The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has tied up with Amazon.in to sell various products to IRCTC customers. However, the products are not sold on IRCTC’s website, instead clicking on ‘Shop by Amazon’ redirects users to Amazon.in, which sports an IRCTC logo on it. All products offered by Amazon.in, including consumer electronics, musical instruments, books, shoes, apparel, bags, pet supplies, toys, exotic food products, personal hygiene products, seem to be available for users linking in through IRCTC. The railways subsidiary does mention that Amazon will manage the entire ecommerce solution, from bring in the selection of items, payments, ordering, complaint management, fulfilment and returns handling. The tie-up will retain Amazon.in as IRCTC’s online shopping partner for a period of two years. Implementation: We found the implementation of this tie-up a bit strange. Once a user visits Amazon through IRCTC, Amazon seems to use a cookie to add an IRCTC logo to its website, with no other changes. Interestingly, visiting Amazon independently later, still retains the IRCTC logo. The partnership does not include selling discounted or unique products, or offers for users and IRCTC probably makes money from referrals. Essentially the initiative seems limited to linking Amazon on IRCTC and Amazon putting the logo on its website when customers visit through IRCTC. Note that previously, IRCTC offered its own e-commerce platform in partnership with Yebhi. It had initially stated plans to enter the e-commerce segment in March 2013 and had floated a tender to shortlist a white label solution…
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