NEW DELHI :
A year after launching the 2GUD platform for refurbished goods, Walmart-owned Flipkart plans to expand the offerings to unbranded new products, said a top executive.
In a bid to compete with the new breed of social commerce companies to reach the next 200 million internet users, Flipkart’s 2GUD will start selling new unbranded products across categories such as fashion, home and electronic accessories by the end of this month.
“Over the last year we realized that we could offer more than just one way of maximizing value for customers," said Chanakya Gupta, head of 2GUD. “That is why we are expanding our product offerings from an only-refurbished portfolio to a marketplace of new unbranded products."
This comes at a time when consumer internet companies are looking at different ways to bring the next wave of new internet users on-board. It also comes against the backdrop of industry experts speculating that Flipkart and Amazon may not be able to target the new internet users in India.
Launched in August last year, 2GUD was Flipkart’s way to sell refurbished mobile phones, laptops, etc, after eBay exited Flipkart. The company claims that since its launch, 2GUD has catered to almost a million customers from over 3,000 towns, with around 60-65% of the orders coming from tier II and III markets.
This prompted the firm to launch new and unbranded products across categories such as fashion, fashion accessories, home, toys and stationery—although at lower price points when compared to Flipkart’s offerings.
2GUD will start off with over 100 sellers for now as they continue to add more to the platform over the coming months. “We are targeting the next 200 million internet users who are only online on WhatsApp or Facebook or will come into the internet fold in the next coming years," added Gupta.
This strategy pits 2GUD directly against the social commerce companies that have been cropping up over the last few years. Naspers-backed Meesho connects resellers with manufacturers to sell to their customers through WhatsApp and Facebook—mostly dealing with unbranded products.
A majority of Meesho’s customers come from tier II and III areas. Meesho claims to have built a network of over two million social sellers across 700 towns in India since its launch in 2015.
Companies in this space include Kalaari Capital-backed Shop101, which was launched in early 2016 and Accel-backed GlowRoad. Apart from this, entrepreneurs are also coming up with newer models of e-commerce to target this audience. They include companies such as BulBul, Mayfair and DealShare, which have cropped up over the last one year.
That said, it remains unclear as to what strategy 2GUD will follow to introduce new internet users to online shopping.
“We are experimenting with different ways to reach out to new customers," said Gupta.