Flipkart already has a private label, 'Smartbuy', under which it sells products in the fashion, electronics, and home categories.
Flipkart Co-founder and Executive Chairman Sachin Bansal is back in the news after a long hiatus, and the reason for his return is the launch of Flipkart’s private brand, christened ‘Billion’. Flipkart calls it a ‘made-for-India brand’ that aims to bring high-quality products designed to cater to the unique needs of Indian customers.
Sources have told YourStory that Sachin has been entirely in charge of this initiative for the last few months.
Billion's products are manufactured in India and will be available exclusively on Flipkart. A press release from the company has stated that the products are backed by customer feedback and research-based customer behaviour insights to address the need gaps for customers in India while maintaining a high standard of quality.
For instance, since customers had expressed concern that they need to make multiple repetitions with cooking (because Indian families are typically larger), Billion’s mixer has 25 percent larger jars. Similarly, many Indian kitchens don’t have multiple plug points and hence need longer cords than most appliances provide. Billion's mixers have longer cords than other brands'.
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Sachin has stated in the press release: “Flipkart is constantly innovating to deliver the best e-commerce experience for Indian customers, which includes access to quality products at affordable prices. Billion is our newest such innovation, offering products designed specifically for Indian shoppers. We have data-mined thousands of customer reviews to address the shortcomings of existing brands and used this knowledge to design products that address these need gaps.”
After focusing on growth for a decade, Flipkart is now endeavouring for profitability under the new CEO, Kalyan Krishnamurthy. Private labels are the only factor that can assure profit for marketplaces, for which sellers’ commissions are much lower than logistics costs.
Recently, Flipkart launched its private label in fashion—women’s ethnic wear label ‘Divastri’—which includes more than 1,500 styles of sarees, lehenga cholis, and dress materials. This is part of ‘Flipkart Smartbuy’, an umbrella brand that was launched in December 2016, to sell in about 50 categories including consumer electronics and home. With its first private fashion label for men, Metronaut, Flipkart provides over 300 styles in clothing and accessories.
Billion is backed by the Flipkart Assurance programme which guarantees that the products have gone through six levels of quality checks, and will have an accelerated delivery process.