The new kirana sellers would enable Flipkart to reach out particularly in tier-II and III towns even as it delivers more than 1 million shipments daily to almost all pincodes in India.
Ahead of its annual flagship sale — Big Billion Days, Walmart-owned Flipkart has said that it has on-boarded close to 27,000 kirana stores based in 700 cities to help them sell their products to its 160 million users. Flipkart began with the exercise around six months back starting with a customised training programme for kiranas including soft skills training and how to respond to customer queries or requests on the spot. In order to boost its seller base, which is over 1 lakh, Flipkart had in July this year launched Samarth programme focusing on artisans, weavers, and handicrafts makers and had partnered with five NGOs to support sellers sell on Flipkart’s marketplace platform.
The new kirana sellers would enable Flipkart to reach out particularly in tier-II and III towns even as it delivers more than 1 million shipments daily to almost all pin codes in India, the company said in a statement. India has over 19,000 pin codes. Flipkart, which is engaged in a battle for supremacy in India’s e-commerce market with Amazon even as Reliance would soon be launching its own e-commerce portal, will onboard these sellers and include them in the delivery process via its in-house technology ‘Allocation Engine’ that automates allocation of shipments to delivery agents and partners including kiranas to ensure speedy delivery process.
Flipkart claimed 27,000 kirana sellers onboarding to be one of the largest e-commerce supply chain networks in India. “After digital payments, the next big revolution in Kirana is going to be ushered in conjunction with e-commerce,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group adding that this will re-position and re-invent kiranas as convenience stores from an e-commerce perspective while offering them a new source of revenue.
Last week the company had signed an MoU with the Jharkhand government to help the state’s artisans, weavers and craftsmen sell on its marketplace platform under its Samarth programme in the form of time-bound incubation support including onboarding on the platform, cataloguing, account management, business insights, reduced commission (where eligible), and warehousing.
Before Flipkart, Myntra (Flipkart group company) had launched its network of kiranas in 2017 called MENSA to leverage such stores and has been working with 12,000 kiranas across major metros and tier-II cities.