Search giant Google and Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture giant Ikea are eyeing Indian e-commerce market as they both are coming up with their own e-commerce stores respectively (and separately) under their own brand name to sell their branded products under one roof.
Google, which recently unveiled series of its flagship products, plans to launch an online storefront for all its branded hardware products, reported Economic Times. The product Google would sell through these online shop would include its flagship smartphone Pixel, Chromecast, Google Home smart speakers, and virtual reality headset, Daydream.
A Google spokesperson has even confirmed the same saying, “We are looking to launch a Google-branded online store for all hardware launched in India, with an authorized partner who will operate and manage the fulfillment.”
Notably, Google already has pre-launch version of its India storefront – store.google.com, which allows users to find both online and offline retailers where they could purchase its products from.
Post the launch of full online storefront, which is expected to launch next month, users in India will get an option to purchase, with a redirection to the partner’s page, upon which the transaction can be completed.
For opening its e-commerce store Google is said to be in discussions with several third-party partners for this, including Ingram Micro.
According to Neil Shah, partner at Counterpoint Research, “A storefront allows Google to access info on the premium users looking to buy its phones. Second, it also helps the brand to control the end-to-end selling experience and have the ability to cross-sell other products and offerings, like bundling Google Home or accessories, or even, in the future, extended warranty plans or upgrade programs like Apple does well with Apple Care.”
Furniture retailer Ikea, which made its foray into India in July this year by launching its first store in Hyderabad, would now start its e-commerce operations in India by March 2019, announced Peter Betzel, CEO of Ikea India.
Ikea is looking at total integration of both online and offline channels to generate revenue but expects high number of online orders, since the company is developing its business online with physical meeting points.
“Ikea will create a multi-channel experience for its customers in India. It will launch e-commerce in Mumbai early next summer (March) and introduce other touch points to bring the brand closer to customers,” Ikea CEO told news agency PTI.
In May 2017, IKEA introduced an online shopping interactive catalog, as a shopping virtual-assistant intelligent user interface web application.
It is to be noted that, in September last year, IKEA acquired San Francisco-based startup, TaskRabbit, which is an online and mobile marketplace that matches freelance labor with local demand.
The acquisition of TaskRabbit can be seen as Ikea’s strategy to strengthen its digital customer service capabilities to better compete with global rivals like Amazon.
With the entry of Ikea, India’s local players such as Pepperfry and Urban Ladder have too strengthened their retail presence by envisaging omni-channel strategies that is by opening physical stores to which they call “Experience Centres. Pepperfry has 22 offline store aka ‘experiential’ studios to which the startup wants to grow by 46 by end of 2018. Urban Ladder on other end has 10 physical stores including in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida.
[Images – Ikea.com]
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