Mahindra Retail, which runs speciality retail stores Mom&Me, focusing on mother and child care products, has launched an online version of the property at momandmeshop.in, reports iamwire. We’d like to point out that the direct URL leads to a ‘Bad Request’ page, so most likely, the site is still under a trial window for users of its momandme.in site (it offers a link), which provides information on pregnancy, child care and parenting. Similar to the company’s physical stores, the online store also offers products targeting mothers and their children, right from pregnancy to nine years of the child’s age, with product categories such as Moms wear, Kids Wear, Personal Care & grooming, Nursery & home safety, Travel and Toys & games. The company claims to have exclusive and non-exclusive tie-ups with international brands including the likes of Destination Maternity, Nuk, Madela, Graco, Evenflo, CAM, Quercetti, B Kids, Fisher Price, Barbie and others. The site’s e-commerce engine is powered by Octashop.

Note: The site appears to be down at the moment, however, it was fully functional at the time of writing this post, earlier this morning.

Interface & Navigation

The site has been designed in-line with the brand’s theme colours. The home page of the website features Hot Deals and New Arrivals and different ways to browse and shortlist products. In addition to a category menu, the site lets users browse products based on a ‘solutions’ approach wherein product-listings are based on their purpose. For example First Wardrobe, Travel & Explore, Nourish & Feed are some of the solutions listed. There’s also a brand, age-group and price filter and a key-word search box.

 

Delivery & shipping

The site does not offer a Cash on Delivery payment option and it appears that it currently supports only HDFC Bank credit cards, we tried calling the site’s support desk to clarify, but nobody answered the call. It claims to ship to almost all parts of India, with deliveries in 3-10 days. There’s also a Rs 80 per order flat shipping fee. The return policy categorically mentions that products bought on the site can only be returned through the online channel.

Competition

The site will compete with the likes of FirstCry and BabyOye, both of which had raised funding this year. Also, BabyOye has a celebrity brand ambassador, with Karishma Kapoor coming on board as an investor. Another baby products site, Hoopos also raised funding from Helion, recently. There’s also Hushbabies.com offering similar products. Mahindra has the advantage of a visible brand name through the physical retail stores, but offering limited payment options and levying a delivery charge would act as barriers to the business’ growth. Instead, it should offer ‘online only’ promotions and offer online discount vouchers, to make offline customers move to online mode, promoting the venture through its physical stores.

Interestingly, all these sites offer major Indian and International brands, so parents (expecting ones included) have a lot to choose from. The differentiation would come in the form of customer service, friendly delivery terms and availability of multiple payment options, in addition to attractive deals. Talking of deals, Ashish Sinha of Pluggd.in, didn’t have a good experience with BabyOye, as a recent blog post suggests.