India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has joined the wave of e-commerce stores by launching its online store ‘Airtel Shop’. Airtel's online shop offers products and services like mobile phones, mobile and broadband plans, Digital TV services etc.
While selling mobile handsets might be a way to push integrated data packs and subscription plans from Airtel, the online store enters a crowded e-commerce market in India with cut throat competition over pricing and experience. The store also offers broadband and digital TV connections – a trivial addition to complete the catalogue since there would rarely be returning customers for the same.
The various handset brands being offered in the mobiles section on the site include Apple, HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson (although the catalogue is not too exhaustive). The mobile phones can be filtered by price and as of now Apple’s iPhone 4S (32GB model) is the costliest (Rs 50,900) mobile being offered on the site while Nokia 100 is the cheapest (Rs 1,221).
The telecom claims to offer up to 33 per cent off on mobile devices with exclusive Airtel plans, up to Rs 500 cash back on new broadband connections and Rs 250 cash back on new digital TV connections.
However, mobile phones sold through the site will be made available and delivered by NSI Infinium Global, a courier service provider, with which Airtel has formed a partnership.
The company is also offering enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions online under its business section and is in the process of launching services like online virtual computing and online storage on demand.
They offer Cash on delivery (COD), payment by cheque /cash/draft, net-banking, credit / debit card, cash card, mobile payments, EMI offers are also available. The offers are pretty good but the choices of mobile devices are less.
The company’s jump into the e-commerce bandwagon has raised some questions like why the leap in online space which is already going overboard with store like Flipkart, Saholic and so on. Should we expect more telecom companies to open their online store to give Airtel a tough competition?
April 22, 2013, 5:55 am UTC
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