Flipkart Marketing Strategy That Made It Lead The Indian Ecommerce

Subhajit Mitra Subhajit Mitra Muskaan Kapoor Muskaan Kapoor
May 16, 2022 10 min read
Flipkart Marketing Strategy That Made It Lead The Indian Ecommerce


India's mega unicorn, Bengaluru-based Flipkart, is about to list in the US market. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the founders of Flipkart, are former IIT Delhi graduates. They quit their lucrative positions at Amazon to pursue their startup dreams. As a result, in October of 2007, Flipkart started its journey to sell books online. Essentially, their concept was simple, clients placed the book orders on Flipkart and the company delivered them to their doorsteps.

The founders of Flipkart began their journey in a 2 BHK apartment and only shipped 20 packages in their first year. In the initial days, the two former Amazon employees often had to go deliver the packages by themselves to maintain a 'just in time' chain. However, soon, their efforts and ideas picked up the pace and they were able to make their startup one of the best in India today. A more drastic change in fortune came with one of the world's largest internet deals when the US-based Walmart acquired a 77% stake in Flipkart with $16 billion.

Once rejected by Google, co-founder Binny Bansal's dream is to challenge Google India in a revenue war. The Walmart-backed Flipkart hit a new revenue milestone of $5.83+ billion amid the pandemic odds in FY2021. Here we will check how the bookselling website of the Bansals has transformed its strategy to set itself up as the big-billion behemoth that changes India's shopping culture.

Flipkart's Unique Marketing Strategies To Ramp-up The Domestic Sales

STP Analysis of Marketing
Flipkart and The Covid19 Battle

Flipkart Private Limited Revenue (FY2015 - FY2021)
Flipkart Private Limited Revenue (FY2015 - FY2021)

Flipkart's Unique Marketing Strategies To Ramp-up The Domestic Sales

Risk management or loss management is the key component of every new business at the budding stage. Flipkart, the most popular Indian eCommerce platform now, began with books, a product row with high margins, minimal maintenance, and easily transportable commodities. Books are likewise non-perishable objects with no diminishing worth over time. In the early days, when shipments were low, the company didn't have to keep inventory because books could be ordered straight from wholesalers based on customers' number of orders.

As we know, early birds always have a survival advantage. So, Flipkart started with a need-gap analysis in the Indian market. Let's see its strategic marketing tree from every aspect that contributed to its success:

Promotional Channels

Flipkart Promotional Channels
Flipkart Promotional Channels

The following are the promotional channels that Flipkart uses as a part of its marketing strategy:

  • Social Media Marketing- Flipkart can't ignore powerful tools like social media. Apart from sponsored pages, Flipkart has a large following and heavily emphasizes social media. Flipkart has about 9.7 million Facebook fans, 2.9 million Instagram followers, 2.7 million Twitter followers, and so on as of March 2022.
    Flipkart offers several different handles for different products or categories, such as fashion, tech, books, furniture, and now groceries. It uses social media as a valued customer system, feedback, queries, and reviews. Problem-solving skill with immediate response through social media enjoys trust. It uses emotional stories in social media.
  • Affiliate Marketing Tactics- Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based advertising in which a person receives a share of profit for promoting a product or service or for recommending Flipkart's items. Flipkart delegated the task of advertising its items to associates, who are paid a portion of the profit on selling the items. Affiliate program members market the products directly or indirectly through their blogs, videos, or other means. Flipkart offers 5 to 15% commission as per their cash cow products.
  • Innovative Marketing Campaign- Marketing campaigns with various taglines also beefed up sales. Flipkart uses campaigns like "Itne May Itnaaaa Milegaa", "Budget Se Mukt", "Gen E, Let's Raise a Generation of Equals", and "India ka Fashion Capital", and "Munna Bhai and Circuit". It has always involved emotional, joyful, or vivid messages to cover all the sections of society.
  • Productive and Eye-Catching Advertisements- Advertisement is a psychological game. But here also, the billion-dollar Flipkart made a balance between celebrity endorsement or using a new face to build up a down-to-earth image. So that the average person or non-user can become used to their system, apart from this, it modifies adv as per culture, festivals, and flavors of diversified India. It also observed special days like independence day, woman's day, or children's day with lucrative prices cut off for that segment of customers.
  • Personal Touch and Commoner's Brand Image- Since its inception, Flipkart ensured surprise delivery by founders, making gift packs for particular customers on special days. Indians are insane about the personal touch, gifts, wishes, etc. So, the company focuses on personal approaches. India is obsessed with Bollywood, and Flipkart is taking advantage of this to raise awareness about its image and promote its platform and products.
    But now the company wants to get into a 'commoner' image to lure the OTT addicted, 'Game of Β Thrones' lovers; the rational next-gen. Bollywood hardly makes sense to them. So, strategists uniquely use unknown faces.
  • Google Ads Boosting Sales- Customers nowadays search for things on Google, and if you're not among the top results, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. As a result, Google Ads are beyond question. Flipkart advertises, mostly on search and shop promotions, carefully considering and focusing on the proper keyword combination. Google Ads is a way for e-commerce platforms to draw consideration towards their foundation by appearing on a list of products at various phases.SEO copyright strategy helps get top search engine rank.

How Flipkart Wholesale supporting Kiranas with its Credit Program ?
Flipkart Wholesale has launched its credit programs that will help kiranas manage their working capital requirements and grow their business.

Customer-Friendly Initiatives

Flipkart Customer-Friendly Initiatives
Flipkart Customer-Friendly Initiatives

The following are some of the customer-friendly initiatives that Flipkart uses as a part of its marketing strategy:

  • Customer Relationship Management- CRM is one of the major components of marketing strategy. Flipkart applied sales forces automation to help customers guide and decide, cloud software solutions, demographic analysis, purchasing behavior, browsing history monitoring, track sales lead, and convert the confused customer into loyal ones. It is a 360Β° effort around the customers for creating awareness to end up with sales goals.
  • COD and EMI facility- Their groundbreaking cash-on-delivery offering helped them gain trust among the skeptical Indian clients who had only just discovered the benefits of online shopping. Moreover, Flipkart was among the few e-commerce companies that took COD risk on an experimental basis. As a form of protection against India's numerous logistical challenges, this allowed customers to obtain their things before paying for them.
    Easy EMI options push the confused customer to a potential buyer. Flipkart convinces the customer that EMI is to increase the affordability without hampering their monthly budget or putting any major cost burden on them.
  • Out of Cash Options (Buy Today, Pay Later)- In this world, when your best friend can deny credit during an emergency, but not the dear friend Flipkart.
    After the COD movement, the Flipkart builders decided to allow the 'Pay later' option for more people to shop on the site. It is one of the most effective marketing tactics for attracting new customers. Pay Later allows you to make online purchases quickly and easily. Customers who have been committed or appeared loyal to Flipkart for a long time have been selected to benefit from this opportunity.
  • Exchange Offer or Bonus Redeem- One of the most effective marketing tactics for expanding the customer base is to offer discounts. Customers that receive a discount are more likely to become long-term customers, as everyone, rich or poor, enjoys receiving discounts. Suppose a company offers a discount in the early years, in that case, it will undoubtedly be the market leader in the future. Flipkart has followed this marketing plan to become the market leader in today's online industry.
    It also offers easy exchange options in various segments which makes the platform a trusted one by the Indian customers.
  • Easy Refund and Replacement Policy- Flipkart also offers a product replacement service if a consumer receives damaged or incorrect goods and in case of refund, it credits the entire amount to the customer's bank account within 2 to 3 days. This method is particularly vital if an eCommerce platform wants to sustain itself in the market for a long time and create customer confidence.
  • Flipkart Assured and Quality Checked Products- In the initial period, it struggled with fake sellers, poor quality products, wrong products, and broken delivery issues. Their strategist came out with powerful initiatives like 'Flipkart assured'. Flipkart Assured, India's first speed, and quality assurance program ensures that customers receive high-quality products in the shortest time possible. Their grocery part ensured 7 step quality check products. The logistics staff have worked hard and focused on minimizing product damage across the supply chain.

Work Culture and Sellers Satisfaction Strategy

Flipkart Seller Satisfaction Strategy
Flipkart Seller Satisfaction Strategy

Marketing strategy is driven by employees, the prime assets of organizations. A good work culture with healthy competition and less corporate politics is what ensures productivity. Professional social media giant Linkedin hailed Flipkart's work culture and flagged it as the most preferred place of work in India. Many Flipsters and ex-employees also expressed admiration for their work culture on Quora. The company is also super popular for its employee-friendly paternity policy.

The seller or supplier is the key component of the entire logistic chain as the eCommerce giant is not the producer but create a marketplace where buyer and sellers can meet. So, it is important to have satisfied sellers to minimize product quality issues. A good seller will guarantee good quality that makes the customers happy and this is what the main purpose of a great marketing strategy is. Thus, Walmart's Flipkart gives equal importance to its customers and the sellers which makes it a successful and popular platform.


Why is Flipkart providing Insurance for its Sellers in India?
As many sellers have to cut down the selling of non-essential items. Flipkart has taken initiative to maintain a strong relationship with its seller base.

Efficient Distribution Channel Strategy

Flipkart has nearly 70 warehouses in India where it may hold products after receiving them from retailers and quickly transfer them to customers. Flipkart also has other hubs for packing, branding, sorting, and more. The most important aim of any marketing strategy is to ensure fast delivery to win the trust of customers and this can be done by selecting a good and efficient distribution system and chain. This is exactly how Flipkart does its work.

Flipkart's Expansion Strategy

Merger acquisition or business buyout is not only a policy to reduce competition but also a great marketing strategy. Flipkart acquired many of its small competitors to kill competition, and sometimes its acquisition is to boost up logistics tech advantages or make a new entry. For example, it acquired ANS Commerce, eBay India, and Myntra (the king of the online fashion industry) to fight with rivals. In order to diversify itself, Flipkart has also made deals with med-platform, SastaSundar, and ticket booking application, Cleartrip. All this brings up the platform in the eyes of people and hence, a great marketing strategy.

So, Flipkart is the big fish that eats little fish for its diversified expansion.

STP Analysis of Marketing

A balanced strategy is chosen for STP (Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning) analysis of Flipkart segmentation, pricing, and targeting analysis. Flipkart works as a middleman and sells from books to bikinis, so their targeting is not fixed. Similarly, the pricing also rotates as per product quality brand. However, it claims many products under MRP and discount rates.
Flipkart uses behavioral and psychographic segmentation tactics to segment the market and adapt to customers' shifting requirements and wants.

Flipkart and The Covid19 Battle

Unprecedented adversity turned into a lucrative opportunity for Flipkart. At first, the company faced problems during work from home culture to the systematic shift of human, and tech resources and a struggling delivery system due to lockdown.

But every dark cloud has a silver lining. It created the Programme management team and ensured cashless delivery without any touch. The Flipkart family took care of employees, vendors, frontline workers, and consumers during the tough time of the pandemic. The company tied up with the Uber drivers for smooth delivery. The Walmart-owned company announced a 46 crore medical supply donation for India to help common people out of the internal ecosystem. Internal vaccination drive, strict covid norms, or strong insurance for employees bring out their safety concerns.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned marketing strategies like social media marketing, catchy campaigns, advertisements, bonus redemption, out-of-cash options, etc. are responsible for making Flipkart what it is today. It is not only proper planning but the great execution that matters too. This startup which merely started as a bookselling platform is now ruling the Indian eCommerce market with its effective marketing strategies. Thus, the platform has come a long way since its inception and it also makes continuous efforts to stay in the market in its full prime.

FAQs

When was Flipkart founded?

Flipkart was founded in the year 2007 by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal.

What are some prominent acquisitions of Flipkart?

Some prominent acquisitions of Flipkart are:

  • Myntra
  • eBay
  • Letsbuy
  • SastaSundar
  • ANS Commerce
  • Yaantra

What is Flipkart Assured?

Flipkart Assured is a badge that can be found on certain products present on Flipkart's platform. This means that the products are of high quality, have passed six precise quality checks, and are from its best sellers.

What are the marketing strategies of Flipkart?

Flipkart indulges in both paid and organic marketing. Its main focus remains on marketing through digital channels like social media marketing, Google ads, etc.

Most popular campaigns by Flipkart include:

  • Big Billion Day
  • Gen E
  • Kidults
  • Itne Mein Itnaaaa Milegaa
  • India ka Fashion Capital

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