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HLL mulls foray into online home shopping

By , agencyfaqs! | In | November 06, 2000
Hindustan Lever is mulling a foray into the home shopping segment, indicated company chairman M S Banga while delivering a keynote address at the Media Unconvention in Chennai

agencyfaqs! News Bureau
CHENNAI, November 6

Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) is mulling a foray into the home shopping segment. HLL chairman M S 'Vindi' Banga indicated that while delivering a keynote address on the "Impact of convergence on communication and marketing" at the CII-organised Media Unconvention in Chennai on Saturday.

The HLL chief had one major theme strand in his talk - while technology is important and enables business, planning, marketing and delivery, it is the customer who is the key to success. "Mass customisation as a concept is good but the key challenge is the transition from being a mass marketer to a mass customiser," he said.

And that is where HLL's news plans fit in. Banga said final touches were being given to the home shopping scheme and explained that HLL's efforts "were not about bringing the corner retail shop home". He clarified the FMCG major "does not believe in duplicating the corner retail shop service into the home of the consumer".

He explained that the grocer in the neighbourhood retail shop does most of the work Internet commerce is expected to do - such as "elimination of chores, elimination of middle-man and elimination of information intermediaries". He said the biggest challenge before consumer goods companies today is to find out ways to reach out to the consumer and offer him benefits that are not available in the existing system.

Which means they must offer more than what the neighbourhood grocer offers - and he offers a handful of services already. Besides home delivery of goods, he also managed the consumer's accounts at times, gave credit and for occasions like Diwali sent them gifts as well.

Banga said while interactive television was a technological marvel in giving the customer a choice, "the challenge remained in reaching out to the consumer and offer value-added benefits without losing out on the huge opportunities the medium provided".

While Banga refused to give any details of HLL's plans on the online home shopping front or the time for launch, he said "it will be launched on a pilot basis first".

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