FlipKart Vs Amazon – Of Billion Dollar PR And A Look At Real Data

Ecommerce giant FlipKart announced a $1Bn funding round on Tuesday. This is known to be the biggest investment in the Indian internet space till date and probably the second highest private fund raise by any internet technology company in the world after Uber’s $1.2Bn round. Media, Indian and other wise, obviously went gaga over this mammoth amount of money being poured into a company founded by 2 Indians in their early 30’s. All the news around the FlipKart’s tech failure during Xiaomi Mi3 launch took a back seat.

jeff-bezos
Jeff Bezos (Image credit: FT.com)

This media attention, that Flipkart received in 24hrs and a lot more that was to come, obviously did not go down well with the global eCommerce giant Amazon, that has been active in Indian ecommerce space for about an year.

What’s bothering for Amazon is not the attention Flipkart got but the reason for the attention i.e. – Deep PocketsTM. Any story around ecommerce dominance ends with a statement on Amazon’s deep pockets to keep competition out.

Amazon cannot afford to lose that positioning with the media. In less than 24 hours Amazon announced $2Bn investment into its Indian arm. And the Deep Pockets trademark was won again.

Media has been talking about how aggressive and big Amazon already is in India. Some reports have even reported Amazon catalogue size to be already bigger than Flipkart’s. This might be true given that books account for most of SKU count for any ecommerce player in India and this is Amazon’s favorite category.

We at FindYogi, a buying decision platform for consumers, dug in more data to find out the catalogue sizes. Here’s what we got.

FlipKart Vs Amazon: Catalogue size for Consumer Electronics

CategoryBrandsNo. of products
FlipkartAmazonFlipkartAmazon
Mobile8178910963
Tablets6461154158
Laptops1413462339
Camera1813279289

For consumer electronics section competition appears neck to neck. Number of brands and products are almost same. Please note, we have counted different colors of same product as 1.

Flipkart Billion Dollar Funding
Flipkart’s Billion Dollar Funding

Mobiles and Laptops are a key category for driving GMV in Indian eCommerce and there does not seem to be huge difference in these catalogues. The pricing is also competitive amongst the 2 players, though Snapdeal is the cheapest price seller in about 55% of the cases when it comes to mobiles.

The competition in the consumer electronics category, sans accessories, is so bad that it’s almost driving a negative cash flow, at transaction level itself. The game is changing though, with the past few months seeing some exclusive launches of mobiles that are selling in truckloads.

With so much of buzz around each exclusive launch the game is not only to become the retailer of choice for consumers but also the distributor of choice for manufacturers.

Let’s take a look at some more profitable categories in the lifestyle segment to find out the catalogue coverage of both the players.

Amazon Vs. Flipkart : Who Has Better Lifestyle

We dug in for few sample categories to see how exhaustive the coverage is by each of the ecommerce players is.

CategoryBrands
FlipkartAmazon
Apparels:  Men’s Jeans12243
Men’s Watches13256
Men’s Sunglasses7750
Hair Care: Shampoos21053
Baby Strollers and Prams1426
Women Sports shoes3825
Board Games8353
Suitcase1015
Home and Kitchen (Pressure Cooker)1927
Skin Care Moisturizers11863

 

Amazon- Flipkart graph lifestyle
Amazon- Flipkart graph lifestyle
  • FlipKart seems to be leading in fashion categories, this might have come from the Myntra acquisition.
  • Amazon is winning in categories like Strollers, Pressure cookers and suitcases – all these are non-Myntra and non-LetsBuy categories (remember LetsBuy?).

There are 2 noticeable things we found while digging the data.

  1. FlipKart has a lot of “empty” brands. These are brands which have couple of product listed but all with “coming soon” status. FlipKart might be measuring the traction on these brands before actually launching them or may be just trying to look big. For example in shampoos category, Flipkart actually lists over 400 brands in the filters, for half of which it does not have any stock.
  2. Amazon has few duplicate brands due to typos. Typos is a minor thing and it has come from the marketplace sellers, but the fact is that adding a new brand in the system is so easy – that shows up as duplicates in filters – says a lot about the process that Amazon is following.

    FlipKart’s advantage over other marketplace players in India has been the moderation and control that it has maintained in terms of data. Amazon, in a bid to add more quantity might just end up diluting quality.

The game is still getting started and it’s being played on more than one front. The billion dollar war chests are only a ticket to get in the arena. Falling for the home-turf advantage and underdog story of FlipKart, or betting on Amazon for its achievements in other markets might be a myopic call.

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