It looks like Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)’s e-commerce venture has gone live at shop.irctc.co.in. However, what’s worth noting is that consumers cannot make use of their IRCTC credentials to login to the website and need to register for the service again, at the time of writing this article.
In July 2013, IRCTC had selected Yebhi.com to manage its E-commerce platform. When we checked, we noticed that Yebhi has deployed a platform similar to its own website, both on the design and the products front, with IRCTC branding on top. The site offers products like mobile phones, electronics, home and kitchen products, men’s and women’s shoes, apparel and accessories among others and is branded as IRCTC online shopping mall. It claims to offer more than 30,000 products from more than 500 brands.
What’s missing is a social login option, which has now become a norm among all e-commerce websites and frankly, makes registration for users much easier. Interestingly, Yebhi offers Facebook and Google+ login options on its own website.
In the product listings page, one can sort products based on pricing, discount, freshness, and popularity or filter products based on category, pricing, brands, and various other product-specific parameters.
The site offers all the traditional payment options like credit and debit cards, net banking, cash on delivery (select regions) and the payment is managed by Yebhi’s own payment gateway. It also provides a wallet option, although we noticed that the wallet is linked to the user’s Yebhi account and not to their IRCTC wallet.
The site charges a flat Rs 75 shipping charges for orders below Rs 500 and provides free shipping for orders above Rs 500. The delivery dates seems to vary from 2-4 days depending on the product. Note that Yebhi has to delivery products within 7 days to consumers, failing which it has to pay a penalty of 4% of the product value to IRCTC.
Our Take: While the site is quite similar to other e-commerce portals in the country, what makes it worth noting is the possible reach the site could get. IRCTC had claimed to have 2 crore registered users with 1.2 million daily visits as of July 2013, although it is yet to be seen how many of these visitors will actually visit the online shop and purchase something.
As indicated by Yebhi earlier, the site will also be able to reach out to tier 2 and tier 3 cites and more importantly, tier 4 and tier 5 cities in the country, which has still been relatively untouched by e-commerce companies, while IRCTC will receive commission for all the sales through the platform.
– Yebhi.com To Manage IRCTC’s E-Commerce Platform
– The Lowdown on IRCTC’s E-Commerce Tender: Commission Structure, Responsibilities, Selection Criteria & More
– Why Is IRCTC Venturing Into E-Commerce?