E-commerce firm Snapdeal has introduced brand stores on its portal, which essentially provides easier brand specific navigation for consumers while providing the marketers a customisable interface in their communication strategy for consumers. Brand stores will encompass exclusive pages for brands and Snapdeal won't be charging the brands for this service (for how long? after-all large offline retailers are known to charge for providing prominent shelf space to brands).
Brands will get customisable content, flexible layout to run independent promotions and launches. Kunal Bahl, founder & CEO, Snapdeal.com said, "With Brand Stores, the power will now be in the hands of the brands. They would now be able to decide the look and feel of their page, customise their product selection, manage promotions and exclusive launches. Similar to how brands open stores in malls that cater to a particular geographic area, irrespective of the size of their operation, they can now open a store in an online mall through which they can supply locally, but sell nationally."
A page www.SellonSnapdeal.com gives out the entire instructions to brands on how to go about it.
"It combines the best of both the online and in-store experience and helps us to better serve our customers with personalized attention," said Deepak Mehrotra, CEO, Micromax Informatics Limited, one of the brands that has signed up with Snapdeal for this new initiative.
Snapdeal, which was a deal site and pivoted to become a zero inventory e-com firm last year, has one of the most visited websites in the peer group and this initiative leverages the eyeballs (as against footfalls in a mall) it generates to pitch for more business for the brands.
For the consumer it essentially means a brand specific navigation. So if one goes on to Apple's brand store on Snapdeal it gives consumers one shot option to check all products of the brand. Though it is still work in progress as we found for Indian electronics firm Videocon's page to have only mobile handsets even as the firm has presence across product categories such as television, home appliances etc.
This move by Snapdeal is similar to brand specific stores initiative of Indiatimes Shopping, which started with Nokia early this year.
Though not strictly comparable, Infibeam had started its Build-a-bazaar platform where retailers and brands can make their own online retail portals. Unlike Snapdeal, where a brand store is part of Snapdeal site, Infibeam is just powering the e-com portal run by specific retailers under its own initiative.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)