Big Bazaar logoRetail giant Future Group has launched a B2C portal for Big Bazaar Direct reports NextBigWhat. The portal will enable customers of Big Bazaar’s franchisees to purchase products directly via the website.

The web portal currently lists mobiles, electronics, appliances, fashion, home & living, kitchen & dining and luggage & travel categories. To place an order a user needs a franchisee code which can be obtained from franchisees close to the user. The franchisee code is merely a reference code and not a discount code.

Purchase options: Big Bazaar Direct currently offers three purchase options.

Option 1 – Users can directly visit franchisee stores, place an order, make payment, and Big Bazaar will deliver the products at the provided address.

Option 2 – The order can be placed online using the franchisee code. Users will receive a booking SMS from Big Bazaar Direct, following which they need to visit the franchisee and make the payment. They will receive an order confirmation SMS. Finally, Big Bazaar will deliver the products.

Option 3: Users can place the order and make payment online.

The delivery will be made within 3-7 days, post receiving the order confirmation SMS.

Shipping of non-food products below Rs 500 will attract a shipping charge of Rs 50, and Big Bazaar Direct will not accept food orders below Rs 1000. Big Bazaar Direct courier partners are BlueDart, FirstFlight, GoJavas, Tanvi Express and Future Group promoted Future Supply Chains.

BigBazaar Direct

Big Bazaar Direct:

Future Group had officially launched its direct selling service, Big Bazaar Direct in September last year. The service, currently targeting 50,000 franchisees by year end, allows customers to buy products from Big Bazaar via said franchisees. Customers can call or request a callback via the website to call their nearest franchisee to visit their homes and take an order. Franchisees will carry tablets to enable the customer to browse and order from the Big Bazaar catalog. Payment is to be made to the franchisees and on confirmation, the order is delivered within 3-7 days. A full list of current franchisees can be found here.

Anyone can apply to be a franchisee by filling up this online form, although Big Bazaar will choose the most eligible candidates. Once selected, an initial investment of Rs. 3 lakh, which includes setup charges, order advance and a refundable security deposit, has to be made upfront. The signup form can be found here.

Future Group’s e-commerce plan

Future Group had previously announced plans to launch an ecommerce platform in October this year. The group is currently running a pilot program in Akola, Bhilwara and Amravati and claims to launch it, starting with the electronics category in October. The company also plans to eventually sell perishable goods like vegetables and meat in select cities. Currently, it isn’t clear if the venture will be B2B or B2C.

It is interesting to note that Future Group already has a B2C e-commerce store FutureBazaar.com. The e-store was once a dominant player in the Indian market but eventually fell into the shadows with the emergence of other e-stores like, Flipkart, Amazon.in and Snapdeal.

Last month, Future Group head Kishore Biyani had told Business Standard that by the end of 2014 all Big Bazaar stores will be online across India.

Competition

The retail arm of Reliance Industries, Reliance Retail is planning to launch e-commerce stores over the next 12 months. This was revealed in RIL’s annual report, released earlier this year.

Walmart had planned to launch a pilot of its B2B e-commerce venture in Hyderabad and Lucknow, which went live in July. The US-based retailer plans to extend this to other cities where it has a physical presence by January next year.