In Smart Fulfillment, sellers allocate a separate space for their products in their warehouse or place of business, which is connected to Flipkart’s systems so that these products can be delivered faster.
For this program, Flipkart asks sellers to maintain their warehouses to company standards.
Such products are listed with a ‘F insured‘tag on Flipkart.
“To help you reduce your business costs and improve your order processing experience, we are discontinuing Smart Fulfillment,” the statement said.
Flipkart did not answer ET’s question on Monday.
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With the closure of Smart Fulfillment, sellers can store goods in Flipkart’s warehouses or manage the logistics themselves.
Flipkart is also renaming F-Assured to F-Plus, the note states. “The new program through which they (vendors) can qualify for F-Plus allows vendors to make more efficient choices especially in terms of labor costs. It reduces the overall investment costs for them, “said one person aware of the matter. A decent number of salespeople were using Smart Fulfillment, according to people briefed on the matter.
Sources added that moving inventory to Flipkart warehouses after quality checks will allow for faster deliveries. “On a large scale, this will reduce the cost for sellers moving goods,” a source said.
“After discussions with our vendors, we have found that Smart Fulfillment is leading to additional costs for vendors due to dedicated labor, additional rental space, and third-party software to reduce operational challenges,” Flipkart said in the note.
Three sellers ET spoke to said that while the move may help some sellers ship goods faster, they may also need to shell out more.
“From now on I will end up paying Rs 4-5 extra per order for the rental of space in the Flipkart warehouse and other services,” said one of the vendors. “For sellers moving small volumes of shipping, this won’t be useful,” she added.