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Bangalore, Karnataka, India, 2010/04/23 - Customers on flipkart.com can now place orders online and make payments by cash against delivery of books. Flipkart expects the Cash on Delivery option to drastically broaden the customer base addressing low penetration of Cards in the country.
Flipkart, the largest Indian online book-store, today announced the launch of its much awaited ‘Cash on Delivery’ (COD) facility. Customers on Flipkart.com will now be able to place orders online and pay cash, against delivery of books. This move now makes it possible for anyone with an internet access to shop online for books; adding entirely new sets of customers. Those who do not have access to facilities like credit cards and net banking, but are book buyers will now be able to buy books online. The Cash on Delivery facility is currently available in 29 cities (tier-1 cities and metros), and will shortly be extended to tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well.
Announcing the launch of the new facility, on the occasion of the ‘International Day of the Book’, Flipkart’s CEO, Sachin Bansal said, “Considering the low levels of credit card and net banking penetration in India, this move by Flipkart has the potential to catapult the entire online book retail industry to the next level. It will enable Flipkart to reach out to a totally new customer base that includes important categories like students and homemakers, most of whom do not have access to credit or debit cards but are otherwise internet literate and book buyers. We expect that within 3-4 months sales from Cash on Delivery orders will surpass sales from online payment options like credit and debit cards, net banking etc, making it the most popular method of buying books on Flipkart.”
One of the primary reasons for low levels of e-commerce transactions in markets like India is that – even among customers who have cards and or have access to services like net banking, there is great reluctance to use such facilities for online payments because of fears of security of data and transactions. “The Cash on Delivery option at once opens up our wide-choice of four million titles to anyone and everyone who has interest in books and has access to internet. While it will help significantly add numbers to customer categories like students, homemakers, etc, what this facility will also do is to add greatly to new geographies, to include more buyers from smaller cities and towns that are very low on card penetration”, added Sachin Bansal.
Flipkart will thus address the needs of completely new strata of customers who did not so far have the opportunity of reading their choice of books because of high costs and less variety available in brick and mortar stores and lack of convenient payment options in online stores. The cash on delivery option will be applicable to any order size that is below Rs. 2,500/- and Flipkart will use the services of its current logistics partners to facilitate collection of cash from customers.
Clocking sales of more than five lakh books in the past two years and currently speeding along at the rate of more than one book sold every minute, Bangalore based Flipkart.com is the largest online book store in India. The family of book buyers on Flipkart is spread across the country, with registered buyers in every city and small town today. The company was started in 2007 by former classmates at IIT Delhi and later colleagues at Amazon.com, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. The company has been funded by Accel India.
Regarded a pioneer in the e-commerce space in the country, currently Flipkart has over four million titles listed; ranging across all categories. The Flipkart experience is characterized by the intuitive user interface, free shipping and low prices. As a testimony to the superior customer experience, the company has consistently recorded repeat purchase rates of more than 50%. Flipkart has grown ten times over the last one year and aims to touch the Rs 100 crore mark by March 2011. Flipkart has a team of 120 members and currently operate from offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. Flipkart plans to add more offices during the current year.