Looking for a book on internet I stumbled upon a website called flipkart.com.
It was a book store and sold books at prices far better than the local book depots. It was a hit for me, with all the books that I wanted available and at unmatched price.
Back then it looked like this
[Image source - wayback machine]
It was growing fast and I believe it started making profits too.
It then got VC funded...and funded again
And one day I received an email from flipkart saying - "We also sell mobile phones now" ... then " electronics " ... and then "home appliances" ... "CDs, DVDs, Cameras, Laptops, Fridge" and so on...
I see Flipkart on TV, Newspaper, Internet and every where.
It is hugely VC funded - and every few days I receive email from them saying -
"We now sell music at Rs.6 per song (No home delivery on that one :P)"
"We sell pen, pencil, eraser" ... "Bags, Belts & Luggage"... "Razors, Blades & After Shave " ... and a hell lot more.
Its product portfolio is growing very fast but everyone says (I've read) it is now making big losses.
With the current growth rate I suppose flipkart's home page will pretty soon look like this -
[Image - Imaginary using MS Paint & Google]
And I will receive an email saying -
"We now sell Sambhar Masala, Tomatoes, Milk & Men's Chaddhi"
I am confused :-/
Does selling everything makes Flipkart(online store) profitable ??
(What do you think ??)
I think (as has been mentioned in other posts ) all the e-com sites are trying to competing with each other and waiting for the other guy to bleed to death. Its a race against time .. the e.com which has more money and clout will try out the patience of the other players - before they emerge as winners. They might not win because of their USP but bcoz the ther guys gave up !!!
Is it another Bubble in the making ??
Flipkart is basically a Amazon in the making and I will not be surprised if it start to sell fresh vegetable, milk or papad. Amazon does so it will do, provided it survives for long.
Flipkart is an online Hypermarket, so don't be surprised if you see vegetables, milk, etc on it. Yes even I share the same concern of acquiring market share with building losses. But as I understand their volumes are not huge enough to cover their fixed cost, also products like books are not high margin business, so what next. SELL all under the umbrella, some will provide margins, some volume and as they grow, fixed cost shall not be a problem any more, they may start making profit. Until someone comes too close to their service level, they may reach numero uno position. The only close competitor in terms of range of products with price as competitive is only ebay, but there responsibility of serving is on individual sellers whom you don't know. Wait for Amazon to enter, the whole ball game would change from there on..
People are selling Buffaloes on ebay. If they can handle it, they should go ahead.
boss, underwear is a great business! i sold socks for 9 years
Lingerie is a very good business, there is a space for Online only lingerie brand men+women both, you should start one :) I had a similar plan but the fresh investment would be big for me so started ecommercing the existing business what I have. If u start then I can handle your backend admin & fulfillment of orders which I am experienced at.
its extremely high margin business actually!!! and with recurrent and inelastic demand pattern...
after mobile accessories, laptops etc, i guess might venture out to these as well on my ebay shop!
So far they have been doing a great job.If they are able to manage the cash burn part,I think they will come thru and I have no doubt its Amazon in the making.Amazon became profitable after ten years.They are the market leaders and most important they have the customers TRUST.
Must read by Snehil (on the site itself ) - http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/why-is-flipkart-wasting-all-t...
Snehil Khanor *liked* your comment :P