Call this the inflection point for retail in India. As consumers actively scout for the best deals and bargains, it isn’t just the e-commerce ventures that are making the most of it. There are seeds of growth on the television commerce front too. For starters, e-commerce company Snapdeal has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Den Networks to set up a shopping television channel for selling merchandise, and vouchers from third parties.
Star CJ Network, owned by Korean company CJO Shopping and Providence Equity Partners, is planning to launch a second home shopping channel called Star CJ2 Live and is awaiting clearance from the information and broadcasting ministry for launch. The channel will be positioned as a lifestyle channel primarily targeting women. In addition, it is examining the regional space for starting television commerce channels, especially in southern markets.
Direct-to-home companies such as Dish TV and Tata Sky are also considering setting home shopping channels of their own. “Two major broadcast groups from the southern markets are working towards setting up home shopping channels. The inspiration comes from e-commerce companies and the kind of investment they are attracting,” said a media buyer on the condition of anonymity.
Kenny Shin, chief executive, STAR CJ Network, said they attract a daily viewership of 40 million, which is growing in tandem with the television shopping market, or t-commerce. “We currently claim 40% of the R2,000-2,500 crore market, with our sales growing 40% annually. This particular vertical of retail is yet to be explored and optimised to its full potential in India. We estimate the home shopping industry to reach $10 billion in the next five years, with more companies entering the market, considering the 60% growth rate.”
On anvil are regional shopping channels and a lifestyle oriented channel. Shin said there are certain segments still unexplored by existing home shopping channels. “Selling cars on television has gained tremendous success in the south-east Asian markets. Such products can have great manifestation on television, providing consumers with the nearest experience to touch and feel. Our plans include segments such as cars, real estate, insurance policies, travel packages, etc,” he elaborated.
Direct-to-home company Dish TV, part of the Subhash Chandra-owned Essel Group, said it has a reach of over 17 million viewers and is beaming seven shopping channels. Dish TV does not rule out starting a t-commerce channel of its own in partnership with some of the existing e-commerce companies or other third parties. “Many new players have approached us for starting home shopping channels and we are talking to them, but at this stage, we cannot disclose any names,” said Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer at Dish TV.
One of the first movers in the television home shopping segment, HomeShop18, part of Network18, said it has a 70-75% share in television shopping. Sundeep Malhotra, founder and chief executive, said, “We see nearly a lakh transactions a day, with close to 12 million customers in our CRM base.”
Mobiles, home appliances and health and beauty contribute to over 50% of their sales.
“There is steep growth in the food and home improvement segment, with nearly 100% growth in the category. Around 40% of our customer base belongs to tier 2 and 3 markets,” he said. The channel is looking at a 50% topline growth year-on-year over the next three years.
Snapdeal, Den Networks and Tata Sky did not respond when contacted for comments.