Flipkart, Spice Retail marry online, offline retail channels

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In a marriage of online and offline retail channels, India’s leading e-commerce player Flipkart has tied up with cell phone retailer Spice Retail to showcase and order smartphones for customers, Spice Retail announced in Delhi on Wednesday.

Called the assisted e-commerce model, customers can now touch and feel smartphones sold on Flipkart at select Spice Hotspot outlets, Spice Retail said in a statement.

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“This unique online and offline synergy will offer customers the best of both worlds — the convenience of online retail and the in-store experience of offline retail,” said Rajiv Sethi, chief marketing officer of Spice Retail, in a statement.

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Staff in Spice Hotspot stores will assist customers to place their smartphone orders on Flipkart app.

The latest move by Flipkart and Spice Retail is aimed at tapping the vast and not-so-tech-savvy consumer base of India.

“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,” said Sandeep Karwa, Flipkart retail director, in a statement.

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Part of Spice Mobility Group, Spice Retail operates 300 Spice Hotspot retail outlets across India.

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