Amazon has competition: Flipkart to start free video streaming service

Walmart-owned e-commerce company Flipkart is launching a slew of technology-led initiatives to tap the next 200 million consumers online. These include introducing the Hindi version of the Flipkart app and ‘Flipkart Videos’, a curated range of movies, shows and entertainment series. It would also be showcasing specific products to customers based on their needs. These initiatives are expected to help Flipkart in its battle with rival company Amazon and competition from the yet to be launched e-commerce business of Reliance Industries.

"In the past 10 years, our vision and ethos have been to solve for ‘Real India’, create India specific tech solutions here (in the country). What we are rolling out when it comes to addressing the needs of the next 200 million users in our country, is taking forward those founding principles of access and affordability,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group. “We strongly believe that the next phase of our growth is rooted in loyalty, democratising e-commerce and the country will continue seeing more innovations that stem from our deep understanding of Indian consumers, especially middle India,” added Krishnamurthy.

The company is introducing the Flipkart app in Hindi. The plan is to unveil it in other languages as well such as Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali in future. Flipkart said its approach to solving the language barrier problem people face when they come online is by using technology. The key result of that is, the first in the industry ‘audio- visual guided navigation’ in Hindi. This enables easy onboarding for new consumers, through a step by step guide making it easier for them to shop. 

“As per research, 90 per cent of new Internet users in India are native language speakers and coming from Tier 2 and beyond cities,” said  Jeyandran Venugopal, head consumer experience and platform at Flipkart. 

Flipkart is also providing accessibility to premium content with free-for-all video streaming. It is introducing ‘Flipkart Videos’, a curated range of movies, shows and entertainment series for all of its consumers. The video content offering is focused on three primary aspects, keeping in mind its understanding of the market: free, curated and personalised. 

“We are partnering with (various) players to get the content,” said Prakash Sikaria, head growth and monetisation, Flipkart.

Most consumers’ first touchpoint with the internet is through online video content. Statistics suggest that video content and entertainment play a key role in bridging the gap for consumers to come online and experience e-commerce. Flipkart said it believes that great content if made available to a wider base of consumers, especially the ones who are new to e-commerce but not Internet, can bring them on board on an everyday basis. This also helps take away the anxiety that they may have towards online shopping. 

  • Flipkart’s video content offering is focused on three primary aspects: Free, curated, and personalized
  • With videos, Flipkart is eyeing the next 200 million consumers that are coming online
  • Flipkart believes most consumers’ first touchpoint with the internet is through online video content

The company also aims to bridge the content to commerce gap with the launch of ‘Flipkart Ideas’. Customers will be able to use ‘Flipkart Ideas’ to narrow down specific products which are suitable for their needs. Integrated within the existing Flipkart app (both iOS and Android), this offering will empower users to make better purchase decisions by providing them with information that helps them research while shopping. To start with, content from over 30 brands and 400 influencers will be showcased with associated products from Flipkart in different formats such as videos, GIFs, images, stories, quizzes and polls.

With internet penetration rapidly increasing in India, people, especially in Tier-2 cities and beyond, are consuming content very differently. Flipkart said there are a new set of consumers, amongst the next 200 million shoppers who have a variety of questions and seek to mimic their offline shopping experience online. Flipkart Ideas is an effort to aid these consumers shopping journey. 

“Our focus is to democratise access to e-commerce...How can we do better selection and go deeper into tier-2 and tier-3 towns,” said Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer, Flipkart. “So it becomes extremely important that we are able to help our consumers especially in that part of the country engage with an e-commerce model which is a lot better.”


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