IOS had covered the idea that a balanced approach would be in the best interest of ecommerce. It looks like Flipkart is also thinking on the same lines. Well-placed sources have said that the company is planning to open physical stores in small towns and rural areas.
Ravi Garikipati, Flipkart’s entrepreneur in residence said,
“Basically we want to have some sort of a connect with the offline world as well—this is one of our upcoming initiatives, but it’s not something that’s out there yet,” he also said, “A lot of folks are still comfortable going to the offline world and doing their (shopping). We’ve also seen in some pockets that while people spend some time on their commerce apps, they still feel comfortable going offline and getting the touch-and-feel experience and talking to local vendors. So, we are working on this whole concept called assisted commerce—it’s just a concept at this point.”
Others with the same idea
Leading online stores have chosen to open physical stores to reach out to more people and to popularise their brand. CaratLane, Lenskart, Pepperfry, Zivame, and FirstCry have a physical presence.
Amazon has also explored the concept. It began the concept of Udaan in 2015. Earlier this year, the company introduced assisted buying in rural areas. The company also forged ties with Storeking, Vakrangee, and ConnectIndia to promote buying in rural and semi urban parts of the country.
The catch is in retaining the shoppers’ attention. Devangshu Dutta, CEO of Third Eyesight says,
“The retail business is not divided in black-or-white between old-world physical retailers and the upstart online kids – at least the consumer doesn’t think so.”
So it doesn’t matter how or where you sell, as long as you can maintain a good sale volume.