Flipkart goes offline, by entering into offline sales channel with 30 outlets across 19 cities, as of now. The initiative is taken to reach to the non-internet savvy audience. These stores will help buyers to touch and explore the product and still avail great deals by buying from Flipkart app. Buyers will also have the choice of taking spot delivery from the outlets or get the product delivered to their preferred location. The only product available at these shops currently are mobile phones, since mobiles are contributing 65% of Flipkart sales, according to a report from Nomura. This is being done in tie-up with Spice (mobile retail chain) and might get extended to other offline mobile retailers too.
The brands that will majorly see a positive impact from this, are Motorola and Alcatel, who only trade through Flipkart, as the customers who want to experience the phone before buying will finally have a destination.
The shopkeepers in these shops will be trained to help customers to place orders on phone through the Flipkart App. Flipkart’s offline business is focussed on Tier-3 and Tier-4 cities, given the low usage of internet and awareness of online shopping.
The company shall be expanding the product range soon enough. This initiative will go a long way to build brand loyalty in these cities. As e-commerce evolves in India, there will be many more initiatives that will come up in near future, given the fierce competition and the dynamism of the industry.
A similar move has been explored by Amazon in US. Below picture shows what the Amazon store looks like and Flipkart’s store could potentially look the same, though each may vary depending on the city of operations and the scale in terms of products being showcased.