flipkart.com – Fresh Book Store for Indian Market

Binny Bansal the founder of flipkart.com seems to be an intelligent man going around the blog world and leaving trail for people to reach out to his portal. Smart and free way of publicizing your initiative. In the US this is a common PR practice with portals to get blogsphere interested first and then traditional media follows.

Keeping in line with Business India 2.0 blog objective to showcase new developments in Indian webspace here is a review on Flipkart.com an online book store.

For long this space has been seen by lot of VC’s looking at investment in e-commerce india. Though the volumes have not been encouraging + the tax laws of our land are not favorable.  In my earlier post on Retail E-Commerce play in india i had taken a shot at online book stores and how horizontal portals are doing much better jobs moving books instead of people like firstandsecond.com

Flipkart.com comes perfectly in this space trying to get the fundamental rights which is easy to navigate comprehensive database of books to buy. The site scores high on usability though functionality is still limited keeping in mind level which bookstores have evolved in India. The search functionality needs little more work and rather than implementing a generic keyword search it need to weigh in elements of book details, book title etc. Idea is to create a relevancy score which can go up or down based on number of times a book is displayed in results and number of times it receive click based on relevant keyword.

For book portals to involve in India they need to get the book cafe concept going. Idea is to generate content around book topics which forces user to buy books on the topic. Most of the people try to get this going using user generated reviews but this is just not enough.  Create a facebook application track users book liking or even better just track hot topic searches and include them as keyword or cue for people to search for books related to those topics. A tag cloud which is not dependent on input from your search keyword but global search trends or indian search trends. Idea is to entice user to find content which might be already existing in books rather than wasting time on unstructured content on Internet.

The billing process and shopping cart used by site is simple though i didnt like the EBS integration interface as for some reason it slowed down the process.  Still unable to figure out why in india the payment gateways dont allow card details to be captured at merchant end and only processing information sent to payment gateway as this makes batch processing very difficult.

In the end flipkart.com is a good start or showcase for firstandsecond.com,nbcindia.com or other bookstores which went online way to understand when selling books on web how much usability can make different for increasing daily book movement volumes from 500 transactions per day to 1000 transaction.

Lets hope these web 2.0 book stores bring more to traditional  online bookstores which just act as mere catalogs online.

12 Responses to “flipkart.com – Fresh Book Store for Indian Market”


  1. 1 binny bansal November 22, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Sid,

    I wanted to clarify a couple of things.
    –Search on flipkart.com is not mere keyword search. It is in fact based on a relevance score which is calculated by our search algorithm. The feedback mechanism that you’ve mentioned will also be put in place when we have enough traffic for it to make sense ( a very valid suggestion ).

    –Functionality wise I would say that this is just the beginning. The challenge that we have is to add new features without affecting the usability too much.

    I like your idea of creating some kind of a book cafe. There are a number of ways in which this can be approached ( you’ve mentioned few of them. Duly noted ). As we move forward filters and recommendation engines will surely be added which do make it easier for the user to find things that might be of interest to him/her.

  2. 2 cool December 5, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Good work,flipkart
    carry on……..

    I have also come across a website for Indian books.It is quite a nice website.There are all kinds of books,catering to all age
    groups

  3. 3 Capt. Jayant Vete February 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I purchased one book last night and the ordering system had initiated three seperate transactions. I was afraid of being charged thrice! I emailed the help desk late night and they immediately responded and rectified the mistake. I checked with my credit card company this morning and fortunately I was only charged for one book. That is good service and the price was right. I don’t mind doing business with FlipKart again and will do so in the near future. I want India to have its on Amazon.com and I think FlipKart can be that.
    Capt. Jayant Vete

  4. 5 Abhishek Sharma July 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I have purchased a book, My first book purchase on internet from flipkart.com one of my relative told me about the site and according to him customer service is good.

    The user interface is also user friendly even a non techie can also find his way into the site.

    The feature I liked the most is search, I was looking for the book whose name I didn’t knew, I only knew the name of the author and that too last name “piramal”. I enter “piramal” and click search and I found the book I was looking for “Business Maharajas” (I didn’t purchased this one though I purchased another one😉 ). The purpose of Search is solved and I got what I wanted and I think this is most important thing to a user.

    Good work flipkart.com

    Abhishek Sharma

  5. 6 U S Pandey June 23, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I have placed my order couple of days back and have my fingers crossed. I have read both, ranging from the darkest to the brightest about the portal If the outfit delivers within the promised time they get a loyal customer or else, they better be ready for retaliatory measures!

  6. 7 Dori Brink August 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Att: binny Bansal

    I am the author of SPUNKY, see Amazon.com
    for a photo of my book cover.

    Please delete the listing you have with
    my name instead of Lazarus for the book.The
    cover is not my book’s cover, as you can
    readily see.

    Do I have to have legal intervention?

    Dori Brink

  7. 8 Dori Brink August 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    The book listed for sale in India is NOT MY BOOK.
    tHE PHOTO OF THE DOG ON THE COVER IS NOT MY BOOK’S
    PHOTO OR COVER – THE NAME LAZARUS APPEARS ON THE
    COVER.

    MY PUBLISHED BOOK “SPUNKY” HAS A PHOTO OF SPUNKY
    ON THE COVER, AND CAN BE SEEN VIA AMAZON.COM,
    AUTHORHOUSE.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE, ETC.

    PLEASE DELETE MY NAME WITH LAZARUS’S BOOK
    AND CONFIRM THIS TO ME.

    DORI BRINK

  8. 10 Dana Kartu Kredit October 20, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I think the admin of this site is really working hard in support
    of his web page, for the reason that here every stuff is quality based information.

  9. 12 anupriya kamra February 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Are you facing hassles listing your products online?
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