The Bangalore based e-commerce company Flipkart started the concept of gifting books for this festive season here in India. The company feels this will herald a new era in a country where gifting books is yet to pick up. Anil Goteti, Director (Retail) of Flipkart, also feels gifting books can come in handy at a time when festive buying has been somewhat marred by the economic downturn prevailing in the country. Gifting books makes for a cheaper alternative while still offering a high “novelty factor.” The relevant page has already gone live at Flipkart, where discounts as high as 60 percent are currently available on bestsellers.
“Occasion-led gifting during Christmas is very popular in the US. We want to pioneer that culture in India,” said Goteti while claiming Indians are far behind Americans in their reading habits, with it being just about one-tenth of that prevalence in the US.
Flipkart is among the largest online portals in India and wants to be to India what Amazon is to the world. It has put a lot of emphasis on its book business after the arrival of Amazon in the Indian e-commerce sector. The company adds thousands of books to its store every month and is also targeting first time readers from smaller cities and towns to push sales. According to Goteti, the book business in India is worth around ₹800 to 1,000 crores. Books already feature among the top three categories for the retailer throughout the country, where it controls close to 45 percent of the market in volume terms.
In its bid to boost book sales, Flipkart also launched a meet-the-author program where buyers can engage in a live chat session with the author. The retailer started with its ebook business in December 2012, and has already launched an e-platform as a medium to encourage authors to publish their works.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email