Sam­sung Tweaks On­line Strat­egy

Co to ful­fil de­liv­er­ies via own deal­ers, brand shops

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands - Wri­tankar.Mukher­jee @times­

Kolkata: Sam­sung In­dia is adopt­ing a hy­per­local strat­egy for on­line sales through top mar­ket­places Ama­zon, Flip­kart and Snapdeal, which will be ful­filled by a ded­i­cated dealer or its own brand shops for each mar­ket, peo­ple aware of the de­vel­op­ment said. The smart­phone and consumer elec­tron­ics ma­jor at present sells its prod­ucts through on­line re­tail­ers such as WS Re­tail on Flip­kart and Cloud­tail on Ama­zon. The new strat­egy is ex­pected to help Sam­sung en­sure on­line pric­ing on par with off­line stores which would some­times get im­pacted due to cash back of­fers, en­sure faster de­liv­ery and in­stal­la­tion of the prod­ucts, es­pe­cially tele­vi­sions and ap­pli­ances, and de-risk it­self from changes that the lat­est ecom­merce reg­u­la­tion has brought, such as cap­ping of sales by one sin­gle seller, four se­nior in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives said.

“Sam­sung is lo­cal­is­ing ecom­merce or­der de­liv­ery, in­stal­la­tion and even col­lec­tion of pay­ment for cash-on-de­liv­ery or­ders through au­tho­rised dis­trib­u­tors and deal­ers who will be mar­ket spe­cific,” said one of them. An email sent to Sam­sung In­dia did not elicit any re­sponse as of press time on Wed­nes­day.

In­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives said the Korean gi­ant has al­ready started to rope in trade part­ners with the en­tire process get­ting ac­cel­er­ated af­ter the govern­ment no­ti­fi­ca­tion on ecom­merce mar­ket­places. Sam­sung will list the sellers on Ama­zon, Flip­kart and Snapdeal whereby all or­ders will be routed as per the consumer’s pin code, they said.

Ear­lier, the firm had formed its brand store in the top three mar­ket­places and had en­tered into an agree­ment with them about price par­ity in re­turn of exclusive model launches through them. And the seller were pri­mar­ily WS Re­tail and Cloud­tail. An in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tive said the top smart­phone maker will con­tinue exclusive model strat­egy for ecom­merce and will take it to other prod­uct cat­e­gories such as tele­vi­sions and home ap­pli­ances since this strat­egy leads to a spurt in sales.

Pulkit Baid, di­rec­tor at East In­dia’s lead­ing durable re­tailer Great East­ern, said, “Sam­sung In­dia has recog­nised ecom­merce as a sep­a­rate chan­nel and all the ef­forts in this di­rec­tion will only en­sure con­trol over the trade hy­giene.”

Ex­perts said the real test will be in im­ple­ment­ing the plan.

“While there may be po­ten­tial ad­van­tages for con­sumers such as in­stal­la­tion, but the real test will be in ser­vice de­liv­ery and post-de­liv­ery is­sues for which the ecom­merce sellers have al­ready built their name,” said Rahul Sai­gal, MD at dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing con­sul­tancy Netim­pact So­lu­tions. Sai­gal was chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer of Sam­sung In­dia two years back. Sam­sung In­dia had formed a ded­i­cated team led by vet­eran ex­ec­u­tive Asim Warsi to fo­cus on dig­i­tal sales from this year. This was af­ter the com­pany re­alised that fo­cus­ing on ecom­merce, launch­ing exclusive mod­els, and en­sur­ing strict pric­ing norms with off­line trade had helped it gain share in the fiercely com­pet­i­tive smart­phone mar­ket in In­dia by around 9% last year. The par­ent com­pany last De­cem­ber had an­nounced that it is es­tab­lish­ing on­line oper­a­tions teams in South Korea and South­west Asia and also cre­at­ing ded­i­cated on­line or­gan­i­sa­tions within key busi­ness units. Sam­sung is the leader in smart­phones and flat panel tele­vi­sions in the In­dian mar­ket.

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