E-commerce Policy: Flipkart warns of disruption but sellers advised not to panic

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With just 48 hours left for the implementation of the revised e-commerce policy, Flipkart has warned of severe customer disruption. The company CEO has written to the ministry asking them for a 6 months extension to refresh their systems and logistics. However, the Government is unlikely to give 6 months deadline because of the upcoming elections. Flipkart has advised sellers not to panic since the policy will have minimal effect with minor disruption without affecting sales.

The offline traders form a significant voter base for Narendra Modi and hence it is vital for them to take care of their concerns. Meanwhile, Flipkart and Amazon have told mobiles and electronics sellers not to panic since the business will be as usual with minor changes in the agreements. It is being reported that Cloudtail, a major seller on Amazon has diversified into a separate company and will have control over prices instead of Amazon.

The company executives also told sellers and brands that they won’t be able to tag a product as exclusive. However, it’s up to the brand to decide whether to give exclusive rights as part of the sales strategy. Interestingly, BPL confirmed that they will continue to sell their products on Amazon by following the guidelines laid out by the Government. The respective brands will reveal on the product page that they are exclusive to the platform as part of the sales and marketing strategy. The relevant marketplace played no role in the exclusive rights.

Interestingly, Flipkart has replaced products tagged with #OnlyonFlipkart with #JustHere. Amazon also started to eliminate Amazon Exclusive tagline from the banners. This is evident since today’s Times of India doesn’t include the wording “Amazon Exclusive” along with the OnePlus advertisement.

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It is to be noted that brands such as BPL, iFFalcon, Blaupunkt TV, Thomson, Sanyo, Meizu, and Asus operate only via either Amazon or Flipkart. That being said, companies like Samsung, Xiaomi, Honor, OnePlus, Vu have online exclusive models and are dependent only on Amazon or Flipkart.

The rule book is that e-commerce platforms should not compel brands to be exclusive but brands can decide which route they should adopt. Meanwhile, home-grown retailers such as Snapdeal, Shopclues and others have welcomed the new e-commerce policy by stating that it will bring level playing field.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and currently part of MVP Reconnect program. He is also part of the prestigious ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com

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