Online marketplace Flipkart has launched notification center that’s linked to user’s wishlist (Hat tip @nspeaks). It appears that Flipkart is testing the feature with some users as the feature did not appear on our account, at the time of writing this article.
From the screenshot, it appears that the notification center alerts users when an item in their wish list is available at a reduced price. This is a good way to drive sales as human tendency is to buy products if it’s available at a lower cost. It’s not clear what other possible notifications will come under the notification tab other than reduced price. The notification feature has not been rolled out on mobile for the same users with notification feature available on Flipkart’s desktop website.
We aren’t aware of any online Indian marketplaces that have this feature, however, Chinese wholesale marketplace Aliexpress.com have had similar notification feature for quite some time.
It’s increasingly important for Flipkart to attract users and sellers to drive more sales. In February 2013, Flipkart launched its marketplace model after being reportedly being probed for FDI norms violation, although Flipkart had denied that any raid took place. Foreign Direct Investment in e-commerce has not been allowed in India, but marketplaces, which merely act as a space for sellers to find buyers for the products that they are supplying, and which don’t retail their own goods, can take foreign direct investment.
Since FDI in E-Commerce has not been allowed in India, a lot of E-Commerce sites have pivoted to become a marketplace. Marketplaces usually tend to face low customer retention as it’s upon the vendors to provide a good or not so good shopping experience. The challenge here remains, for marketplaces, to provide users with a good shopping experience despite their lack of control. This is why Flipkart recently announced that it has applied for a semi-closed prepaid wallet for consumers through their online payment solutions, Payzippy.
Earlier this month, Flipkart also hiked affiliate payout fees to marketers on all categories that it offers. The timing of increasing affiliate payouts could not be missed – Last month, Amazon launched Associates, its affiliate program for marketers that pays 10% commission when visitors follow affiliated links from marketer’s website to Amazon.in and make a purchase. However, this hike payouts, as Flipkart informs, is only for the month of July.