In an earlier interaction with YourStory, Kunal Bahl of Snapdeal said that company will be announcing something new every week. The Gurgaon based company has been announcing series of launches over the past few months. After Shopo, FindMyStle and Peppertap funding, it has launched omni-channel platform.
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The platform integrates offline and online retail channels to provide a seamless and differentiated shopping experience to customers. With this customers shopping on Snapdeal will be able to discover products online and order with faster hyper-local fulfilment executed by offline retailers.
It also lets users to access value added and expert services as a part of their purchase, including demonstration, installation, activation or returns at a store near them. Importantly, with this customers will be able to procure products within two hours of ordering and also be able to access these services at the nearest store if they chose the pickup option across 70 cities in India.
Speaking at the launch, Kunal Bahl, Co-founder and CEO, Snapdeal said, “We are opening a new chapter in enabling the success of retailers and brands in India. Our teams have worked tirelessly to build a seamless omni-channel platform which we call 'Janus', referring to the Roman God of beginnings, transitions, gates, doors and doorways. This platform will blur the lines between offline and online retail, demonstrating that both channels can act as gateways to each other. The synergies between online and offline commerce in India will be unlocked like never before.”
The platform intends to create an ecosystem of leading brands, large format retailers (LFRs), small businesses and technology start-ups. The Mobile Store, Michelin, Shopper Stop and Luminous will be the first few partners for Snapdeal’s omni-channel initiative.
Alibaba backed company had earlier announced Snapdeal Instant to leverage network of hyperlocal stores to enable fulfil order within two hours. It’s in advance talk with several logistics players for the same.
Studies have shown that consumers switch between online and offline before making purchase decisions. Certain categories like mobile phones, majority customers follow up their online purchase with a visit to the store for accessing related services like data transfer, screen protection etc.
This move from snapdeal makes a lot of sense as it would be able to deliver products instantly to consumers in any particular city. Additionally, it will open avenue for retail stores to have another sales channel. However, integrating omnichannel is not easy task for retailers who have highly broken processes at the bottom level (store level).
With this Snapdeal has an edge over its rivals Flipkart and Amazon who don’t have omni-channel solution so far. Going forward Snapdeal will eye partnership directly with brands like Nike, Fab India, Metro among others for its omni-channel solution.
The Softbank funded company is not leaving any avenue to accelerate scale. It had forayed into television commerce business with DEN Networks. Recently, Snapdeal also launched mobile focused zero commission marketplace for homepreneurs - Shopo. The company is also slated to announce something tomorrow. Stay tuned for more updates from Snapdeal.
(Disclaimer: Kalaari Capital, an investor in Snapdeal has also invested in YourStory Media)