Flipkart will shut down SMART Fulfilment on August 1
Under SMART Fulfilment, sellers had to store their products in a separate space within their warehouses to make them eligible for faster deliveries
Sellers had to bear additional costs in the form of increased commissions, dedicated manpower and third-party software cost, among others
Bengaluru-based ecommerce unicorn Flipkart has decided to shut down one of its seller services called SMART Fulfilment.
The move will come into effect from August 1, 2022.
Under SMART Fulfilment, sellers had to store their products in a separate space within their warehouses to make them eligible for faster deliveries. The sellers also had to maintain the warehouses according to Flipkart’s guidelines.
The sellers could only include a set amount of listings, and in those listings, the orders had to be fulfilled on priority, with same-day pickups being mandatory. These products are listed with the ‘F-Assured’ tag.
While the service gets more orders to a seller since it is delivered earlier, it also costs more to the seller.
Flipkart charged extra commissions on all SMART Fulfilment orders. Also, a seller’s in-house costs increased as well, as SMART Fulfilment sellers had to have the warehouse open for pickup seven days of the week, along with having to use third-party software to keep up with the requirements.
Flipkart launched SMART Fulfilment in December 2019, which gives the service a life cycle of barely three years.
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Inc42 has reviewed the email sent to the sellers by Flipkart on the same, sent on May 3.
In the email sent to sellers using SMART Fulfilment, Flipkart said, “In order to help you in reducing your cost of doing business and improving your order processing experience, we are discontinuing SMART Fulfilment.”
Flipkart also explained the rationale behind the decision.
According to the ecommerce giant, SMART Fulfilment was leading to additional costs for sellers due to various reasons such as increased manpower, additional rented space and dependency on third-party software to reduce operational challenges.
While SMART Fulfilment is being discontinued, the F-Assured tag will still be featured on the listings of the sellers that continue to fulfil the conditions set by Flipkart.
These requirements, which include thresholds related to working hours and other service level agreement (SLA) requirements, were also shared in the same email.
It is prudent to note here that Amazon also has a similar seller service called Amazon Seller Flex, which is available to its sellers across the world.
Amazon sellers have to dedicate a set inventory to a set number of listings in a separate space, and the orders are processed via a separate seller support portal.