The Business Case for Snapdeal’s Omni-Channel Platform -Janus

Snapdeal Janus is an initiative to merge online and offline platforms, which will allow customers to browse online while experiencing it in physical stores.

Badal Malick, VP, Omni Channel, Snapdeal, explains what they expect to achieve with Janus and why unifications of channels and devices is the way forward for e-commerce players. What is Snapdeal’s proposition behind the integrated omni-channel initiative? Snapdeal is building India's most impactful digital commerce ecosystem. We feel that Omni Channel is an important part of this ecosystem, as a lot of consumers switch between offline and online before making a purchase. It is the future of commerce as lines between offline and online increasingly blur.

Some studies have shown 77% of consumers browse in stores before making a purchase online and 55% consumers conduct on-the-go mobile research before making a purchase in-store.

In certain categories of products like mobile phones, majority customers follow up their online purchase with a visit to the store for accessing related services like data transfer, screen protection etc. These trends clearly indicate an opportunity to leverage competence of  offline partners to provide value added services to our customers. As a true marketplace with a strength of 200,000 sellers, we are rightly placed to embark on this journey. How do you integrate the channels --from customer’s visit to the nearby store, converting him online to have it delivered? The customer first discovers a product online and places his order. He can either chose to have the product home delivered or pick it up at a store near them. The payment can be prepaid or by cash on delivery. During delivery/pick-up, our partners take care of product demo/installation/activation. Our normal return policies apply and they are facilitated through the local seller under omni-channel platform. How do you enable the partner ecosystem to ensure a seamless experience for the customers? We treat customer experience, even the piece we do not directly control, with utmost importance. We have a deep shared understanding with partners on fulfilment and have got Seller Level Agreements (SLAs) and benchmarks in place.  We will monitor and enforce compliance through technology and operational processes and have institutionalized speedy resolution mechanisms. We strive to drive a delightful experience for our shared customers. What is your expectation from this initiative, in numbers? We foresee 3x GSV growth potential. This growth will be primarily driven in different ways: 1) Enhancement of our customer's shopping experience leading to higher conversions. 2) Unleashing new categories like batteries, furniture and brand/retailer partners, and 3). Increase in per customer spending on Snapdeal due to wider assortment of products and services. We also foresee omni channel as a more cost efficient supply chain leading to greater profitability. How is Snapdeal’s integrated offering be different than others, moving forward? Snapdeal's omni-channel ecosystem will eventually cater to all category of products. We intend to provide a differentiated experience for each category which is highly intuitive by leveraging our partner ecosystem of brands, large format retailers (LFRs), individual sellers and technology start ups. We are building a highly scalable and cost efficient plug and play model. NEXTIs Omni-Channel Strategy the Way Forward for Retailers?

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