Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart has entered into a strategic partnership with Nepal-based ecommerce company Sastodeal to explore cross-border trade opportunities for its lakhs of sellers.
According to the terms of the agreement, Sastodeal will host products from Flipkart marketplace sellers operating across the categories of baby care and kids, audio devices, men’s clothing, women’s ethnic wear and sports & fitness, among others, allowing Indian sellers access to Nepalese customers.
The company claims that the partnership with Sastodeal will be a boon for the MSME sellers on its platform, looking for new avenues of growth as they try to revive their business amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Flipkart, with a registered customer base of 250 Mn, claims that it has 2 lakh sellers across India on its platform, of which, 50% come from the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
“The partnership with Sastodeal, a homegrown brand like ours, will not just open doors for a wider market reach to our sellers but also allow them to boost their business significantly. E-commerce business in Nepal has huge potential as more and more consumers take to online shopping. The trust a brand like Flipkart has amongst consumers along with the love of a local company like Sastodeal, makes the value proposition for consumers even more exciting,” said Jagjeet Harode, head of marketplace at Flipkart.
Flipkart’s private brands, MarQ and SmartBuy will also be listed on the Sastodeal platform, with a focus on categories such as electronics, home appliances/home decor, and furnishings.
The first phase of the partnership will see Flipkart’s more than 5,000 products across verticals being listed on the Sastodeal platform.
Lately, Flipkart has been trying a host of measures and experimenting with different offerings to diversify its ecommerce business as well as expand the customer reach for its sellers.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Flipkart was banking on neighbourhood ‘dark stores’ as it tried to boost its presence in the grocery delivery segment. The move was aimed to counter Reliance’s JioMart.
In July, Flipkart also announced its entry in the hyperlocal delivery space to take on Google-backed Dunzo, the biggest player in the segment. Flipkart Quick services will leverage Flipkart’s technology capabilities and supply chain infrastructure to deliver more than 2,000 products across several categories — grocery, fresh, dairy, meat, mobiles, electronics accessories, stationery items and home accessories — in the first phase. It will also be onboarding neighbourhood or kirana stores onto its network. The service is currently available in Bengaluru but will expand to six undisclosed cities in the coming six months.
Flipkart Hikes Commissions From Sellers
An Inc42 report from June highlighted that Flipkart was planning to hike the commissions it charged from sellers, as the company witnessed increased demand for non-essentials in the post-lockdown period. With the hike in commissions across product categories, sellers might have to either raise prices of their products or incur losses, either way, benefiting Flipkart in terms of its GMV or burn.
Reportedly, commissions for products would be increased in components such as local shipping charges.
A spokesperson for the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) had said, “The price hikes by Flipkart need to be rolled back, and they should instead reduce their fees for sellers to survive while giving the best benefits to consumers. With the revised fees, the sellers will be forced to increase prices by 5-7%, depending on category and selling price.”
A Flipkart spokesperson had told Inc42 that it was working with lakhs of sellers so they could resume operations. “We regularly revise our commissions and shipping rate cards based on business metrics and this is a periodic exercise.”