Snapdeal to tie-up with offline retailers, to follow omni-channel approach

From what we hear, one of India’s largest online marketplaces, Snapdeal is gearing up to follow an omni-channel strategy. It is tying up with retailers in tune with this strategy, as most customers in India still want to touch and feel products before purchasing them.

“Almost 99 per cent of shopping is still offline in India because customers still want to touch-and-feel, which can only happen at offline stores,” said Kunal Behl, Snapdeal’s founder. “So, that way you can go after the 99 per cent of the business. My lens is on how you can make these offline retailers more successful.”

How will omni-channel work?

Through an omni-channel approach, customer get a seamless shopping experience no matter where he shops from – desktop, smartphone, telephone or physical store.

Snapdeal will roll out its plans in two months, including an India-specific software platform that will help customers find products of their choice in close proximity.

  • The software will tell customers stores where their products are available within two kilometres of their location.
  • They have the following two options:
    • Buy from Snapdeal’s online platform and get delivery from the neighbourhood store.
    • Buy directly from the neighbourhood store with online guidance.

Retailers who want to go omni-channel can take Snapdeal’s help in terms of technology and logistics.

“You have already made the expenses (by creating physical stores) but how do you get the footfall? We can get online demand generation for them,” Behl said in an interview. “We will take them online and the only difference will be the fulfillment would be offline. You buy online and fulfill offline so you leverage the existing retailer’s infrastructure which is in the interest of retailers.”

So if customers are not ready to go online, Snapdeal wants to go to them and give them the satisfaction of a ‘traditional’ shopping experience to entice them? Will it work? Will these customers convert to online shopping in the long run? Let’s see.

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