afaqs!

Shoppers Stop ventures into online retail

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | September 18, 2008
The retail chain has launched an e-store, which will deliver its products in several major cities

Shoppers & #BANNER1 & # Stop, one of the largest retail chains in India, has taken the plunge into the online domain. The chain has launched its e-store with delivery across major cities in India. The site will retail all the products available at Shoppers Stop stores, including apparel, cosmetics and accessories.

Speaking to afaqs! about the launch, Vivek Mathur, customer care associate and vice-president, corporate planning and e-commerce, says, "We are not looking at the site as a separate business. It is an extension of our brand, which has a strong presence in the physical retail segment. We want to create the same experience for our customers online."

For its online business, Shoppers Stop will focus on its existing customers, especially its First Citizens, or loyalty members. "We want to offer our existing customers an additional convenience because they are more 'time poor' today than 'money poor'," says Mathur. Eventually though, the site will target other customers, especially in cities which have no Shoppers Stop outlets. Currently, Shoppers Stop has 23 stores across India.

Vivek MathurThe company will promote its e-store through an email campaign targeting its First Citizens and will also roll out an Internet campaign comprising display and search ads. In-store communication will be conducted to let customers know about the website.

Commenting on the state of online shopping in India, Mathur says, "It is still at a nascent stage. We are not expecting huge returns in the online segment in the coming year. The customer interaction is very different in a physical store. We are still understanding the way a customer interacts online."

In April, Shoppers Stop rebranded itself with the tagline, 'Start Something New'. The creative duties of the brand are handled by Contract Advertising, though the site has been developed inhouse.