Reliance eyes upper hand in e-commerce through efficient last mile logistics


Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance is planning to invest heavily in building a robust supply chain for its hybrid online-to-offline venture.

In order to take on e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon, it has set focus on making overall customer experience superior in comparison to its rivals.

The group is planning to work on speed and the ability to deliver, which is still a major challenge for e-tailers, the right products with minimum errors, ET report quoted a source close to the development as saying.

Reliance wants to take ownership of delivery and experience, the report added.

Amazon and Flipkart, apart from having their own logistics delivery networks, are using an increasing number of small retailers as their last-mile delivery mechanism. Whereas Reliance is aiming to provide a more convenient way of delivery, where goods and services can be offered and purchased from anywhere through online and offline routes.

Besides, customers will get an option of picking up their purchases from Reliance’s stores or the outlets of its last-mile delivery partners.

Last week, RIL Chairman and Managing Director Ambani said the company saw its biggest growth opportunity in creating a hybrid, online-to-offline new commerce platform. The new platform will be created through the integration of its offline retail arm and online technology platform.

According to Ambani, the new commerce platform will redefine retail in India by enabling all customers to transition from simple shopping to personalised immersive shopping experience. It will also take help of new technologies such as Augmented Reality, holographic technology, and VR devices.

In short, the marketplace will host all of Reliance Retail’s businesses, including grocery, fashion, jewellery, and electronics.

Entrackr had earlier reported that Reliance has been working with kirana stores and consumer brands to create an operational model that will enable shoppers to buy at neighbourhood shops using digital coupons via its Jio Money platform.

Last year, it piloted the project at Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. The group has been piloting the application with about 5,000 merchants across Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The nationwide launch is expected by the end of this year. It also has reportedly tied up with ITC, Wipro, Dabur, Tata Beverages, Godrej Consumer Products, and Amul.

On competition, Industry analysts think that Reliance has everything, from physical retail to deep pocket, going its way and could prove to be a disruptor in the e-commerce segment.

In India, e-commerce is poised to grow at a phenomenal rate. According to Forrester, online buyers to reach $125 million by 2019 and Morgan Stanley says that the eCommerce sales will hit $100 billion by 2020.

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