Paytm has entered multi-channel retail model by tying up with offline players in the mobile and electronic appliances sector and enabling them to list their stores on its e-commerce marketplace. Paytm has already struck deals with 5,500 stores including 4,000 brand exclusive mobile stores and 1,500 large appliance retailers as a part of its omni-channel strategy, the company said in a statement.
Customers can now choose from a number of offline stores from where they wish to buy their product. Amit Bagaria, Associate Vice President, Paytm said that they will focus on mobile stores and large appliance retailers at the moment as there are a fixed set of SKUs, and that it is planning on adding more categories in the future.
Paytm will also empower the offline players with analytics and data that they can use to scale up their virtual brands better. The stores can create their own content on Paytm and engage with customers in a way that their brand personality remains intact on the online domain as well.
The multi-channel scenario in India and abroad
A recent study conducted by marketing firm Hansa Cequity and Retailers Association of India (RAI) shows that despite the rise of e-commerce in India, nearly 74 percent of Indian consumers prefer to shop across all channels which include local retailers, modern trade outlets and online.
The study, which took in responses from more than 1,386 consumers across 86 cities, confirms that three out of every four shoppers today are comfortable shopping across formats, and have done so in recent weeks. One-third of the consumers surveyed said they have shopped at both physical and online stores of the same retailers.
According to a recent report by AT Kearney, in the US 90% of all retail sales are transacted in stores, and about 95 percent of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence. Only 5 percent of the overall retails sales in the US accounts for online.
While, in Australia, multi-channel retailers such as Myer, David Jones, Woolworths and Coles account for 50 percent of the ecommerce market in 2014, and are growing at almost double the rate of pure-play ecommerce companies.
Other developments in the omni-channel business
–Ecommerce player Snapdeal introduced ‘Janus’, a multi channel platform where users can discover, buy, same day local delivery and get value added services such as demos, installation, activation and returns at a store near them. These services include mobile phones, tyres, home appliances and fashion apparel categories in partnership with The Mobile Store, Michelin, Luminous and Shoppers Stop.
—Flipkart launched 20 centres across 10 cities in India, in conjunction with its logistics partner Ekart, where users can pick up their products from. Flipkart said that it ventured into this supply chain because some of its users were unavailable during delivery time, other than the restriction of entry for delivery boys in IT parks, gated communities and educational institutions. It plans to establish 100 such centres by March 2016
–Listings website JustDial ventured into to e-commerce services by introducing a marketplace for selling electronics and white goods. It started aggregating neighborhood electronics shops, and selling mobile phones, television sets, digital cameras, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, among others.
–Alibaba said that it is now shifting its focus on pushing its online-to-offline model by collaborating with on the ground retailers to help with increasing their logistics network. Alibaba now has more that 180,000 offline stores across 330 cities in China as part of its omni-channel network. It also partnered with Suning Appliance Company, one of China’s largest electronics retail chains, to use its logistics network and services, to be made available to other merchants on Alibaba’s platform.
–Kishore Biyani’s Future Group tied-up with omni-commerce technology solutions provider hybris software, a SAP company, to converge its digital and physical channels. Following this tie-up all Future Group brands are expected to be available online from March 2015. Future Retail joint managing director Rakesh Biyani said that Future Group will invest Rs 100 crore over the next 18 months on the omni-commerce platform. It has also formed a strategic alliance to sell its products on Amazon’s India marketplace Amazon.in.