitness
Category Expansion

Dec-12

Flyte eBooks
Category Expansion

Feb-13

Clothing(Women)

 

Flipkart expansion can be a good example of the way Indian ecommerce market is evolving in terms of category adoption from online buyers and how the market is maturing from comparable goods demands online to subjective good demands online. Each category expansion for Flipkart must have taken thorough market research and feasibility judgment. It can also be seen as Flipkart’s lowest energy barrier path for category expansion.

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In terms of many horizontal retailers, the idea is to acquire the customer with low ticket size, competitive pricing products and make them move up the value chain towards high margin product purchase & high ticket size purchase. In the case of Flipkart the foundation laid by book sales, ‘may be’ at negative margins, acquired customers to test the experience and utility of buying from Flipkart. Electronics further helped in increasing the ticket size per transaction although still at low-to-negative margins. And then next was to increase the basket size and margins by providing further options and compelling purchases for higher margin products, of which apparel, digital goods, and even mixing and pushing of a private label can be a good example.

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