'Affordability and access': Nishit Garg spotlights the growth of Flipkart's home care category
The Indian home care category is witnessing a steady period of sustained growth, going by many industry reports and surveys.
By all accounts, consumers are surely and increasingly shifting towards online purchase owing to convenience, availability of cost-effective and value-for-money products.
Keeping up with the trend, Flipkart’s home category, which was launched in 2014, has grown six-fold, and provided a platform for enthusiastic buyers who otherwise had to largely rely on local retailers for designs and quality.
The availability of diverse products from a premium to affordable price point drives Flipkart’s growth in this category, say the brand's campaigns.
With a host of brands and listings on the platform, the category has a large presence in Tier II and Tier III cities, from where it sees the maximum sales.
With products ranging from cookware, home furnishings, home décor to home improvement tools, Flipkart has established itself as a one-stop destination for home solutions.
Given such a meteoric rise, we chat with Nishit Garg, Senior Director & Head, Books & General Merchandise, Flipkart to get a bird's-eye view of the industry, as it witnesses such significant change.
Could you give us a take on the growth of Flipkart, and the rising success of segments such as Home category, in the context of Flipkart’s modest beginnings?
As we look at solving for India and Bharat, and get the next 200 million consumers on to the platform, we want to provide consumers with a plethora of options where affordability and access are core to what we do.
Introduced to the e-commerce landscape of India as a homegrown company selling books, Flipkart quite soon forayed into the widest selection across categories to today, becoming the leading e-commerce marketplace of the country.
A step in this direction is to make our selection as wide as possible on the platform, for which we are launching and updating our portfolios on a monthly basis.
The category sees a humongous uptake during the festive season, and this will be the biggest in fact for the entire ecosystem - for our loyal patrons and nurtured seller alike.
We are prepared for every demand/desire/need of our existing as well as new consumers. We want to continue being the most preferred partner for both brands and consumers.
The Home category played quite a pivotal role for Flipkart through its journey to become the leaders in the space.
The category was launched first on the platform in 2014, and since Jan 2017, the category has already seen 6x growth.
Could you elaborate on the expanding range of products and services in the Home category at Flipkart? What are the highlights that you’d like buyers to know about?
Flipkart has continuously worked towards solving for middle India or Bharat and manage the desires of consumers across every part of the country.
As a value player, we look at e-commerce as a solution to penetrate and cater to consumers from Tier 2 and 3 cities.
One key driver for growth has been to cater to mid-premium selections without letting the consumers compromise on the looks and aesthetics of their desired products. Several products have seen great buy-in from consumers.
Every month, we keep widening the offerings and products within the category, and we are currently gearing up for the upcoming festive season, which is the most active time of the year for us, with sellers as well as consumers approaching this category at Flipkart’s platform.
How have you envisioned the growth of the home category at Flipkart when seen in comparison to so many other brands and players in this ever-growing space?
We are continuously working towards making the category more holistic so that any consumer coming on to the platform is able to find the products they are looking for.
A step in this direction is to expand our range and introduce new product lines based on the trends witnessed in the market.
Our aim is to deliver affordable products to consumers and give them access to the massive selection on the platform in one go.
A lot of our consumers come from Tier 2 and 3 markets, who look for e-commerce platforms to fulfil their needs and desires, considering the limitation in their regions for it.
Could you give us some insight into the category’s presence in Tier 2 and 3 cities? How does that work strategically for the brand’s growth, and perceptions to do with its range, and quality of services - from premium to affordable price points?
As Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart recently mentioned, “At Flipkart, solving for Bharat is not a strategy, it is the business”.
And it holds absolutely true since about 65-70% of our demand comes from these markets. As a homegrown company, we tend to understand what clicks with the Indian consumers and what are they looking for when it comes to buying affordable or premium brands while keeping the looks and aesthetics intact.
Non-metros look up to e-commerce platforms to manage their needs and desires, with the latest trends in the country, and e-commerce is the first one to offer them that.
With the ease of delivery, convenience and affordability being the driving factors, Flipkart is looking forward to having the next 200 million consumers on board.
Could you give us an idea of the largest selling products in the category?
Within the Home category, we have seen a growing interest from consumers for Home Decor such as wall clocks, paintings, wall stickers, etc.
Home Furnishings such as bedsheets, pillowcases and covers, etc and kitchenware such as cooking pans, pressure cookers, gas stoves, etc.
A new segment which is quite quickly being picked up is the Home Improvement Tools category as we are seeing consumers heading towards DIY tools.
Please give us a brief idea of the strategy you have in mind, for the road ahead? What kind of roadblocks do you envision? What would be your chief focus areas to ensure continued and sustained growth?
Currently, we are looking to widen our portfolio of products to be the priority destination for Indian consumers and all of their festive season requirements.
We want to bring the most affordable products to the farthest of cities in India and make the platform accessible for more and more consumers.
A step in this direction is our hubs in Panipat, Jalandhar and Ludhiana which are supporting us to ramp up the demands which we witness during this period.
We are working towards solving for Indian consumers’ needs and work on the affordable as well as mid-premium segments.