TataCLiQ is moving to its next plan of action. That’s expansion. The etailer set up its ecommerce platform with products only under the fashion and electronics categories. It now has 800 brands under these categories. By the next quarter, it expects to expand its categories and quadruple its brand portfolio. To make this happen, the online marketplace is persuading top sellers on rival platforms like Flipkart and Amazon.
TataCLiQ expansion plans
According to sellers TataCLiQ is offering seller benefits and incentives that match Flipkart and Amazon’s. It is tugging in its direction its rival’s top sellers from segments like FMCG, mobiles and fashion.
It has managed to get on board quite a few sellers from rival companies which include merchants like Dmv Ecommerce, Wholesale Retailers, Net Distribution Services, VTMSLP and Green Mobiles. These contribute to its cellphone, fashion and electronics categories.
From 800 brands the Tata-owned ecommerce venture wants to offer 3000 brands by including more categories. It plans to soon offer products under new segments like kids wear, toys, stationary, jewellery and home.
The company’s spokesperson mentioned, “We are not limiting ourselves to only entering select categories, but focusing on building capabilities in delivering the online and in-store seamless shopping journey.”
TataCLiQ is considering categories like furniture and beauty too. However, these have different logistics and supply chain requirements.
The spokesperson said, “We are partnering or investing in different logistics and service providers that could help us fill need gaps and bring additional competencies in this space.”
Grocery is another segment the company is considering but will probably enter it at a later point in time. With Amazon in the online food segment it is expected to dethrone e-grocery leader BigBasket. Flipkart is also focusing on groceries this year. This may be why TataCLiQ isn’t rushing into the grocery segment. It might be looking to learn from Flipkart and Amazon’s ventures into this segment. Plus, there are poor performance instances in this segment that must be considered.
TataCLiQ’s Phygital model
When it launched its ecommerce operations in May last year, TataCLiQ bet big on a phygital model. This is a blend of online buying and store pick. The online marketplace has 70% of its orders delivered through phygital and shipped out of store. On the other hand, customers collect only 4-8% orders.
Sellers feel this could change. On the condition of anonymity a seller at TataCLiQ explained, “TataCLiQ is rebuilding the business by appointing external sellers. The realisation is that more the number of professional sellers join the platform, there will be more product assortment, more deals, and more sales.”
According to another vendor on the platform, TataCLiQ intends to get into the FMCG segment in spite of poor margins. The etailer believes it can boost customer purchases and make them addicted to its platform.
The seller stated, “They are talking to both the brands and also sellers on building a robust platform.”
Rivals Amazon and Flipkart are also looking to expand their businesses. Flipkart wants to focus on unexplored categories and Amazon wants to sell everything to everyone. To further feed its expansion desires, Flipkart may even acquire eBay and Snapdeal too to double its offerings and reach. So, in case new entrants like TataCLiQ want to survive in the volatile ecommerce market, category expansion is more a necessity than a feat.