Wal­mart to Track Re­sponse First

The Economic Times - - Econ­omy -

This will be a large ware­house where prod­ucts are pack­aged and shipped to con­sumers specif­i­cally for its on­line busi­ness. “Wal­mart In­dia is ex­tend­ing the B2B e-com­merce plat­form to its Best Price store mem­bers (ki­rana stores and other busi­ness mem­bers), pro­vid­ing them with a con­ve­nient on­line shop­ping op­por­tu­nity,” a Wal­mart In­dia spokesper­son said in an e-mail. “As an ex­clu­sive vir­tual store for its mem­bers, the e-com­merce plat­form will pro­vide a sim­i­lar as­sort­ment of prod­ucts, as well as spe­cial items,” the spokesper­son said, adding the com­pany ex­pects to ex­tend the on­line ser­vice to all its stores in the com­ing months. In­dia bars overseas in­vest­ments in e-com­merce ven­tures that sell di­rectly to con­sumers, prompt­ing com­pa­nies such as Ama­zon and eBay Inc. to func­tion as plat­forms on which other ven­dors of­fer their prod­ucts. There has been talk of the in­com­ing govern­ment eas­ing re­stric­tions on overseas in­vest­ment in B2C ecom­merce ven­tures. Wal­mart will gauge the re­sponse for its on­line ini­tia­tive for four-five months be­fore tak­ing the ven­ture to all the 20 cities where Best Price stores are op­er­a­tional, ac­cord­ing to a per­son with direct knowl­edge of the de­vel­op­ment. Wal­mart wants to first see how the process works in two dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent mar­kets, this per­son said, adding that the idea is to move to nationwide de­liv­ery.

The com­pany will start by of­fer­ing the 5,000-10,000 SKUs or stock keep­ing units avail­able in the phys­i­cal stores, then scale up the range.

“For on­line, we don’t have the con­straint we have on phys­i­cal stores. There­fore, we can even­tu­ally have in­nu­mer­able prod­ucts,” said the first per­son cited above. In­deed, Wal­mart's global on­line ri­val Ama­zon of­fers more than 1 crore items through its mar­ket­place model in In­dia. Scott Price, for­mer Asia head for Wal­mart, had told ET in an in­ter­view in April about the com­pany’s plans for the B2B site.

“We found that many ki­ranas drive 30-40 miles to do their shop­ping and spend a day. It is very dif­fi­cult for some ki­rana own­ers to travel drive that far. That's why we are launch­ing the B2B e-com­merce plat­form where the ki­rana will be able to or­der on­line and get their prod­ucts de­liv­ered," he had said. Wal­mart has al­ready opened a mem­ber sup­port cen­tre in Noida to help its Best Price club mem­bers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.