IRCTC In Talks With Amazon & Flipkart To Sell Their Products On IRCTC Portal
Even though Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal hog majority of limelight, the fact remains that IRCTC is not only the largest eCommerce site in India, but also one of the largest in entire Asia-Pacific region.
The kind of transactions that happen on IRCTC portal are unmatched – They boast a user base of over 21 million users and have set a record of selling over 580,000 tickets on their portal in a single day earlier this year. Not sure if any other site even comes close to it.
Even with such a huge user base and transactions, IRCTC still has very low ARPU (average revenue per user) as they sell purely train tickets. It has been a while since IRCTC has been trying to monetize their user base. Last year they tied up with Yebhi to launch a co-branded portal, but it seems things did not go very well and the partnership broke even before they completed first year of their existence.
Recently, IRCTC floated a new tender for co-branded marketplace with norms that will qualify only a handful of eCommerce sites. The 28 new norms for technical qualification included having over 100,000 SKUs at the time of the launch, over 500 sellers needed on the platform and have dedicated support team etc.
From what we can assess technical qualification will disqualify most ecommerce sites apart from the big three – Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
Now, according to a report that appeared in ET, IRCTC is already in talks with Amazon and Flipkart to leverage over 21 million visitors on their site. According to Sandip Dutta, public relations manager at IRCTC, “Tie-ups with portals like Flipkart, Amazon etc are in the process under which these portals would like to sell their merchandise through IRCTC’s portal, it being one of the largest e-commerce sites in the entire Asia-Pacific region”
While it was a given that one of the top 3 portals will partner with IRCTC this time around, the interesting thing to see is how they will go about with the integration. A simple integration like what Flipkart did with Yahoo may not be what IRCTC may be looking at.
From what we understand, IRCTC would want a far deeper integration, that will use their own gateway and payment wallet rather than of the ecommerce site they tie-up with.
We will need to wait and see whether it will IRCTC-Flipkart, IRCTC-Amazon or maybe even IRCTC-Snapdeal. Only time will tell!