Flipkart to capture buyers’ attention with ‘Billion’ brand & Amazon with digital payments

Editor | Sep 10, 2020

Flipkart is trying to innovate to attract first-time online buyers. Besides EMI, buyback and product exchange schemes, the ecommerce leader is also looking to introduce affordable products for new buyers. It is part of the marketplace’s strategy to move away from heavy discounts and ad spends.

After Big Billion Days and Big 10, Flipkart is coming up with its private brand named ‘Billion’. Targeted at small towns and cities, this budget brand would act as the gateway to Middle India for the Indian etailer.

‘Billion’ brand is Flipkart co-founder & executive chairman Sachin Bansal’s brainchild, whose responsibilities include providing strategic direction for Flipkart and looking for new investment opportunities.

Scope of ‘Billion’

Under this private label, Flipkart would launch:

  • Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Electronic accessories
  • Low-priced smartphones

“The brand is aimed at Middle India. You need a different set of products for customers in smaller cities and towns and that’s what Billion will do,” a person close to the development revealed.

The home-grown etailer has already launched mixer grinders, cookware sets, backpacks, steel wallets and few other products under the Billion label.

In the interim, Amazon India is planning to launch new digital payments service

US-based ecommerce leader Amazon already has a payments arm ‘Amazon Pay’ in India. But the etailer is in the middle of developing an upgraded version of its existing payments service.

The etailer received its prepaid instrument (PPI) wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India in March this year. This allows them to develop a localized digital wallet custom-made for Indian shoppers, which Amazon has been thinking about since 2016.

Without going into the details of its digital payments service, Amit Agarwal, Head, Amazon India said

“All these areas are very early in their life cycle…Our most important priority for our payment investments has been to improve the experience of customers on Amazon. In that sense, this licence allows us to provide a more cashless experience and a more convenient experience to our customers…this will allow us to move customers away from a cash-based or payment on delivery-based segment to a more prepaid digital segment. That’s our primary priority. Of course, we’ll try different experiments and see what happens.”

Etailers’ seek loyal buyers and first-time shoppers

Ecommerce biggies are focusing on attracting new customers from tier 2 & 3 cities and building customer loyalty. Amazon Prime is working wonders for Jeff Bezos’ India unit in terms of building a loyal customer base.

“One out of three units that are shipped by us are ordered by Prime customers—so, we’ve reached a point where we see a healthy loyalty that is allowing people to buy more and more. Just the Prime spend between January and May increased 100%—so our loyal base is buying more and we’re getting healthy customer inflow,” pointed out Agarwal.

Flipkart is trying to gain customer loyalty by launching a mega app and acquiring every possible ecommerce company across all verticals. Both are playing to their strengths to win the Indian ecommerce race. But in a battle, there can only be one winner.


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