Fabric giant Raymond goes online; is omni-channel retailing catching up in India?


At almost every conference on internet retailing, experts opine that online retail will only explode in India when manufacturers and offline retailers adopt the e-route. This seems to be happening in India, albeit slowly. After Arvind Mills, fabric producer-cum-retailer Raymond has launched its online store -- Raymondnext.com -- for consumers.

The portal offers two horizontal categories, ready to wear and home furnishing, along with a number of sub-categories. One can order shirts, suits, jackets, polos, towels and bedsheets among other things from hundreds of SKUs. The company has launched five individual e-commerce enabled brand websites of Raymond, ColorPlus, Parx and Park Avenue with an integrated shopping cart.

Speaking about the thought process behind Raymondnext, the company said, “Raymond Next is our way to take the Raymond experience to the next level. It is the online retail initiative of the Raymond lifestyle business that hopes to give its loyal customers access to all of Raymond’s offerings, from the comfort of their homes. Through this initiative we aim to be the ultimate online destination for male grooming and lifestyle.”

At present, the store accepts all credit/debit card based transactions along with Cash on Delivery (COD) option on select merchandise. The company doesn’t ship outside India but promises to start overseas delivery soon.

Earlier in August this year, the country’s largest textile brand, Arvind group, forayed into the e-commerce sector. The group aims to reach Rs. 1,000 crore turnover by 2017.

Omni-channel is the need of hour for manufacturers and retailers

The Indian e-commerce saga started with travel followed by emergence of marketplaces like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon. Now the trend seems to be strongly catching up with manufacturers and big retailers. Last year, luggage manufacturer VIP went online.

Going online by manufacturers and retailers like Vijay Sales, The Mobile Store along with several others also heralds the beginning of omni-channel retailing. Recently, online grocery and consumer goods retailer ZopNow announced strategic integration with the Hypercity chain of stores to deliver groceries to its customers in Bangalore.

The Indian etail market is set to reach $32 billion by 2020 and manufacturers, including major offline retailers can no longer ignore the importance of online channel.

Meanwhile, merely an online presence will not be sufficient for manufacturers and offline retailers. The Future Group’s online arm, Futurebazaar, has so far failed to compete with the likes of Flipkart and Snapdeal. Similarly, Aditya Birla’s retail chain, More, folded its online presence within a year of launch as it lacked focus and execution.


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