Flipkart has shut down its global sourcing platform for its sellers, Flipkart Global, and has instead decided to focus on getting this done through eBay’s global sourcing platform. The move to increase its reliance on eBay for global sourcing comes two months after the company bought eBay’s India operations. Flipkart Global was an initiative started last year to help and connect sellers to source products from manufacturers across the world. The company also helped sellers to pay for their orders with its multiple payments and logistic partners and enabled the goods to be delivered to their doorstep after customs clearance. While it is still not clear if the deal with eBay, to jointly pursue cross-border trade, is the cause for the closing down of Flipkart’s global sourcing platform, Flipkart said the platform was meant to be a pilot programme and it has no plan to revive it in near future. Though Flipkart is reluctant to scale up its pilot global sourcing programme to the commercialisation stage, the e-commerce company said that it is planning to open up a new range of opportunities for its sellers to import through eBay in coming months. Speaking to FE, Anil Goteti, head of marketplace at Flipkart, said when they started the pilot, they were looking at a lot of imports coming to the country, and help bringing in new selections from China and other parts of the world. “The pilot went very well and we learnt a lot from it. We connected a lot of our sellers with players abroad, and got a lot of new selections from overseas that are not currently available in India,” said Goteti.
“We believe there is an opportunity for imports into the country, especially in categories where India doesn’t have access to these products as of now. That was a pilot and after running it successfully, we are ending it,” he added. Commenting on the future of the global sourcing platform, he said, “What we are focusing more on is the tie-up with eBay and enabling the imports through eBay. This is how the global sourcing platform is evolving”.Denying any plan to revive or integrate it with eBay.in, Goteti, added: “eBay.in is a very different business. eBay.in is more about the domestic business that eBay has here and is very different from eBay cross border trade.”
By Sameer Ranjan Bakshi