Bharti Airtel, India’s leading integrated telecommunications company, has launched airtel shop – a one stop destination for mobile handsets, digital TV, and broadband connections at http://shop.airtel.com.
While selling mobile handsets might be a way to push integrated data packs and subscription plans from Airtel, the online store enters a crowded ecommerce market in India with cutthroat competition over pricing and experience. The store also offers broadband and digitalTV connections – a trivial addition to complete the catalog since there would rarely be returning customers for the same.
The store offers handsets from seven brands as of now-Nokia, HTC, Apple, Sony, LG, Samsung, and BlackBerry. I randomly checked prices of few latest phones on airtel shop and flipkart.com and found them to be very competitive, and in several cases lesser at the time of writing. At this moment, airtel shop also offers additional benefits to online customers over walk-in customers on retail counters:
- Upto 33% off on mobile devices with exclusive Airtel plans
- Rs 500 cashback on new broadband connections
- Rs 250 cashback on new digitalTV connections
While the idea of an integrated store for telecom products and services sounds interesting, this clearly looks like a quick and dirty job. It is also a bummer that a store from Airtel doesn’t sell the obvious mobile phone connections and other value-added services apart from 3G connections.
The interface has been borrowed by the Airtel homepage at http://airtel.in and the store is managed by Infibeam, a leading ecommerce store in India. The site clearly states that since Airtel doesn’t sell or deliver mobile phones, the ones ordered on the site are made available and delivered by NSI Infinium Global Pvt. Ltd., an Airtel partner.