Now that dear old Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) has been replaced by Net Promoter Score (NPS), Flipkart is leaving no stone unturned to gain customer loyalty.
Taking a leaf out of Amazon’s book, the Indian etailer has embraced customer-centric approach. And one of the ways Flipkart is looking to improve customer experience is by blacklisting sellers that don’t fit its service standards.
Another level of consumer appeasement
Encouraged by research firm RedSeer’s report that placed Flipkart at No 1 on Etailing Leadership Index, the etailer don’t want to let go of ‘online buyers’ favourite’ tag.
The ecommerce leader wants to retain only those sellers that are willing to offer original & high-quality products at lowest possible price and also pay high marketplace commission rates and other charges. Those who fail to do so are at risk of being delisted.
Flipkart VS Sellers – A battle of egos
Besides improving customer experience, there can be another reason why Flipkart is on a seller blacklisting spree.
The situation between the marketplace and its sellers is very tense as of now. It started with the revised fee structure, which has now escalated into a full-fledged war. Sellers’ online dharna captured industry watchers’ attention and was widely reported by the media.
Vendors were expecting that a non-cooperation movement will force the ecommerce giant to take notice of their grievances. But Flipkart chose to stick with its plans and even introduced extra changes that have irked sellers even further.
From sourcing low-priced Chinese products, refusing to refund sellers’ TDS, blacklisting sellers, and changing policy for the umpteenth time, it appears that Flipkart is unfazed by vendors’ criticism.
In fact, the etailer is making sure that disgruntled sellers are sliced off gradually, making way for new army of loyal sellers.
Downsizing sellers count an after-effect of FDI?
Post-FDI, Flipkart had to trim down WS Retail’s total contribution to sales. But the marketplace has found a way to increase its revenue from direct sales.
IOS published a report on unethical seller account suspensions on top ecommerce firms. Flipkart and other marketplaces are being accused of deactivating accounts without explaining the reason behind it.
It may not be wrong to assume that Flipkart is looking to create multiple mini-WS Retails so that without violating any FDI regulation, it can continue to sell on its own marketplace. Even if it means that small sellers who can’t pay high margins are forced to pack their bags and leave Flipkart.
Sanjay Thakur, president of eSellerSuraksha said,
“They are focusing on a few large sellers and doing business with them. They are also offering better margins and letting go of the smaller guys. My sense is that they are looking to cut costs of dealing with a large number of sellers. Several sellers with eSellerSuraksha have been affected by this, as have other sellers who are not with us.”
What will this lead to? Who will win – Flipkart or sellers? But more importantly, who will lose the most in the long run – Flipkart or sellers?