Home appliances major, Godrej, has partnered with Times Internet’s* online shopping portal shopping.Indiatimes.com to launch an online brand shop. Consumers will be able to buy Godrej appliances online at godrej.indiatimes.com, including consumer durables such as air conditioners, refrigerators,washing machine and microwave ovens, among other products.
Speaking with MediaNama, Subhanker Sarker, COO, Indiatimes.com, informed that the web interface for the store, CRM, and customer support will be managed by Indiatimes Shopping, while logistics, including last mile delivery will be taken care of by Godrej, since it has a large distribution network. This is the second online store that Indiatimes is powering, after it launched one for Nokia, earlier this year. It’s also working on an online store for a Jewellery brand.
According to Sarker, the store will be an ‘exclusive brand store’ and will offer value adds and bundles to differentiate itself from other online stores. Also, Godrej will link to the store from its websites including Godrejappliances.com and Gojiyo.com. Kamal Nandi, Executive Vice-President, Sales & Marketing at Godrej Appliances, informed that the company will continue to sell products on other online shopping portals.
The site will offer 500 SKUs, and offer buying advice, product feature listings, unboxing videos, maintenance guides, service and warranty information, 24X7 assistance, and will also allow customers to sign up for AMCs (annual maintenance contracts). Godrej, which has 31 depots across its 4 product hubs will take care of the shipping, however, customers will be able to track shipments online through Indiatimes.
No Cash on Delivery: The site will not offer cash on delivery, and Indiatimes does not plan to introduce the payment method in the near term. Sarker says that since the site is a brand store, the level of credibility that it promises is higher compared to other sites, and the decision to not offer COD was taken considering the fact that the site offers home appliances, where transaction amounts are large.
Brand tie-ups: Sarker informs that the terms of brand tie-ups differ on a case to case basis, and for the Nokia store, Indiatimes also manages logistics. However, there’s no revenue sharing and instead the company is offered commission for each sale. The company will be launching a brand shop for a jewellery brand in the coming months.
On Indiatimes Shopping: He mentioned that Indiatimes shopping’s per employee revenue was Rs 2 crore per year, and the average selling price taking into account the entire inventory was Rs 2,200. Nearly 30% of orders received by Indiatimes were cash on delivery orders, and Sarker claims that return to origin rate is very low. Answering our query on feasibility of cash on delivery, he said that India was majorly a cash transaction society, and offering COD was important in order to reach tier 2 and 3 cities. He also said that the cost of float and charges that companies pay to vendors for cash collection was almost near to what they pay as credit card transaction fee. The company is testing card on delivery, where customers will be able to pay via credit cards on delivery.
*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama