Nepal’s e-commerce scene is slowly and gradually growing bigger with every passing day. But comparing the trend with other developing countries, our country’s growth rate doesn’t compete. Though the ongoing pandemic has helped boost the online spending habit of people, there’s still a long way to go. Gyapu emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the Nepalese e-commerce industry and was able to find a silver lining amidst the nationwide lockdown. And now, Sastodeal has joined in on the action to take its success to new heights through its partnership with Indian e-commerce giant – Flipkart.
This announcement certainly is a welcome one and a lot of people are thrilled about it. But at the same time, many didn’t understand exactly what this collaboration meant. So in this article, I’ll be discussing what the partnership between Sastodeal and Flipkart entails and why we should be excited.
Flipkart, Sastodeal partnership: What it is
As we all know, Sastodeal is an online marketplace where different businesses can host their product on the site for sale. And in the most basic explanation, Flipkart is just another vendor at Sastodeal for now. But since it’s an international name, the buzz surrounding it is deserved all the while. It’s also important to note that all the items up at Sastodeal have been curated by both e-commerce platforms to best suit the Nepalese market. Products from Flipkart’s private label brands like MarQ, SmartBuy and its own store will be up for grabs to the Nepalese shoppers. Similarly, clothing items from Myntra (a fashion & lifestyle brand owned & operated by Flipkart) will also be available on Sastodeal.
Private Label Brand: MarQ by Flipkart
Depending upon what category of purchase you’ll be making, there’s going to be a different delivery duration. For the aforementioned private label brands, Sastodeal quotes 1 – 2 days of delivery time. Here, MarQ is a manufacturer of different kinds of home appliances and lifestyle electronics like TV, washing machine, soundbars, headphones, etc. As of now, Sastodeal sells two products of the brand – a 32” HD LED and a 49” 4K LED TV. While we’re at it, let’s have a quick price comparison of these products in India and Nepal.
Here in Nepal, the “MarQ by Flipkart Innoview 32-inch HD LED TV (32VNSHDM)” is listed at NPR 20,499 after a 15% discount (originally NPR 23,999). On the other hand, this same TV with the same make/model retails at INR 8,999 after a 32% discount (originally INR 13,299). After doing some conversions (quick maths), we can see that even though the initial price of the TV in both countries have a fair difference only (from a Nepalese buyer’s perspective), the final retailing cost sees a massive disparity.
MarQ 32-inch HD LED TV (32VNSHDM)
Latest Price (Aug19)
Obviously, even with Flipkart’s kinda-sorta official involvement in Nepal, getting its products at a direct conversion price was never possible, to begin with. A little difference was always warranted because of regular tax and other government-imposed costs – but domestic buyers are sure to be let down keen shoppers look up the difference in price.
“Hey, maybe it’s just one item. Let’s move on.”
Private Label Brand: Flipkart SmartBuy
Similarly, Flipkart SmartBuy is the company’s first private label brand that specializes in home décor, kitchen, furnishing, and similar items on top of electronics. On top of aggressive pricing, these products are also quality-tested meaning, a product X’s SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) has to go through Flipkart’s internal testing at various steps from manufacturing to packaging – before it receives the Flipkart SmartBuy tag.
Here in Nepal, Flipkart SmartBuy items like power bricks, sleeping pillow, bike cover, bedsheet, cookware, etc. are up for sale at Sastodeal. With that out of the way, let’s get to compare the price of a randomly selected product.
Flipkart SmartBuy Plastic Fruit Infuser Bottle
Latest Price (Aug19)
Flipkart Store: Cross-Border Buying
Now those were about products from Flipkart’s private-label brands in Nepal. Now, let’s talk about Flipkart Store which is a cross-border e-commerce platform with over 5,000 products to choose from under 15 different categories. Because it facilitates a bilateral market between India and Nepal, it’s going to take more than a couple of days to get your ordered products. As a result, Sastodeal quotes a minimum of 21 days of the delivery period for products in Flipkart Store.
Even though you’ll be buying stuff directly from India, all the payment, return, and damage processing will be handled by Sastodeal. And that’s the beauty of it. For instance, you don’t need a separate Indo-Nepal payment mechanism by your side to enjoy purchasing items from Flipkart. However, as of now, the selection of items is quite minuscule considering how there are millions of products listed on Flipkart India’s official website. Once again, let’s compare the price of an item under the Flipkart Store in Nepal and India.
Sunbaby Musical Activity Walker (Red)
Latest Price (Aug19)
So as you can see, the vast price difference is persistent in almost every product category when looking up and comparing them between the two countries. And yeah, it doesn’t feel good having to overpay for anything. One can also argue that Flipkart products listed on Sastodeal aren’t some “savior” of any sort and there are plenty of alternatives; differing in quality, of course.
Sastodeal is well aware of this fact as well and is constantly working on it. This is just a beginning and the company has a lot of homework to do; especially in the price department. There are also concerns like handling repairs, after-sales services, etc. We spoke to an official from Sastodeal who spoke in confidence regarding such delivery and after-sales services citing they have a strong and well-qualified team spread across the country to prevent any mishaps.
How to buy Flipkart products on Sastodeal
There’s literally no additional step involved in ordering Flipkart products on Sastodeal. Like every other item on the site, you’ll need to go through the following steps:
Visit Sastodeal’s website
Browse through the products
Add the ones you’d like to purchase to the cart
Click “Buy Now”
Then enter the required credentials including personal info, shipping address, preferred payment method. (apply a voucher code, if any)
Finally, hit “Confirm Order”
Flipkart, Sastodeal partnership: What it’s not
With the seemingly sudden announcement of the collaboration between the two companies, many people were excited about it – some, maybe for the wrong reasons. You see, taking in the information at face value, one may assume that through Sastodeal, you’ll now be able to purchase any item(s) off of India’s Flipkart.
However (and I cannot emphasize this enough), that is just not the case. You can’t simply visit flipkart.com, select products, and have them ship to Nepal through Sastodeal. As I said in the beginning, right now, Flipkart is just another seller on the platform – that is Sastodeal, and therefore has listed out select products on the site. So, I hate to burst your bubble but if you were imagining scrolling through millions of items on Flipkart with an easy delivery on Nepal, that’s not gonna happen.
What the future holds
Despite all the apparent issues with this partnership between Flipkart and Sastodeal, we must look on the bright side and see the positiveness it brings with it. And in the upcoming future, we hope we get to see a much wider arsenal of products and a much more acceptable level of the price difference. The future of shopping is e-commerce and the faster the Nepalese market evolves to it, the better. We’d like to wish both parties the best of luck in their joyous odyssey ahead.