Online commerce, or e-commerce, has certainly changed the way consumers buy things and the way companies operate. However, online markets haven't had as deep of an impact on the car industry, even though several car manufacturers are stepping up and creating their own online sales platforms.
Flipkart and Snapdeal had aggressively explored selling cars and bikes just a few years ago, tying up deals with manufacturers including Mahindra & Mahindra, Kawasaki, Hero, Maruti Suzuki, and TVS Motors. But now, most e-tailers have withdrawn this category, resigned to the fact that specifics like insurance, financing, and content are specialised and need more depth than traditional e-commerce, industry executives said.
“These companies figured that offering an end-to-end experience to customers through the marketplace structure would not be feasible, and hence they moved out of it,” said an auto industry executive who requested not to be named. “Now they only focus on selling accessories for vehicles.”
Snapdeal, which was one of the prominent e-tailers to push this segment, does not sell vehicles anymore. “We did sell them as an initiative for a while and with good results,” a company spokesperson said. “However, it is not the part of our current portfolio, which is aligned with the needs of a value-conscious target audience.”
Flipkart, too, has withdrawn from selling cars and bikes. Queries sent to the country’s top e-commerce marketplace remained unanswered.
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