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E-­tailers eye big appliances in war against offline retail

businesspaper Updated: Oct 07, 2016 09:39 IST

MUMBAI: After mobile phones, books and other small goods, e-commerce companies are eyeing a bigger share of the large appliances market in their battle with brick-and-mortar retailers.

Large appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners are primarily bought offline. But online orders are rising.

“While, the home and kitchen products category has grown 160% year-to-date, sale of large appliances have gone up 200%,” said Sumit Sahay, category leader, home and kitchen, Amazon India. To tap this demand, Amazon opened two fulfilment centres dedicated to large appliances in Bangalore and Chennai taking the tally to 10.

“Products at times have to travel longer distances than in offline trade, so we are looking to shore up fulfilment capabilities,” said Sahay.

This has helped Amazon deliver to over 100 cities. It has also expanded its large appliance range to over 3,000 products.

Others too are seeing traction for large appliances. Snapdeal, in one of its recent sales, sold over 1,000 air conditioners in under six hours, according to Saurabh Bansal, V-P, category management, Snapdeal. “We are also building a pool of exclusive products through partner brands.”

Snapdeal said it too has enhanced its last-mile delivery capabilities through logistics firm Vulcan, which will give it a platform to provide services such as exchange, and instant installation of large appliances.