TV is now Flipkart’s second highest revenue-generating category

Flipkart wants to sell television sets like it does smartphones, encouraged by the idiot-box’s rapid ascension to become the online marketplace’s second highest revenue-generating category.


What that could mean for customers is steeper discounts, exclusive products, faster deliveries, easier financing and other initiatives associated with the online sales of smartphones, the largest category for Flipkart.

This new zeal for televisions follows the category climbing its way up to second position for Flipkart in 2017 from fourth in 2016, displacing laptops and fashion accessories. The company sold nearly one million television units worth Rs 1,950-2,050 crore last year, about double from Rs 1,000 crore in the year before.
For this year, Flipkart’s aiming for Rs 5,000 crore in TV sales.

“Television has now become the second-biggest contributor to Flipkart’s overall revenues,” Sandeep Karwa, head of large appliances at Flipkart, told ET. “We are looking at a plethora of initiatives—right from exclusive partnerships with brands to enabling credit for our users to be able to purchase a television.”
Flipkart didn’t share more details on the revenue contributions of its top product categories.

The Bengaluru-headquartered company is working with several brands including LG and Samsung to customise television models based on user insights mined from its ecommerce platform. “We also work with product managers of these brands and give them insights on what kind of features users are primarily looking for,” said Karwa.

Flipkart is also in the process of opening warehouses in Coimbatore, Guwahati, Ludhiana and Lucknow to be able to reach more areas faster and shorten delivery times for large appliances, including television sets. It also plans to increase the contribution of exchange programmes to television sales to 30% this year from about 20% in 2017.

Some industry analysts don’t share Flipkart’s enthusiasm, saying that while the etailer’s television sales numbers may seem sizeable, it is marginal when compared with the total televisions sold in the country.

“Given the amount of discounts and losses that (Flipkart is) piling up, they could be selling more televisions than anyone else in the market,” said Harminder Sahni, founder of retail consultancy Wazir Advisors. ” Online channels are definitely an attractive platform for brands because of the amount of consumer insights they can provide, but brands would be conflicted about splitting their sales between online and offline because the former would demand higher discounts.”

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