Bangalore and Hosur(TamilNadu) based Tamarind India, has launched Smartas.in, an online boutique store selling quirky lifestyle products, in beta.The site has been founded by Gopikrishna Kannan, Anil Reddy and Rajesh. The site merchandises products related to gadgets, home & living, garden, sports, specific products for men, women & kids, and kitchen, among others.
Speaking with MediaNama, Gopikrishna Kannan, one of the co-founders, informed that the company has a supplier chain within India and that it also imports products from overseas. As of now, Smartas has warehouses in Hosur & Bangalore and are also looking to expand in Delhi to cover the northern region.
On inventory: Kannan says that the site is currently analysing the customer buying pattern before going live officially, and will have inventory maintained based on the demand & supply. He added that the products offered on the site would vary from time to time and would also be seasonal, so only the high customer demand products will have a steady flow of inventory, while the team will procure products for customers if there’s a specific demand.
Portal: Smartas.in customers can register on the web portal via Facebook connect or via entering email address and a password. Currently, the portal provides products in categories including gadgets, accessories, office, home & garden, essentials, toys & games, automobiles, and bar & grill. Users can also browse products by price — starting from Rs 200 to Rs 5000. The portal does not offer any integration with social networking sites but allows users to add products to their wishlist, however, we could not find a way to share the wishlist on social networking sites or email, which kind of defeats the purpose of a wishlist.
Shipping and Payment: Smartas currently offers shipping through local carriers as of now including Bluedart and DHL. It claims a pan-India presence, and provides shipping to pin codes that are covered by shipping carriers like Bluedart and DHL. As for payment methods, Smartas supports debit cards and net banking as payment modes, and says that it will soon add credit card support. It currently does not offer Cash on delivery. The company aims to launch the portal by November 5, 2012 once it receives credit card approval from payment gateway CC Avenue.
Other players: eStore Hitplay.in also offers similar quirky products which also offers credit/debit card, netbanking, and mobile payment for checkout options.