Flipkart bullish on online furniture sales

Flipkart bullish on online furniture salesET TECH

While Flipkart claims to be larger than its competitors in the online furniture space, experts tracking the space say that Pepperfry is leading the pack.Flipkart expects its furniture division to be the next big driver of growth and sees it growing four-five times this year, a top executive of the e-commerce giant said.

The company claims that its furniture division, relaunched in September with its private label ‘Perfect Home’, has a 30% market share in furniture bought online.

“Since our launch in September, we have grown three times in terms of value and volume,” said Nandita Sinha, head of furniture category at Flipkart. “We have been working on improving our supply chain, moved the fulfillment centres closer to the customer to ensure faster deliveries, etc.”

The country’s online home and furniture market was pegged at about $1 billion in 2017 and was expected to grow at 36% year-on-year, according to industry experts.With 40,000 SKUs (stock keeping units) at present, Flipkart is bullish on larger furniture due to its large ticket size and potential in the smaller cities and towns. The company claims that the current average order value of its furniture products is almost four times higher than other products on the marketplace, with beds, mattresses, sofas, etc. being the popular picks. The company delivers furniture in 110 cities.

“There is a lot of potential in tier 2 and 3 cities because there is a dearth of selection in those areas,” said Sinha.

Popular among the other players operating in the furniture space are Pepperfry and Urban Ladder. ET had reported in November that Flipkart has shown interest in investing in Pepperfry or Urban ladder.

While Flipkart claims to be larger than its competitors in the online furniture space, experts tracking the space say that Pepperfry is leading the pack with 40% market share, followed by Urban Ladder, placing Flipkart in a possible third position.

Both Pepperfry and Urban Ladder have made aggressive offline expansion to capture more market share, as experts believe that the next wave of growth for this sector would be through an omnichannel strategy.

But Flipkart’s Sinha maintains that the company does not have any plans to foray into the offline space, given that the online market potential is massive and untapped. Meanwhile, the company has launched ‘FurniSure’, a durability seal for products listed under the furniture category, to build trust and reliability for customers to purchase furniture online.

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