Reliance has begun its efforts to expand its e-commerce stronghold. A report in ET suggests, that RIL (led by Mukesh Ambani) is planning to start selling mobile phones, laptops, televisions and home appliances, apart from grocery sales in Mumbai.
Citing three senior executives as sources, Reliance Retail has begun trial-testing e-commerce transactions of consumer electronics among employees. The company is set to make this service commercial in the next quarter (i.e first quarter of 2015).
“The company has decided to stay away from heavy discounting for online sales to prevent conflict of prices with its mainstay brick-and-mortar stores. However, it has ambitious plans and the e-commerce foray is done by a separate team.” one of the sources said.
The sources also said that Reliance has no plans to compete with the giants such as Flipkart and Amazon. Reliance Retail is moving towards an omni-channel strategy which essentially means using multiple channels and resources, both online and offline, to push sales. The online channel will just act as a pivot for ease in purchase. The wide brick and mortar network of Reliance Digital stores will help for faster delivery and product exchange. Customers can also buy online and pick up the product from the nearest Reliance Digital store.
“Reliance Retail will focus on customer experience, installation and service support through its in-house service network, Reliance resQ, to woo online customers. There would be some product deals such as exclusive model launches and promotional offers to draw traffic,” the sources said.
Currently, Reliance provides online shopping only for grocery in selected localities of Mumbai. The report claims that this service will be extended to other cities. The company is also reportedly exploring online sales of apparel.