Jochelle Mendonca, The Economic Times
Mumbai, 31 May 2016
does it take to build an ecommerce platform? Well, just on the money
side, Tata Unistore, the Tata group's online sales arm, paid TCS Rs
36.48 crore in the runup to the launch of the website.
There's another Rs 20.9 crore of work done in FY16 that is yet to be paid out, TCS' annual report showed.
The TataCliQ ecommerce site that launched last week had TCS as its primary technology partner .
Data analytics for the site will be provided by Tata IQ, the company said in its presentation.
Group says it is a creating a 'one-of-its-kind, omnichannel'
marketplace which would allow customers to ship-to-stores,
collect-from-stores and return-to-stores.
said the process requires a great deal of technology to connect stores
to an online site, because different merchandise inventory systems
would need to be connected. The company had to connect its front-end
online ordering system, the store points-of-sale and mobile
applications to back-systems like its warehouse, inventory management
system, customer service and analytics.
"Technology plays a
great part, because if you don't have the technology, the different
systems can't talk to each other and the customer won't get a seamless
experience, which is the basis of omni-channel," Devangshu Dutta, CEO
of retail consultancy firm Third Eyesight, told ET.
CliQ is based on a customised ecommerce platform from SAP called
Hybris. The company has an in-house team and 20 technology partners,
including some startups such as Chennai-based artificial intelligence
startup Mad Street Den. The startup, which has been funded by Reservoir
Investments' Exfinity Fund and GrowX Ventures, provides visual search
and visual recommendation solutions to Tata CliQ. "In fashion, if
someone is looking at a little black dress, typically it makes sense to
show them more offerings of that kind. And then you could have further
personalisation, because with artificial intelligence that is
possible," Ashwini Asokan, co-founder and CEO at Mad Street Den, said.
who declined to give specifics on the partnership with the Tatas, also
works with ecommerce startups such as Voonik and Craftvilla. She added
that the pace of technology adoption in the ecommerce market in India
was much faster than Western markets.
"The cycle here is
two-to-four weeks. Elsewhere you still have to go through a pilot. It
will really be interesting to see how this plays out with the Tatas vs
Reliance vs the Birlas. In 12-18 months, I think the ecommerce market
in India will look completely different," Asokan said.