Joining the long list of a number of offline players that have opened their own e-commerce stores in India, Lenovo and HP have launched also come up with their own e-shops. While Lenovo has launched the site in partnership with Net Distribution Services Ltd (NDSL), HP's online store is being managed by pan-India distributor Savex Computers.
Lenovo's portal is called thedostore.com (on the lines of the company"s tagline "for those who do") and offers a broad range of Lenovo products like smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, as well as accessories. All popular payment options like net banking, credit, and debit cards are available. In addition, the site also offers EMI options of 3, 6, 9 and 12 months for selected banks.
HP's online store offers laptops, desktops, monitors, printers, scanners, ink, toner and accessories. The site offers free shipping across India and claims to ship the products within a week of placing the order. Although unlike Lenovo, there is no EMI option available on the HP online store.
In the recent times, quite a few offline players have launched their own online stores, these include brands like Bata, Titan, Geetanjali Jewelers, among others. However, in the electronics category, all products offered on these individual sites are already available on brand aggregators like Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. So we wonder why anyone would shop at these stores in the first place. One reason could be that since it is a company-owned store, buyers could get better after sales service, in comparison to shopping from a third party store.
But the brands will also need to provide lucrative offers in order to entice customers enough to make a purchase on their stores (Flipkart etc. already offer discounts). Another differentiating factor can be the availability of the products, considering these are company owned stores they can offer the products before they go up on sale on other sites. In terms of direct competition, Samsung Electronics already has its own e-store in the country. Tata Group firm Infiniti Retail Ltd, which runs one of the largest national retail chain of multi-brand electronics under the brand name Croma, had also launched its online Croma store in April last year. This followed its key competitor in physical retail stores Vijay Sales, who had also quietly launched its own store around the same time.