Indian conglomerate the Tata Group is to launch an omnichannel ecommerce venture called Tata CLiQ.
CLiQ will combine ecommerce with brick and mortar outlets offering click and collect services. The stores will initially focus on apparel, footwear and consumer electronics, with other categories set to follow. The Q in the logo is designed to look like a magnifying glass, which CEO Ashutosh Pandey calls “a visual representation of the brand’s focus on curating only the best brands and products.”
The Tata Group already has a retail presence through its Westside, Landmark and Croma chain stores. It is not clear whether these chains would be absorbed into the CLiQ brand, or continue independently. However, the Tata name is well known in India, and could generate customers through brand loyalty.
Tata CLiQ, whose name is a pun on the words “click” and “clique”, as well as the acronym IQ, is set to launch on Friday 27th May 2016, with a website, mobile site and mobile apps all launching on that date.
Tata Industries Executive Director KRS Jamwal promises that the experience of shopping on Tata CLiQ will be very different from purely online retailers such as Amazon and Flipkart. “What we have experienced so far is e-retail 1.0 with two different sets of people doing retail by themselves”, he said in an interview conducted in September 2015.
However, some analysts are asking whether Tata’s entry into the ecommerce market comes too late. The Indian news organisation Firstpost wonders whether Tata CLiQ will be able to compete with already established ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. Firstpost believes that the newcomer will have to work hard in order to differentiate itself from these sites if it is to survive. It remains to be seen whether the reality matches the promises.