Salt-to-software maker the Tata Group is gearing up to start an electronic mall through which products made by all group companies would be sold on-line in the next two months.
"We are in the process of doing that. A team of ours is developing the project. This is going to start in the next two months," a top Tata Group official told PTI.
Without divulging much details, the official said products made by all Tata Group companies would be sold through the channel.
Sources, however, said that the e-mall, like any other e-commerce portals, would be the electronic variant of the brick and mortar malls that has revolutionised the shopping experience in recent times.
The proposed e-mall of the Tata Group is aimed at serving people who find it difficult to spend time on shopping and ensuring them convenience of shopping at home thereby saving their time and efforts capitalising on the information technology penetration of the country, sources said.
Industry experts said that six triggers like, saving time and efforts, wide variety, convenience of shopping at home, good discounts, getting detailed information of the product to able to compare products and brands motivate the shoppers to buy on-line.
Buying on-line would also help customers financially as e-marketers offer great deals and discounts to them. This is facilitated by elimination of maintenance, real estate cost of the seller and selling its products on-line.
There are, however, certain concerns that crop up among the buyers while buying on-line. First of all, a buyer could not be sure of the product quality. However, given the respect that the Tata brand attracts, on-line buyers could be rest assured of the quality of products.
On-line buying does not allow buyers to bargain, which is very much vivid among the buyers. There is also chances of credit card misuse. The touch and feel while buying would be missing and the buyers would have to wait for the delivery.
The Tata Group comprises 96 operating companies in seven business sectors -- information systems and communications, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group had recorded $62.78 billion revenue in 2007-08, 61 per cent of which came from abroad.
It has sound retail presence with Croma for electronic gadgets and Westside for apparels and accessories among others, but selling products on-line would help the group to a larger audience.
Mjunction Services, a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL, is the largest e-commerce company in the country recording Rs 14,300 crore of transactions in the last fiscal and aims to touch the $10-billion mark by 2013.