India’s Reliance to challenge online giants Flipkart, Amazon
India's largest retail chain sets out to sell smartphones and electronics online, likely with heavy discounts
After upsetting the Indian mobile phone services sector, Reliance Industries aims to do the same to the country’s fast growing e-commerce marketplace, whose size is expected to surpass US$ 100 billion by 2020.
Reliance Retail, the country’s largest bricks-and-mortar retail chain, has set up online sales of smartphones and electronics. The two product lines account for more than 55% of all online market sales, Economic Times reports.
India’s online market place is currently valued at US$ 53 billion and is dominated by Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon.
As they did at the launch of their Reliance Jio mobile telecoms network, the retail giant is expected to bank on heavy discounts and freebies for its online sales push.
The company’s retail strengths put Reliance in an advantageous position compared to online competitors. Reliance Digital outlets and the group’s smaller Jio stores will be able to act as fulfillment centers for online orders, and a wealth of after-sales experience can be provided through its in-house service wing ResQ.
During discussions with shareholders at Reliance Industries’ AGM on July 6, Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said the company will create a hybrid online-to-offline commerce platform by integrating Reliance Retail’s physical marketplace with telecom unit Reliance Jio Infocomm’s digital infrastructure and services network.