Bengaluru-based online retail platform Flipkart claims to have crossed the 100 Mn registered customers mark now, after it hit the 75 Mn mark in March 2016. It also claims to be the first ecommerce company in India to do so.
Founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal as an online book retailer, and later pivoting to a marketplace model, Flipkart claims to offer more than 40 Mn products across 80+ categories. The users are registered across desktop website, mobile application and mobile websites.
Commenting on the development, Binny Bansal, CEO and co-founder, Flipkart said, “We would like to thank our entire family of 100 Mn customers who have been a part of this wonderful journey. Since the time we sold the first book to our first customer in 2007 till today, our journey has always been about providing a superior shopping experience to our customers while continuously raising the quality of service and selection. This milestone has further energised us to ramp-up our efforts and build a world-class shopping destination.”
According to an official statement, the current registered user base of the ecommerce giant stands at 63% of all wireless and wireline broadband connections in India. According to the TRAI, the total number of broadband connections in India is under 160 Mn.
Flipkart has witnessed a series of ups and downs this year in an attempt to sustain in the Internet-based retail sector while competing with Amazon India, its chief rival. In July 2016, Flipkart decided to lay-off 700-1000 underperforming employees when it faced a downfall in its valuation by Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe and others.
Flipkart also decided to focus on an ‘app-only’ strategy. This drove Flipkart’s potential desktop customers to other platforms. They have attempted to rectify the mistake by recently launching a revamped website called web-app. In August 2016, the team also introduced two new features called ‘Fliptech’ and ‘Hobbyhub’, also aimed towards a more integrated user experience.
In January 2016, Flipkart made a major structural change in its company management when Binny Bansal, COO and co-founder was made the CEO of the company, replacing Sachin Bansal who was then appointed as the Executive Chairman.
Earlier, in April this year, Flipkart also curbed its discount pricing and placed a cap on salary increments. It is also aiming to cut its monthly burn rate to $40 Mn from about $80-100 MN, in the first half of 2016.
In order to thrive in the Indian ecommerce segment, Flipkart has launched a lot of initiatives this year to entice customers and capitalise on the market share including no cost EMI, buy-now-pay-later schemes, UPI-based payments app, PhonePe, and Flipkart Assured.
Earlier this month, while denying more staff cuts, Flipkart claimed to have plans to hire 10,000 temporary employees to prepare for the upcoming festive season. It has also announced the date of this year’s Big Billion Day shopping festival. The Big Billion Day sale will be reportedly held from October 2-October 6, 2016.