Even as dust on the Walmart-Flipkart deal settles, homegrown ecommerce company Flipkart is going all out to woo the Indian market by ensuring quality control. After announcing surprise checks on sellers, Flipkart announced the launch of a durability certification called FurniSure. With this move, the ecommerce makes furniture certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) available to both online and offline shoppers. By 2018, the online marketplace plans to ensure that 60% of the furniture it sells is durability certified.
Flipkart, which re-added the furniture category in 2017, claimed to have addressed various problems faced by customers in delivery, installation, and after-sales service. Over 250 varieties of furniture, including from Flipkart’s private label Perfect Homes, is said to have been durability certified. These products are currently being delivered to 110 cities across the country. Flipkart has four warehouses specifically for furniture.
“When we re-launched the (furniture) category last year, we had overhauled and fixed a lot of problems. FurniSure assures our customers to shop for furniture on Flipkart with complete peace of mind. Its acts as a seal of quality and durability assurance,” said Nandita Sinha, senior director and head (furniture category), Flipkart.
Apart from the FurniSure certification, Flipkart has also launched a ‘Specification Assured’ tag for FurniSure products under which it offers quick refunds and easy returns if the delivered product does not match the description on the product page.
India’s Furniture Market That Flipkart Is Eyeing
As Flipkart wants to build users’ trust in the furniture segment, let’s look at the current market scenario of the industry.
- India’s furniture industry is the 14th largest market in the world
- The Indian furniture market is expected to touch $27 Bn by 2022, as per Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) report
- The country’s furniture market was worth $18 Bn in 2015
- About $1.49 Bn worth of furniture and home-furnishing items were imported in the FY 2015-16
Meanwhile, Flipkart has been adding a slew of products under its Make In India private label — Billion. The online retailer recently launched Smartphone Billion Capture+ and the Billion series — Power Bank, among others under this label.
Since its inception in October 2007, Flipkart has built its customer base of over 100 Mn with over 80 Mn products over 80 categories. Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy has announced the startup’s plan to include ‘gemstone’ and ‘jewellery’ as the focused categories for 2019.
To challenge Flipkart, Amazon India launched recently its own private smartphone brand ‘Tenor’ in January 2018. Prior to that, it launched Amazon Kindle, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Now, Amazon Pantry, Amazon Pay, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), Alexa Voice Service (AVS), etc.
Flipkart has already established its name among the largest international ecommerce firms after it entered into a historical deal with Walmart that is all set to acquire 77% stake with the investment of $16 Bn. With this, Flipkart’s valuation became a whopping $22 Bn company.