Flipkart announced on wednesday its partnership with Spice Hotspot stores, where its ‘exclusive’ portfolio of phones will be showcased offline, on its retail store network. Under its new assisted e-commerce model, customers can try and buy Flipkart’s range of smartphones at selected Spice Hotspot outlets, the company said.
The two companies will set up exclusive experience zones in these stores with live demo phones on display and sale to customers. The store staff will assist them to place their order on the Flipkart app and customers can take the delivery of the phones at the store or at their home.
Right now, the facility is restricted to mobile phones category only.
This initiative will help bring a huge chunk of the population that is not comfortable with buying mobile phones online. It might prove to be especially beneficial to mobile brands like Motorola and Alcatel that sell models exclusively on Flipkart, the company said.
While the stores right now have only been set up in big cities, Flipkart eventually plans to take the model to tier III and tier IV cities.
The experience centres are available at the mobile retail chain Spice Hotspot, which has 30 outlets across 19 cities.
“This is targeted mainly at places where online shopping is still catching up. Customers in Tier-3 and Tier-4 towns have heard about online shopping but are still circumspect. This initiative will empower and ease customers from smaller cities to shop online. Overall, we foresee this becoming a big customer conversion tool for our smartphone category,” Sandeep Karwa, Director Retail Flipkart, said.