company Network18 is venturing into virtual retail with HomeShop18. HomeShop18 will be India's first 24 hour home shopping channel, and will bring well-known brands to its viewers. The channel will be launched this month.
Sundeep Malhotra, chief executive officer, HomeShop18, says, "Homeshop18 is not another teleshopping platform. Instead, it is a venture that we are positioning as an 'alternative distribution mechanism'. The aim is to build credibility in the market and win the trust of the Indian consumer."
"I will not even go into this sort of comparison because what we are offering our customers is a 24 hour virtual retail experience. The existing players in the market are teleshopping platforms. Their product range revolves primarily around fitness equipment and astrological products. Moreover, these other players run dubbed infomercials on different channels. Homeshop18 will offer the unparalleled convenience of 'anytime shopping' featuring thousands of products. Our product range covers genres like fashion, lifestyle and beauty, health and fitness, home decor, consumer electronics, gifts, financial services, travel and tourism, kids' products, toys, mobiles, etc.," says Malhotra.
Malhotra has high expectations from the project. A pilot test run was conducted across the country to get the logistics right before the final launch.
Regarding the promotional plans for the channel, Malhotra reveals, "At our end, we are going to leverage all media - be it print, web or TV - available to us under the Network18 umbrella. But one thing is for sure, we are not shouting from the rooftops, announcing our arrival."
To attract consumers, the retail model is offering anytime shopping coupled with easy payment options and free home delivery. To earn the buyers' trust, Homeshop18 will allow payment after delivery of the product. To provide strong consumer support and assistance, a dedicated call centre, with supporting SMS and web services, is being put into place. The contact centre team is being given rigorous training in multiple products.
Malhotra sums up, saying, "Consumers will relish the Homeshop18 experience because it offers convenience, value, quality and attractive prices."