Understanding the Business Model of Flipkart- A Case study

Updated on: May 13, 2024
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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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Flipkart isn’t just another online store – it’s a household name in India, synonymous with online shopping. Launched in 2007 as an online bookstore, they’ve grown into a giant, offering a vast array of products across all categories.


This case study dives deep into the secret sauce of Flipkart’s success. In this blog, we will explore the Business Model of Flipkart and its Marketing Strategy. As you study further you will review its market shares, product offering, pricing model, promotional/marketing strategy, and competitor analysis of Flipkart. 


By the end of this case study, you’ll understand how Flipkart revolutionized online shopping in India and became the e-commerce leader it is today.

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About Flipkart

 

Flipkart Brand Logo - Business Model of Flipkart | IIDE

Founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in Bengaluru, Flipkart started with a simple yet ambitious idea: to make books easily accessible across India. In its early years, Flipkart focused solely on books, However, their vision soon extended beyond the pages.

Recognizing the evolving needs of Indian consumers, Flipkart strategically expanded its product categories. Today, it offers a vast selection of items, encompassing everything from home essentials and electronics to groceries, fashion, and lifestyle products.

With over 1 billion people having shopped on their platform, Flipkart has played a pivotal role in shaping online shopping habits. This massive customer base translates to a staggering 100 million registered users, solidifying Flipkart’s position as one of the most popular and trusted online retailers in India.

They boast a network of 100,000 dealers, ensuring a wide variety of products are readily available. Additionally, Flipkart has strategically established 21 state-of-the-art warehouses across the country, guaranteeing efficient and timely delivery – a crucial factor in the e-commerce world.

Flipkart’s popularity is further reflected in its website traffic. Consistently ranking as the most visited e-commerce website in India, Flipkart has emerged as a true leader in the digital marketplace. This success story caught the attention of global retail giant Walmart, which acquired a majority stake in Flipkart in 2018.


Now let’s see the Business Model of Flipkart.

Business Model of Flipkart

Under this section, we will cover the Market Share, Product Offering, Target Audience, Funding/Investors, and Competitor Analysis of Flipkart.

1. Flipkart’ Market Share

Flipkart reigns supreme in India’s e-commerce world, holding a whopping 48% market share. This means almost half of all online shopping in India happens on Flipkart.

According to a report published by Alliance Bernstein, a global investment management & research firm, the number of people shopping on Flipkart is exploding, growing 21% year-over-year which is much faster than the competition.

Flipkart dominates two of the biggest online shopping categories – Mobile Phones (with a 48% market share) and fashion (with a whopping 60% market share). If someone is shopping for a new phone or an outfit in India, chances are they might be browsing Flipkart.

Now let’s go through the product offering of Flipkart

2. Flipkart’s Products Offering 

Flipkart isn’t just another online store – it’s a giant marketplace where you can find pretty much anything you can imagine. With over 80 million products across 80+ categories, Flipkart boasts one of the widest selections in India

Whether you’re looking for electronics like phones and laptops, furniture for your home, or clothes for the whole family, Flipkart has you covered. Flipkart allows you to find almost everything you need in a single, convenient location. No more hopping around – you can get it all in one place.

They offer features like cash on delivery, so you only pay when you get your items. They also have super-fast delivery options and a hassle-free return and refund policy, so you can shop with confidence.

Essentially, Flipkart offers everything from electronics and appliances to furniture and fashion, all under one roof! They’ve made online shopping easy and enjoyable, and that’s the key to their success.

So now that we have understood the company, let’s study further about Flipkart’s business model and digital marketing strategies. 

3. Flipkart’s Target Audience

Their target audience is anyone in India with internet access who wants to skip the hassle of traditional shopping. This encompasses a massive range of potential customers, from teenagers to adults across various family backgrounds.

Flipkart understands the value of time. Their platform allows customers to shop from the comfort of their homes, regardless of location. Nationwide delivery ensures customers get their purchases no matter where they are in India.

Flipkart goes beyond simply offering products. Their smart marketing strategies target people who influence purchasing decisions within families. They aim to convince these influencers that online shopping on Flipkart is a better option than traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

In essence, Flipkart caters to a diverse audience across India, all united by the desire for a convenient and potentially more advantageous online shopping experience.

4. Flipkart’s Funding and Investors 

Flipkart has raised a whole of $12.6B in funding more than 25 rounds. Their recent funding of $3.6 Billion was raised on July 12, 2021, from a Corporate Round round led by GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Walmart, and other investors.

Flipkart Funding and Investors - Business Model of Flipkart | IIDE

Flipkart commenced with an initial capital of $6000 in the year 2007. Flipkart turned out to be a unicorn startup and South African Tec Major Naspers declared funding of $150 million in the year 2012. Subsequently, Flipkart obtained Myntra in the year 2014, it was capable of bringing up funding of $210 million. 

 

5. Flipkart’s Competitor analysis

 

  • Amazon: The closest competitor of Flipkart is no doubt Amazon. Jeff Bezos launched Amazon in 1994, starting small as an online bookstore. They prioritized customer satisfaction and offered a huge variety of products. Amazon’s reach extends beyond online shopping – they’re also a cloud computing leader with Amazon Web Services. In short, Amazon revolutionized online shopping and continues to innovate across industries.
  • Myntra: Founded in 2007, Myntra began with personalized gifts but swiftly transformed into India’s leading fashion e-commerce platform. They offer a curated selection of fashion products, prioritize a smooth shopping experience, and cater to diverse Indian tastes. Myntra’s impact on Indian fashion has been significant, making it accessible and shifting shopping habits.
  • Meesho: Founded in 2015, Meesho was the first Indian brand to empower everyday Indians to become resellers by connecting them with manufacturers. These resellers then use social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook to sell a wide range of products. This focus on social commerce and accessibility has made Meesho a leader in its field, boosting entrepreneurship and revolutionizing social shopping in India.
  • AJIO: Launched by Reliance Retail in 2016, AJIO targets fashion-conscious Indian consumers. They offer a curated selection of premium fashion apparel, footwear, and accessories from renowned Indian and international brands. AJIO prioritizes a trendy and stylish shopping experience, complemented by features like easy returns and convenient payment options.
  • TATA CLiQ: Tata Cliq was established by the Tata Group in 2016 which caters to the particular Indian shopper. They offer a curated selection of premium fashion, lifestyle products, and electronics from trusted national and international brands. Tata Cliq emphasizes a seamless shopping experience with features like free shipping, easy returns, and secure payment options.

 

With this, we have concluded the business model of Flipkart, but we are not done yet. In this next section below we will dive into active and interesting marketing campaigns and strategies that keep the company up and about with the e-commerce shopping industry.


Flipkart’s Digital Marketing Strategy 


Flipkart knows the importance of being seen! They spend a lot of effort on digital marketing across various online channels, both paid ads and free promotions. This makes sense, considering India’s recent explosion in internet usage.


Flipkart has established itself as a reliable online shopping destination in India. When people think of buying something online, Flipkart is a top choice.

Flipkart doesn’t just want one-time customers – they want loyal fans! This case study will explore the specific digital marketing tools Flipkart uses to achieve this goal, like turning those first-time buyers into repeat customers who keep coming back for more. 

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But for now, let us continue with the case study.

Flipkart’s prominent marketing strategy concentrates on every single touchpoint its consumers are now at. It functions as the majority of its cost on numerous digital channels comprising paid and organic marketing. Furthermore, because India has newly experienced the digital revolution, the attempts of Flipkart are paying off.

Flipkart is regarded as one of the reliable platforms for online shopping. Moreover, we discuss some gadgets or apparel, and Flipkart has constantly revealed its high-quality service. Flipkart also spends strongly on celebrity endorsement and influencer marketing.

India is passionate about Bollywood and Flipkart operates this to uplift awareness concerning their brand and to market their services. Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and Shraddha Kapoor have all remained as brand ambassadors who were essentially highlighted in Flipkart’s commercials and digital marketing campaigns. 


1. Collaboration and celebrity marketing 


Flipkart is well-known for its collaborations. Flipkart leverages the power of celebrity endorsements! They’ve partnered with major Bollywood stars like Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, and others to promote their brand and services in commercials and digital campaigns.

The most remarkable collaboration “IndiaKaFashionCapital” is done with Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. Under this campaign, the company encourages fashion enthusiasts from the entire country to advance their style with the newest trends from Flipkart.

Flipkart Celebrity Marketing Campaign - Business Model of Flipkart | IIDE

Through the procedure of a meaningful media mix, via a styled fashion quotient and targeted communication concerning their consumers, Flipkart Fashion’s brand ambassadors, Alia and Ranbir, update the public regarding constantly being ahead in their style game by ‘Wearing The Next.’

The pair were seen in a diversity of engaging and interactive formats, ranging from short digital content to traditional TVCs talking about the advantages of shopping on Flipkart Fashion. Seeing such familiar faces endorsing Flipkart builds trust and awareness.


2. Flipkart’s Social Media Strategy

Flipkart is extremely much more active on all social media platforms. As of 2024, Flipkart has, 

  • 2.9 Million followers on X (formerly known as Twitter).

 

  • 4.4  Million followers on Instagram

 

  • 10 million followers on Meta (formerly known as  Facebook)

Flipkart has a strong hold on its social media strategy. If you want to promote your e-commerce business and build rapport with the audience then you can always take inspiration from Flipkart SMM strategy or you can watch this video

 


Flipkart’s Youtube marketing 

As presently as it comes to Instagram, Flipkart has several accounts for many things, like a suitable account for Tech, Clothing, and others. Once it reaches businesses, be it for a product or different services, the key highlight points for the customers are Feedback and Customer Reviews.

Flipkart has certain special attention to that by having a separate account that just directs to Customer Story named as FlipkartStories.

With YouTube being achieved as the world’s second-largest search engine (behind Google) Flipkart entirely leveraged this platform to promote its marketing campaigns. Flipkart initiated a targeted marketing campaign for the fashion segment known as “India ka Fashion Capital”, aimed at featuring video ads on YouTube as the majority of their audience is present there.

Google was also capable of estimating the effect of traditional media vs digital policies, which made clear that the brand had an existing all on digital platforms.


Flipkart’s Twitter Strategy Campaign 

You’ll be shocked to realize that out of all the platforms Flipkart assigns special attention to Twitter. Flipkart is well-known to follow a fixed pattern for communication for all the platforms but once it comes to Twitter, they maintain running mini-campaigns from time to time like #SareeTwitter.

Apart from fun campaigns, Flipkart has a 24*7 accessible Customer Support System on Twitter where they address complaints and queries of their consumers. Subsequently, if you face a problem with Flipkart, you know what to do.


Flipkart’s Remarketing 

Remarketing is any marketing and advertising strategy that re-establishes links with potential purchasers after they visit the store’s website. Remarketing survived before the arrival of the Internet, yet its procedure has moved from offline to online and it is extremely beneficial and inbound.

Generally, visitors visit the online portals and leave the site without finalizing the purchase. Remarketing is performed by showing ads to such potential consumers across digital platforms advising them to convert.


Flipkart’s Kidults

As expressed earlier, Flipkart’s marketing campaign is incomplete without kids, this is done through YouTube ads or social media ads. This campaign was a blast and has been managed considerably until late 2019. 


This concludes the case study on the Business Model of Flipkart, now let’s go through the final points of Flipkart. 

 

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FAQs


Does Flipkart follow the B2C business model?

Flipkart operates as a pure B2C (Business-to-Consumer) platform, connecting customers directly with sellers across a vast array of products, including groceries, clothing, books, cosmetics, and furniture.

 

What is unique about Flipkart?

Flipkart prioritizes customer satisfaction by offering 24/7 customer service and a robust supply chain network, ensuring prompt product delivery and efficient resolution of any issues. This focus on customer experience sets them apart from other e-commerce platforms.

 

What are the 4 pillars of Flipkart?

The 4 pillars of Flipkart stem from its comprehensive approach: offering a vast product selection, building trust through exceptional customer service, leveraging a robust seller network for efficient deliveries, and maintaining a user-friendly website and mobile app for a seamless shopping experience.

 

How does Flipkart’s business model work?

Flipkart thrives as a leading B2C marketplace, connecting a vast seller network with internet-savvy Indian customers seeking diverse products. It earns revenue through commissions charged to sellers while offering a user-friendly platform and robust logistics for a seamless shopping experience.

Continuous investments fuel growth and maintain their competitive edge.

 

What strategies does Flipkart use to attract customers?

Flipkart employs a comprehensive digital marketing approach, utilizing social media, celebrity endorsements, and attractive deals to capture customer attention, drive sales, and foster loyalty.

 

Conclusion 

Being India’s largest e-commerce platform it operates on a B2C business model by providing services related to the online book store and some other products. After it expanded into other sectors and became an e-commerce company, Flipkart shifted to a business-to-consumer model. Flipkart’s business model joins dealers and purchasers on its platform.

At present, it advertises its entirety from furniture, groceries, books and electronics, and more items. Flipkart has succeeded in increasing to the highest spots in the e-commerce industry in India despite standing in competition with alike well-known firms such as Amazon.

The Business Model of Flipkart improved the business in its development and progress. Flipkart remains the giant in the market by using its marketing strategy therefore Flipkart has been generating profits in recent years especially due to its investments in technology.

Flipkart’s company uses marketing and innovations like TV commercials or digital ads to heighten its success.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

1 Comment

  1. Riya Gurav

    Getting to know the Business Model of Flipkart was made more interesting via this blog, well-written.

    Reply

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