The services segment that includes travel bookings, mobile recharge and bill payments is emerging as a crucial growth front for online retailers.
Flipkart is in advanced talks with MakeMyTrip to launch a ticketing platform, the online retailer's push into services as part of efforts to grow into a onestop shop for a range of offerings by the end of this year.
"We are planning to integrate ticketing powered by MakeMyTrip on the Flipkart marketplace, which means that a customer will be able to book air and rail tickets from the Flipkart platform," said a senior employee at Flipkart who is privy to the company's plans.
Flipkart declined to comment and MakeMyTrip, which is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, did not reply to emails from media.
The services segment that includes travel bookings, mobile recharge and bill payments is emerging as a crucial growth front for online retailers, and travel is the biggest of these. India's ecommerce market is dominated by ticketing services, with airline bookings estimated to account for over half of all ecommerce transactions.
In March, Amazon announced a partnership with IRCTC to be the official shopping partner of Indian Railways' online ticketing platform for two years. Snapdeal, which in April bought online recharge platform FreeCharge, offers pest control services, mobile and bill payments, and financial services such as home and personal loans.
The reasoning for Flipkart's diversification of its offerings is a planned listing, ahead of which it must bulk up its topline while also erasing the red ink in its bottomline, according to people familiar with the company's plans.
Flipkart is likely to launch the ticket-booking service in partnership with MakeMyTrip by September, said a source. Mukesh Bansal, head of commerce at Flipkart, had said the company would partner with retailers across categories to become "a one-stop-destination for every shopper". In recent months, Flipkart has been incorporating an omni-channel retail approach, trying to stitch a seamless offline and online experience for customers.
Earlier in July, the company announced partnerships with offline brands including Home Town, HomeStop and @Home.
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