If you are selling on Flipkart.com already, you probably received this mail last week:
Looks like Flipkart.com, India’s leading e-commerce website is now looking forward to expand its reach to different categories of buyers. Like the mail says, the site has introduced a new category – Sexual Wellness under Beauty and Personal Care which will include intimate items including condoms and massagers. This new category is already being tested on the site with brands like Durex, Moods and Pjur lubricants listed and kept out of stock
Why get into this category now?
People are now more aware of sexual wellness and are being experimental with their sex lives. Also, existing e-commerce sites likeThatspersonal.com and Shycart.com that deal with sexual products and have turned out to be fairly sucessful. The current size of the sexual wellness market is pegged at Rs 1,200-1,500 crore and expected to grow in the coming years. Snapdeal, Flipkart’s arch nemesis, already lists over 2000 products in the sexual wellness category and claims to be India’s largest sexual health care store. Flipkart probably doesn’t want to be left behind and miss out on a category that clearly has huge potential. Considering Flipkart is already the market leader in most categories, this could be their first step in grabbing a part of the ecommerce pie that is currently being shared by smaller niche sites. Considering Flipkart already lists sexy lingerie, it won’t come as a surprise if Flipkart tries to include intimate sex toys and other products that are seen only on smaller sites like masalatoys and costumes like Kaamastra.
Challenges in Delivery and secrecy
When it comes to orders of this nature, maintaining privacy of buyer is very important. To ensure secrecy of the package’s contents till it is handed over to the customer, other niche players use ‘Tamper Proof Bags’ which do not mention product name or description. It will be interesting to see how Flipkart manages this, being a marketplace.
Sourcing has always been the biggest challenge in sex related products.Most etaliers are relying on the same brands and similar inventory. A lot of offline retailers also run mostly illegal shops in crowded markets like Palika Bazaar in Delhi or Manish Market in Mumbai. Only a handful of etailers have managed to crack exclusive partnership with global brands. We will have to wait and see how Flipkart makes sure its sellers are listing legal and original products.
Are you an existing distributor of sexual wellness products? What does this news mean for you?
Will you consider venturing into this niche category, now that bigger marketplaces have entered the arena?
Let us know in the comments below.