Ecommerce giant Flipkart has launched 20 centres across 10 cities in India, in conjunction with its logistics partner Ekart, where users can pick up their products from. Flipkart said that it ventured into this supply chain because some of its users were unavailable during delivery time, other than the restriction of entry for delivery boys in IT parks, gated communities and educational institutions. Not just an offline pick up point: Neeraj Aggarwal, senior director of delivery operations said that Flipkart plans to offer value added services like instant returns, spot trials, open box deliveries and product demos to the centres in the near future. Flipkart plans to establish 100 such centres by March 2016. The company also plans to expand its rural reach (Tier IV towns) by reportedly making the town servicable from a pick up centre. Flipkart claims that it had carried out a pilot of the offline zones, with reportedly 80% shipments being picked through the stores over a period of 6 months. However, it did not disclose where the pilot was held or how many people used the service. Flipkart’s focus on mobile and apps: Seller Hub app: Last month, Flipkart launched an Android app for sellers called ‘Seller Hub’. The app let sellers get alerts on new orders, update stock count and pricing on listings and monitor payments and return. It also offered notifications when orders were placed, with monitoring of payments and returns. Appiterate acquisition: In April, it acquired the mobile marketing startup Appiterate for an undisclosed sum. According…
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