So what happens when your niche play has gained acceptance and you have lots of cash in bank? You expand, either getting new walls by taking your service global or get more space on the same old wall with more products to offer. FlipKart has chosen to do the latter.
FlipKart started selling CD/DVD of music/movies/games last month and now it has also ventured into selling mobile phones. The move is certainly needed as with one product one can grow only so much. Beyond a certain point it is more of a unsustainable price war in which no one wins but the consumer.
Flipkart’s success in books owed mostly to its smart SEO and on time delivery, which helped it create a huge fan following. Given that the extension has been only into standard products, the strategy adopted for books can be applied here as well. The pricing though seems a little above what is available on ebay and some other Indian stores.
Only fear is that the brand might get diluted. Flipkart is no longer just a bookstore (investor pressure to expand and get into higher margin/ volume products?) and will now be seen as ‘any other online store, selling everything, targeting everyone’
What’s your opinion? Is Flipkart paving way to another startup to crack the book market in a much deeper way (including local language)?
Expect Flipkart to launch its own eBook Reader (though Sachin says that he isn’t sure of the eBook market)? Watch Sachin (cofounder) at UnPluGGd talking about Flipkart’s journey.
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]