Home / Internet / Ecommerce / IRCTC E-Commerce Store Goes Live… Yebhi.com Replica With IRCTC Header!

IRCTC E-Commerce Store Goes Live… Yebhi.com Replica With IRCTC Header!

Much talked about IRCTC’s ecommerce foray has gone live. If you visit IRCTC website, you will see a banner asking you to visit IRCTC online shopping mall at shop.irctc.co.in.

If you were expecting something really good in store for you will be disappointed. IRCTC’s ecommerce foray is nothing but a near exact replica of Yebhi.com with whom they had partnered to create the online store.

IRCTC online mall

With the kind of subscriber base IRCTC has, they could have easily taken advantage of the huge opportunity available, but rather it has been reduced to meek extension of Yebhi sites with IRCTC’s header on top of every page.

I have no issues with the site in itself – It has everything that a good e-commerce site needs including all major product categories, deal pages, proper filters to get to right product page etc.

The problem I have is such low level of effort that has been put into integration of sites. Here is an example – If a user has to pay for their purchases, the site is redirected to Yebhi’s payment page. See the screenshot below.

yebhi payment page

All the payment options that are available on Yebhi.com are available for IRCTC shop as well (including COD)

Another aspect is, there is absolutely no integration with either IRCTC’s or Yebhi’s user database. So, for a user like me who has account with both the platforms has to register yet again with the same information for same sites.

The only addition that Yebhi has done with IRCTC shop is that they have added a new table in the database that will store users who have registered on IRCTC site.

It is quite clear from the way this site has been implemented that IRCTC will get a fixed share of revenue from every transactions that happens on the site. Yebhi will do everything including payment collection and logistics.

Bottom-line is, IRCTC Shop is simply a Affiliate partner of Yebhi, nothing more than that!

What is your take in this?

About Arun Prabhudesai

Arun Prabhudesai is founder / chief editor at trak.in. He jumped the Entrepreneurship bandwagon in early 2008 after a long 13 year stint in I.T Industry. You can follow him on twitter @trakin and Facebook. Arun’s Google+ Profile

10 comments

  1. This site will prove to be a landmark step in the e-commerce market in India which may even threaten the existing e-commerce ventures. The question will be, is the site promoted by IRCTC on a level playing field as those of non-govt backed websites like flipkart, jabong etc.

  2. Dear Arun, Frankly speaking, I think based on its huge traffic IRCTC is getting carried away into selling their online real-estate space and make some quick bucks out of it. I am not sure but internally Indian Railways would have (if not, should have) setup the IRCTC web site and its operations as a “Cost Center” and not as a “Profit Center”. Their focus should not be in making some additional money through these advt. channels but their one and only focus should be to serve the public in finding, booking and enjoying the navigation on the web site. I agree that they may end up making some advertisement and partnership revenue share money but if you look at the overall turnover that the IRCTC web site would bring to IR the ratio of total turnover to earnings from advts. would be negligible. Recently in one of the computer class I was taking for elders, when I showed them the landing page of IRCTC for train ticket reservation etc., they were quit confused and even horrified to know that they should actually scroll down further to see the user guide, reservation etc. Look at Google, despite being a private organization the opening page is almost blank and just one single box asking the user what information does he/she wants from across the globe? And it gives the desired info in sub second. IRCTC web site should totally clean-up all the advt. and partnership related contents and simply focus on giving the best and easy to use ticketing experience to users. There are enough social media bombardment of advts. the user is already getting. Partha

  3. Perfect Arun. The “Chaltha hai” attitude is so conspicuous. In fact, with such a huge traffic, they can monetize in a mammoth way. Yebhi is the clear winner here to get a good affiliate partner here.

  4. Arun, My take on this would be very neutral. First of all IRCTC (as expected) has not done anything out of the box. They have just found a way to monetize their huge traffic, who can shop online (if not be able to buy tickets). However, the clear winner here is Yebhi, who has actually been able to convince IRCTC and got an exposure to such a huge web traffic. So both of them are in a win win situation here, Yebhi being the more beneficial one. Thanks

    • Arun Prabhudesai

      Vikash – My issue is that IRCTC could have done much more with its ecommerce foray. They should have had multiple partners and also deep integration with their user database. Here I think only Yebhi is the winner. Also, the way they have coded the site (rel=canonical) means it is telling search engines that it is actually a yebhi site.. So Yebhi will get a lot of google SEO juice from IRCTC site, which in turn will benefit Yebhi even more!

  5. If you are writing an article about IRCTC site, you should provide a link to the site which I can click rather than mentioning the site address as plain text. Just felt that I should bring it to your notice :)

    • Arun Prabhudesai

      @rahul it was more of an oversight rather than being intentional. Generally we give links wherever needed. Probably we missed it this time around. Thanks for bringing it to our notice. We have included the link now!

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