Q&A: How does Flipkart operate?

Good question. Before I answer, let us try to understand what Flipkart.com is.

Per Wikipedia

Flipkart is an e-commerce marketplace unicorn company founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. The company is registered in Singapore, but has its headquarters in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Flipkart has launched its own product range under the name “DigiFlip” with products including tablets, USBs, and laptop bags.

Flipkart’s last fundraising round in May 2015 had pegged its valuation at $15 billion. In May 2016, Morgan Stanley lowered Flipkart’s valuation to $9.39 billion.

So, how do eCommerce marketplaces work ?

Electronic commerce (a.k.a e-commerce or eCommerce) is the trading using computer networks, such as the Internet or online social networks. Flipkart markets itself, stating “Forget crowded malls, endless maze-like parking lots and long lines. From clothes to mobiles phones, you can buy just about anything online. And when we say say online, we mean Flipkart.com, one of India’s best online shopping destinations.

Take an example of iPhone 6 on sale on Flipkart

Screen from (link)

Some iPhones are sold and shipped by Flipkart and others by independent vendors. In this example by a seller WOWTRONIX. So, what does Flipcart do?

  • Manage a complex supply chain
  • Manage suppliers and vendors
  • Design and support a complex eCommerce website that is easy to use, search and order from
  • Customer operations include Customer support (voice, tweet, instant message, email etc)
  • Track-and-trace of product from the time the order is placed to delivery and support after that

Repeat and multiply this into millions of transactions, queries, orders and shipment, and one begins to visualize how this digital Unicorn operates.

(reposted from Quora Q&A)

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