Kolkata/New Delhi: The country”;s three top e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart and Tata Cliq have reached out to multiple national and regional retailers to enlist them in their platforms to expand through the hyperlocal route ahead of Reliance’s expansion of hyperlocal e-commerce venture JioMart into multiple categories, four senior industry executives said. Several fashion, mobile phone, electronic retailers like Lifestyle, Arvind Fashions, Bata, Blackberrys, Sangeetha Mobiles, Poorvika and Great Eastern Retail have been approached to connect their stores to the platform so that they can fulfil orders locally, reduce delivery time which has gone up post Covid-19 lockdown and ensure there is sufficient stock, executives said.For the retailers, such partnerships with e-commerce is helping to liquidate inventory considering shopping has majorly moved to e-commerce post Covid, they said.Flipkart-owned fashion platform Myntra has already partnered with over 700 stores of multiple brands and plans to enroll 3,000 stores to fulfill orders from more than 150 brands in the next six months. Flipkart and Amazon have also reached out to fashion brands apart from electronics and smartphones.South”;s largest cellphone retail chain with 650-stores, Sangeetha Mobiles director Chandu Reddy said the renewed focus on hyperlocal expansion by marketplaces is to build scale before competition intensifies and faster deliveries. “;It will also benefit retailers since they would have access to a new channel,”; he said.Mukul Bafna, CEO of omni-channel enabler Omuni, said the pandemic has prompted most of the brands to tap hyperlocal channels to optimize stores sales especially when consumers are shying away from malls and high streets.His company has helped Lifestyle, Arvind Fashions, Bata, Toys R Us and Blackberrys to connect to marketplaces at a store level.”;Footfalls have fallen, inventories are lying around and store staff are sitting idle. So brands are thinking how to make my store more productive. That is why hyperlocal strategy is catching up,”; he said. Similarly, Benetton, Pepe, Jack & Jones, Inglot, US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Gap are currently either piloting or upgrading their technologies to bring store inventories on the ecommerce platforms.Electronics retailer Great Eastern Retail director Pulkit Baid said local retailers joining the platforms improves inventory availability and helps better fulfilment.Reliance has announced plans to expand its digital shopping venture JioMart to other categories like electronics, smartphones and apparel after the successful foray into online sales of food and grocery products during the lockdown through the hyperlocal model.Anant Daga, MD of TCNS Clothing, said about 70 outlets out of 575 of its W for Woman and Aurelia ethnic brands are currently fulfilling orders placed on Myntra which will be expanded even as it is about to start a similar pilot with Amazon.An Amazon India spokesperson said it launched the local shops on Amazon program in April which is scaling rapidly and there are thousands of local shops in over 100 cities. It said it will help local shops accelerate the business with the festive season coming up.Flipkart said in preparation for the festive season and it’s biggest annual sales event, Big Billion Days, it has significantly expanded kirana onboarding program to over 50,000 shops to ensure seamless deliveries to customers in more than 850 cities. This will also help in business continuity for offline retailers during these times by integrating their stores with the platform, spokesperson said. Tata Cliq did not respond till Monday press time.Mobile phone, electronics and fashion are the three largest segments in Indian e-commerce accounting for over three-fourth of the total business. These are also the categories where consumers spend the most during festive shopping round the corner.
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