Ahead of Flipkart’s flagship BigBillionDays sales, customers could start seeing advertisements of a new consumer durable brand in India. MarQ, Flipkart’s private label for large appliances, aspires to become India’s youngest consumer durables brand.
Launched ahead of last year’s Diwali festive sales, MarQ has grown to become one of the best performers in the large appliances categories on Flipkart’s platform. The company claims it is on target to grow sales through the label by over 100 per cent during this BigBillionDays, compared to the last.
While the private label was initially rolled out in a few categories such as refrigerators and televisions, the company has slowly been entering several other categories, including water purifiers and air conditioners, with products under the MarQ brand.
“We want MarQ to be known as the youngest consumer durable brand in India. We're not just playing in one or two categories, we will have 50 SKUs (stock keeping units) across eight big categories, really giving it the feel of a brand,” says Adarsh K Menon, vice president and head of private labels and electronics at Flipkart.
Several of those new SKUs will be launched ahead of the BigBillionDays sale, says Menon. The company is expecting this year's sale, which will be the first after US retail giant Walmart acquired a 77 per cent stake in the company for $16 billion, to be its largest ever.
MarQ will be the centre of this drive as consumers often go for large purchases such as televisions, refrigerators with the sales in October for both auspicious reasons as well as to get good deals. Flipkart's focus on the brand comes at a time when it is looking at appliances as the next big sector after smartphones to drive sales on its platform.
“There are certain categories where the brand has been around since last year, like in air conditioners, where it has a market share of around 20 per cent on Flipkart. Other categories are newer, so the share may be lower, but we're growing very fast,” adds Menon.
More than 50 per cent of the gross merchandise value driven on e-commerce platforms in India come from smartphones. The highly competitive market has forced down margins and players such as Amazon and Flipkart don't see much revenue coming from this. On the other hand, large appliances have the ability to eclipse even smartphones in ticket size, with margins being far healthier.
Flipkart, as well as Amazon, have invested heavily in setting up dedicated logistics arms for large appliances. The Indian firm has even acquired service providers such as F1 and Jeeves to aid with installations and after sales services. For MarQ and other Flipkart private labels, Menon says having the safety net of in-house service providers gives consumers the faith to buy our products.
Flipkart aims to turn MarQ into a leading brand of appliances on its platform and is eyeing 100 per cent annual growth from it for the next few years. “The expectations are high, but we can easily deliver,” says Menon, who believes India’s market for large appliances is extremely underpenetrated.