Raheja's Globus Retail Chain Forays Into E-commerce
On the offline side, Globus has 28 stores across India and plans to have 75 in the next four years.
On April 29th, the company announced that online shopping was available via Facebook and within a couple of hours, saw its first customer from Mumbai making a purchase online.
"Apparel selling online is catching up very fast. Consumers today want to check out latest fashion and buy online. The previous trend of demanding a 'look and feel' of material, and trying out apparel is gone," said Meheriar Patel â€“ CTO & Head IT, Globus Stores Pvt Ltd, speaking to Techcircle.in.
The retailer has not invested huge sums on setting up an online storefront. "Globusstores.com was created completely on cloud from conceptualisation to development and customisation. We have kept our costs low," said Patel.
Globusstores.com is powered by Mumbai-based digital commerce startup SociaLinked. SociaLinked is founded by Cory York, who was previously the India managing director at Canada based Novator Sytems, an e-commerce software developer. York is a member of the e-commerce committee for the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). "We are pleased to help Globus with their first e-commerce store launch. More importantly this is a great event for the industry as a whole. We need to get more main stream retailers online and selling to increase consumer confidence in online buying," said York.
"It took just three months to set up a raw site, and work out what is needed online because our requirements are different. SociaLinked also helped us in customising the first phase of the website and helping us build interfaces with back end, couriers and payment gateways," said Patel. Globus has launched the site and is now synchronising processes.
There are three categories on the homepage - Mens Collection, Womens Collection and Gift Voucher. Apparel available for purchase include TShirts, jackets, coats, jeans, skirts, jumpers and cardigans, ethnic wear and accessories for men and women. The website is offering free shipping on all orders over Rs 1000.
Gift vouchers for amounts starting from Rs. 101 to Rs. 1001 are also being offered on the site, which can be redeemed in the physical outlets but not online.
Globusstores.com ships to 5,000 pincodes in India, according to the site. The company has tied up with courier company Aramex to deliver across India. In phase 2, Globusstores.com will offer worldwide coverage, said Patel.
Globus opts to tread cautiously and did not share sales expectations for the e-commerce site. "In the next 6-8 months, we will try to achieve our best as a fashion, apparel vendor online. Regarding the target, only time will tell," Patel said, conservatively.
Partnerships will be part of Globus' online play. "We see e-commerce not just as a medium to further the brand but also to engage in various tie ups with online agencies so you can sell through partners," said Patel. Globus has partnered with Indiatimes.com for gift vouchers and SociaLinked's gift voucher aggregation site Giftcardsindia.in. GiftcardsIndia also powers gift vouchers on other e-commerce sites such as Homeshop18.com.
Shopper's Stop, which is owned by the K Raheja Group, recently launched Crossword.in, an e-commerce enabled website for its book retail chain. Infibeam's software platform was used to set up the website, which went live on December 20, 2010.
Aditya Birla is also learnt to be setting up an e-commerce website for The More Store. Tata Group's retail arm Infiniti Retail is also set to launch an e-commerce enabled version of its website Cromaretail.com this month. Croma sells 6,000 products and 180 brands in categories such as home entertainment, small appliances, white goods, computers, communication, music, imaging and gaming software.
Globus owner Rajan Raheja Group runs several other businesses such as real estate development, ceramic tiles, automotive and industrial batteries, cement, construction material, cable television, publishing, apparel retailing, food retailing, health and beauty retailing, life insurance, mutual funds, software development, petrochemicals, and hospitality sectors.