Homegrown e-commerce retailer Flipkart is reportedly planning to foray into the mobile phones business again with its private label MarQ, which has received Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) approval. As per documents accessed by the Economic Times, Forme Communications Technology, based in Haryana, and Advantage Computers India, based in Delhi, are the two firms that have been finalised to manufacture the devices. MarQ will offer both feature phones and budget smartphones.
This is Flipkart’s second attempt of venturing into the mobile phone devices space after it entered the smartphone space with the brand ‘Billion’ under the leadership of Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. However, it failed to take off and with Bansal’s exit from the company following Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart in 2018, the brand has not seen much of a presence.
Flipkart’s private label MarQ currently sells television, air conditioners, microwave ovens, washing machines. As is typical of in-house labels, these products are 10-20% cheaper than established brands in the space.
MarQ feature phones by Flipkart are currently listed on the platform at a starting price of Rs 1,299 and going up to Rs 1,999 for various models. However, all the devices are displayed as ‘temporarily unavailable’.
With this foray, Flipkart will be taking on brands such Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme that dominate the smartphone market currently, especially in the mid-tier segment.
The launch also comes ahead of its flagship Big Billion Days (BBD) sale which starts from October 16.
As part of the sale, Flipkart has announced that potential consumers can get access to select products between October 11-October 14 and pre-book these products at a minimal price of Rs 1.
The e-commerce marketplace, tied neck-to-neck with Amazon 'Great India Festival' and Snapdeal's 'Kum Mein Dum' sales, said that once the pre-booking is confirmed, consumers can come back to the platform during the first day of The 'Big Billion Days' to pay the balance amount, either online or via cash-on-delivery.
According to industry reports, the festive season shopping is going to witness huge demand from consumers with over 45-50 million shoppers coming online.