E-tailers eyeing offline stores across smaller towns
India's e-tailers are considering launching their offline stores across small cities in the country. In a sudden spurt of e-commerce trends in India, many big players are targeting smaller towns to expand their customer base. Companies such as Flipkart and Amazon recorded massive sales from smaller towns. Nearly 65% of Flipkart's orders were pitched to have come from Tier-II towns and below.
Flipkart is one of India's biggest e-commerce players, with its headquarters in Bengaluru, India. Founded nine years ago by ex-Amazon employees, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the e-commerce portal is now valued at over $15 billion. With revenues exceeding $1.5 billion last year, the company has popular online platforms such as Jabong and Myntra under its belt.
Flipkart launches offline convenience stores
Last year, Bengaluru-based e-tailer Flipkart announced a new spree of offline collection centers to facilitate online purchases for their clients. Flipkart opened 20 convenience stores across 10 cities and said that the store count would increase to 100 this year. The online platform launched the new services as part of expanding its operations across smaller markets and enabling easier service for clients.
Enabling clients to collect goods from offline stores
"We believe this model is a resolution to customer unavailability issues, as it offers consumers a choice to adjust the delivery time and location according to their convenience," said Neeraj Aggarwal, senior director of delivery operations at Flipkart.
Amazon opens offline store
Earlier this year, one of the biggest e-commerce giants in the world, Amazon, sketched plans to open its physical store in New York City. The company has opened its first offline Amazon Books store last year in Seattle. The highly secretive project was touted to be under wraps, titled Project Anne. Amazon reportedly announced plans of opening an offline store in San Diego.
How do these offline stores work?
The e-commerce portals partner with retail shops of brands such as Samsung and others. The e-tailers like Amazon and Flipkart then train the store representatives on their products and pay them a commission for every sale they make. These e-commerce companies' websites will act as the platform for customers to make their purchases, and the stores serve as delivery or physical points.
StoreKing scripts massive reach across rural towns
An e-commerce firm, StoreKing, has joined arms with Flipkart and Amazon and has seen itself cater to over 10 million customers every month. The firm has partnered with over 25,000 offline stores in nearly 100 districts.