Tata CLiQ brings to India, a smart combination of in-store experience of a large on-ground network with the convenience of online shopping. It has formalised a strategic partnership with several international brands, which will offer exclusive range of products here. CEO, Tata CLiQ, Ashutosh Pandey shares his thoughts with Images Retail about this first of its kind initiative…
Tata CLiQ is one of a kind e-commerce platform. Please tell us the story behind this initiative.
The team at Tata Industries, under the guidance of Executive Director KRS Jamwal, envisioned it. Like Google for search and Facebook for social networking, the team envisioned a differentiated offering, which will deliver innovation and customer value. After studying various e-commerce and retail models in India and across different international markets and analyzing consumer pain points in the shopping journey, we came up with a unique solution of Phygital, which marries the best of Physical (store) shopping benefits and Digital (online) shopping convenience, supported by bespoke technology platform that we believe can usher in the next phase in the e-commerce story.
What we had until now was two sets of players – retailers and e-com marketplaces doing their own business in isolation, while the consumer has been seamlessly moving between the offline and online world in the rest of spheres. The foundation stones for Tata CLiQ were laid on this belief that the e-commerce we are experiencing now is just e-retail 1.0.
As we go along, e-retail 2.0 is going to bring revolutionary change to the way we are doing e-commerce. The two identities of a consumer – one who shops online and one who buys at physical stores will merge. Tata CLiQ aims at leading this changing landscape of e-commerce.
What is the USP of this platform?
We are the world’s first phygital e-commerce marketplace that brings shoppers the ease and convenience of online shopping along with the reassurance of in-store experiences. We are a destination of authentic and exclusive brands that provides a curate shopping experience for customers who are tired of sifting through catalogues of infinite products from unknown sellers.
We have a deep integration with our brand partners/sellers and a unique seller portal that aims to integrate the stores to the platform. This will be a key differentiator in us being extremely responsive and cued into consumer needs and preferences.
Has Tata CLiQ planned for any innovative promotional strategy in this regard?
Tata CLiQ being a unique phygital e-commerce marketplace has titled its advertising campaign ‘#SureThing’. The digital campaign centered on a camel as its unlikely protagonist stems from the fact that everything one buys on TataCLiQ.com is a C.A.M.E.L i.e. ‘Certified Authentic Merchandise Everybody Loves’. A delightful, witty, quirky take on online shopping, the campaign focuses on TataCLiQ.com’s USP of being the #SureThing in shopping. The camel also acts, as a surrogate for the authentic, exclusive products and brands sold at TataCLiQ.com – be it apparel, electronics or footwear. The campaign is in line with the TataCLiQ.com phygital philosophy i.e. it is driven across the online world, mobiles and partner brand stores.
There are three announcer films i.e. bubble wrap, photographer and testing, the videos highlight the care and effort taken by the TataCLiQ.com crew in curating, checking and getting the camels ready for our consumers.
Tata CLiQ is offering phygital experience to its customers. However, if somebody orders merchandise from such a city, where either a Tata store or the store of the particular brand does not exist, how will the click and collect apply?
Currently, we are operational in 6,856 pin codes, 23 States and 2 Union Territories across 689 cities and towns. We have kicked off phygital services across 500 stores with instant return or exchange at the brands’ stores being the primary benefit and 100+ stores that will offer a full suite of services across the purchase process like order pick up from store, instant returns and exchange, after-purchase support installations etc. We hope to scale this up to 2,000 stores offering not just same brand phygital services but also cross formats across multiple brands in the future.
With a significant retail footprint across India including the Tier II and Tier III cities, CLiQ and PiQ is the advantage of having a phygital eco-system but is not restricted to the same. Customers who order online on TataCLiQ.com and do not have a store of a particular brand in their area can get the products home-delivered. We are building capabilities in delivering the online+in-store seamless shopping journey and will collaborate or invest in different logistics and service providers that could help us fill need gaps and bring additional competencies in this space.
Recently we have seen many companies coming up with their own e-commerce platform like Reliance with AJIO, Arvind with NNNOW, Aditya Birla Group with ABOF etc. How Tata CLiQ is different from these?
Unlike any other e-retail platform, TataCLiQ.com promises to provide consumers the surety of high quality authentic products (directly from the brands) coupled with authentic brand experiences on-site and in-stores. We are the world’s only PHYGITAL marketplace and redefining the meaning of online shopping in India. TataCLiQ.com is the only online portal that will give its customers access to online stores of partner brands as against buying from unknown resellers. It also promises a full range and newest merchandise of a brand, as against limited availability and dated inventory.
The biggest differentiator is the choice and convenience of phygital – an online and through partner stores services for collection, returns/ alterations and after-sales support, as against restrictions of time and place.
Further, we also believe that continuous evolution and innovation is an essential facet in e-commerce. Having great technology and using it effectively are key factors in the success of a business. We aim to deliver real-time visibility of order and stock to the customer. We have a robust technological base and are confident of being able to capitalize on the knowledge and information to better our offering as we evolve.
There are many e-commerce platforms like Darveys, MajorBrands etc. in the country, which offers international branded products. Since the market already has many options in this sector, what prompt Tata to launch this particular initiative?
We believe that consumers have always had an on-going demand to experience international brands from across the globe. They are well-traveled and aware of global fashion trends and have the purchasing power to own several of these brands. The only barrier preventing them from buying these products is unavailability of these brands in India and the mistrust and the lack of authenticity. We have curated the list of brands, and offer products directly from them or their authorised sellers.
At TataCLiQ.com, we don’t have an endless listing of products, we have brand-malls. We offer personalised brand-experience to our consumers, and aim to give them a delightful and engaging shopping experience of curated brands, rather than just a choose-and-pick purchase of products.
In India, fake copies of international brands are easily available in a pocket friendly price everywhere. In such a state, do you think that this platform will be successful?
Our primary customer is brand conscious and looking for authentic products. If their favorites are available online directly from the trusted brands, we have no doubt that they will look at Tata CLiQ as their preferred platform to shop the brands online. We have formed a strategic partnership with Genesis Luxury Fashion Pvt. Ltd. to offer a wide range of international luxury brands, like Coach, Burberry, Furla, Tumi, Hugo BOSS, Jimmy Choo, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Bottega Veneta, Canali, G-Star RAW, Michael Kors, Paul Smith and Villeroy & Boch exclusively in India.
Apart from this, we have also formalised a strategic partnership with several international brands including New Look, Warehouse, Oasis, Lipsy London, Quiz, Phase Eight, FG4 London, Infinity Lingerie, Hawes & Curtis, s.Oliver, Kurt Geiger and Make It Mine-MIM. These brands will offer exclusive range of products that will be available on TataCLiQ.com.
As of now, Tata CLiQ is associated with 12 international brands. What is more in the future?
Currently, we have curated brands from markets around the world such as UK, France, Germany and Russia to start with. Consumers will now have access to this portfolio of wide range of international brands and their product ranges on TataCLiQ.com, the same time they hit the shelves in the global markets. In the coming months, we plan to launch brands from across the world. Over the next year, TataCLiQ.com will expand its portfolio to include 100+ international brands to its kitty.