Technology for MSMEs: Walmart-owned Flipkart has launched operations of its business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for kiranas and small sellers – Flipkart Wholesale. The launch comes over a month after Flipkart had announced the new marketplace while notifying the acquisition of Walmart India’s wholesale business that operates 28 Best Price cash and carry wholesale stores offering nearly 5,000 items. Flipkart Wholesale is “now serving Delhi, Gurugram and Bengaluru,” the website read. While Flipkart had said that it will begin with the pilot service for the grocery and fashion categories, the marketplace has started with fashion as of now including men’s wear, women’s ethnic and western wear and kids’ wear. “Bulk shopping now made simpler with Flipkart Wholesale! Get the best margins on a wide range of quality products. Order now!,” read the Twitter account of Flipkart Wholesale.
The app is currently available for Android users only to get products delivered at their shops. Eligible sellers and kiranas can also get up to 15 days of credit to stock up shop with products through Flipkart Wholesale’s Easy Credit benefit. “Our easy-to-use credit system also enables you to track your balance and dues efficiently. Check your eligibility with zero paperwork and start stocking your shop in no time,” the website said.
While the marketplace is yet to launch the grocery category, but the credit limit offered is up to Rs 5,000 for grocery and up to Rs 10,000 for fashion. Flipkart may choose to increase or decrease the credit limit of the seller depending on the latter’s purchase and repayment behaviour. However, Flipkart would levy a late payment fee based on the amount outstanding as on due date. For a due amount between Rs 100 and Rs 5,000, sellers would have to pay Rs 50 late fees. Similarly, for the amount due between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000; Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,0000; and above Rs 25,000, the late fees to be charged would be Rs 100, Rs 250, and Rs 500 respectively.
Flipkart is yet to share official comments for the launch.
The e-commerce company would also allow sellers to know area-wise demand from customers and best-selling products in the vicinity and stock their shops accordingly. Sellers, according to Flipkart Wholesale, can place return requests for items to be picked from their doorstep within seven days from the date of delivery of the order.
While the new marketplace will benefit from Flipkart’s existing technology capabilities and supply chain infrastructure, it would also leverage Walmart’s wholesale arm, which was servicing over 1.5 million kiranas, horecas, and other MSMEs, to benefit sellers on its B2B marketplace. “The acquisition of Walmart India adds a strong talent pool with deep expertise in the wholesale business that will strengthen our position to address the needs of kiranas and MSMEs uniquely,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group had said last month.
Apart from Amazon, Flipkart currently competes with BigBasket, Grofers, and most recently JioMart in the hyper-competitive digital grocery market in India. While it is a dominant player in the fashion vertical through the in-house Myntra marketplace, it hasn’t been able to see as much success with its online grocery business Supermart. JioMart, on the other hand, has been able to scale to 4 lakh orders a day, Reliance had said announcing its Q1 results last month. Mukesh Ambani’s e-commerce bet will further expand from grocery to other categories including electronics, fashion, pharmaceutical, and healthcare ahead.