E-tailing or online retailing is gaining popularity among the consumers as a means to shop at one’s convenience. With the advantage of any time, anywhere shopping options, it helps retailers to maintain their loyal consumers without any physical appearance. Retailers have found a new and innovative means to interact and connect to their consumers through online retailing options like ebay, Home Shop 18, infibeam.com.
An effective means of communication
The online retailing channels are not just e-shopping destinations but also an alternative means of communication to the consumers that reach their home directly and prompt them to buy instantly. In addition, online retailing has encouraged and targeted middle class women to become a part of the shopping-enthusiasts. This has widened the target audience by many folds.
Sundeep Malhotra, CEO, HomeShop 18, says, “The virtual retailing platform gives brands a unique launch pad for all their products and services to supplement their existing sales and distribution network and test different markets. We have redefined the traditional way of shopping from the comforts of one’s home. In addition, HomeShop 18 operates in a multi media environment consisting of TV, web and catalogue. Our primary task is to provide a delightful shopping experience to viewers through entertaining and informative content on TV. We offer distribution, customer interface, and speed to market at no cost thus providing a complete alternative distribution mechanism to help customers make informed buying decisions.”
IPL craze at e-stores
IPL teams like Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers have cashed in on this opportunity to target a vast audience via online retailing provided by Home Shop 18, India’s 24 hour retail channel.
HomeShop 18 has launched the ‘Reebok Fangear’ combos in partnership with renowned sportswear brand, Reebok through its special show-Reebok 20:20 Cricket Mania. The Combos give you an option to choose from various teams such as Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, and Royal Challengers. Malhotra comments, “This show has received an overwhelming response with IPL at its peak. Fans are absolutely thrilled to get an opportunity to feel a part of their team’s efforts to win the coveted trophy. We reach across the 2750 cities and it’s not surprising that the calls we received for the merchandise come from even the most remote towns of India, not to mention metros and mini metros.”
Yet another one stop store for IPL merchandise online is Infibeam.com which has set up an online IPL store to satiate the avid cricket lovers. The range offers IPL Jerseys, backpack, bags, caps and much more. The retail brands which decided to take up this opportunity comprise adidas, Reebok, Puma, Genesis, and Oceanbed.
Another player, GCV (Global Cricket Ventures Limited) is the exclusive licensee of a wide variety of the most valuable new media, mobile and broadcast cricket rights. Having signed an eight-year agreement, GCV is also a close commercial partner of the Indian Premier League and the Champions League T20. GCV owns the rights to websites like www.cricket.com, www.willow.tv - the primary destination for viewing live coverage for cricket and the official IPL website www.iplt20.com.
Some important concerns
In the year 2006, e-commerce products sales rate was $146.4 billion in the United States. It is understood that for developing countries and low-income households in developed countries, adoption of e-commerce in place of or in addition to conventional methods is limited by a lack of affordable Internet access.
Not to forget, an important concern i.e. word of mouth which forms a very important factor to encourage this mode of business generation and communication.
In addition, high-volume websites such as Yahoo!, Amazon.com and eBay offer hosting services for online stores to small retailers. These stores are presented within an integrated navigation framework and are unarguably a boon for retailers and consumers alike.