Flipkart said it has introduced ‘FurniSure,’ a certification that assures customers ‘quality and durability’ of furniture available on the e-tailer’s website.
It added that this was a first-of-its-kind certification for furniture in Indian retail industry. The products that get certified would be available at the ‘FurniSure’ store on Flipkart.
“We think [ this] will disrupt the industry because customers [buying furniture] offline as well as online are all unsure of the quality,” said Nandita Sinha, senior director and head of furniture category of Flipkart, in an interview. “If you buy electronics or a shirt online, it is a seamless experience. So, we built a tech-enabled platform which could help in the seamless warehousing of the product, delivery [and] installation,” she said.
The company said the durability certification was offered after a rigorous testing process conducted through National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories-accredited testing laboratories, including Intertek and Bureau Veritas.
Each certified product undergoes tests that simulate 10 years of normal usage as per international standards, said the company.
India’s furniture market is projected to cross $32 billion by 2019, according to a TechSci Research report. But Flipkart would be facing stiff competition not only from Amazon but also specialised players such as Urban Ladder, Pepperfry and Swedish furniture retailer Ikea.
“The kind of scale that we have… is not available with the vertical players,” she said. “For example, today we have the largest warehousing space in the country versus horizontal, vertical and offline players. In two months, we will be the biggest retailer of furniture, that’s the ambition and we are on our way to do that.”
Flipkart said over 250 furniture selections including beds, sofas, wardrobes and TV units from top sellers and its private label, ‘Perfect Homes’ have already been certified. By the end of 2018, 60% of furniture products on Flipkart will be durability certified.
Flipkart re-launched furniture in Q3 2017. It is delivering the products using solutions such as quick delivery and 72-hour installation through its group company Jeeves easy returns, and warranty up to five years, said the company.