logoUpdate: Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak, told Medianama, “We have launched it in beta and will test it for the next two to three months. It is positioned as a digital lifestyle store and has gaming, gadgets and mobiles but will also expand to durables.” He claims the shop has 1700 products, 46 brands and 30 suppliers.

In comparison with the company’s offline retail division Zapak Games which only sells gaming CDs and merchandise, the online store has more products. The offline retail business contributes to 25% of overall revenues, Sharma said. Zapak retails through 4000 retail outlets and also distributes in large format stores.

The company is not warehousing any of the products, they are distributed directly by manufacturers and so Zapak has not incurred the major expense of inventory holding costs, Sharma explained. It also had the payment gateways already in place.

Earlier: Reliance ADAG’s gaming firm Zapak has launched an e-commerce portal specifically targeted towards the gaming population called ZapakShop.com. The store offers consoles, game titles, accessories, as well as associated gadgets such as mobile handsets, digital cameras, laptops, home theatre systems, mp3 players, toys and watches. It went live yesterday.

Limited Range; Products

The products catalogue appears to be severely limited – there are consoles by Microsoft (Xbox 360), Sony (PS2, PSP & PS3) and Nintendo’s Wii; laptops by Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP and Lenovo but the shop does not offer a complete range. There are no gaming laptops nor high end desktops built for pro-gamers on the site. It does not have many gaming partners for the site and the absence of standard gaming accessories by Logitech, NVidia etc is glaring.

zapakshopscreenshot

Games for PCs as well as Xbox and PS2 consoles are available and deals are available, but not really enticing. Zapak Shop will take a week to deliver a game CD and does not accept cash on delivery for most products. The Nintendo Wii console retails on Zapak Shop for Rs. 21, 990 on the portal – one could still buy it in the US for one third the price (at $150) – no good news for Indian gamers yet. There is a compare option and users can post their reviews.

Payment Options

Users have a slew of options open for buying – either through netbanking or credit cards, prepaid instruments such as ItzCash Card and Paymate, as well as Zapak PINS and cheque or demand drafts. There is also a cash back offer using mobile gift voucher service Giftmate by Paymate. It also offers discounts from 5-50% and a coupon for shoppers of Zapak Shop who can use it for one hour of free gaming coupon at their nearby Zapak Gameplexes. The coupon is valid for 1 month.

The site offers a voucher for Rs. 50 (use the coupon ZAPDEAL50 on a minimum purchase of Rs. 199) on all products valid till the end of 2009, game CDs draw an additional 10% off and the portal also has an inaugural offer of free shipping (except for toys). It has a comprehensive list of terms and conditions here.

The company seeks to draw users by showing them how to best avail of the different offers, “When you buy Rs.250 product, first use Rs.50 discount code ZAPDEAL50 and then pay the remaining Rs.200 using Giftmate voucher. You will not only get Rs.50 cashback in Giftmate again but you will save money on shipping and get a Zapak Gameplex voucher worth Rs.50. You can then re-use that Giftmate voucher on Zapak and club it with Rs.50 discount code “ZAPDEAL50” to buy product for Rs.199. So you get to buy 2 products worth Rs.350 on just paying Rs.300 using Giftmate. You save Rs.100 on shipping + Rs.50 Gameplex voucher makes your total benefits to Rs.500.”

Gaming Shop Or Just Another Gadget Site?

There is no cross-portal integration with Zapak.com except for allowing registered Zapak users to login. In its current form, Zapak Shop appears to be just another online gadget shop, rather than a gaming shop that would bring global products that are not easily available and fill the niche that India lacks – a complete pro-gaming portal.

Other online sites which sell consumer electronics include Cafegadgets.com, Videocon’s edigiworld, and Gadgets.in; generic e-shopping sites such as eBay, Infibeam, Rediff Shopping, Indiatimes Shopping, Infibeam, Shopping.Expressindia.com and In.com Shopping also offer these products.

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