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After just a few weeks of moving its ecommerce marketplace into sleep mode, IRCTC has now floated a new tender inviting bidders for selection for a co-branded marketplace solution provider.

The tender states:

IRCTC floats this tender to call upon Online Retail Marketing companies or similar to offer a Co-Branded platform to showcase retail, deals, and other services that will be offered from third parties/retailers, online retailers, affiliates, brands and service providers, or their own inventory or combination thereof to the IRCTC customers to buy services.

According to the tender, bidders can get the tender document for INR 1000/- (non-refundable), which they need to deposit along with a demand draft worth INR 2 lakh.

The tenure of the contract shall be for 2 years with IRCTC having rights to change the basis of or procedures.

Here is the list of activities that a bidder has to carry out:

  1. The bidder has to power a co-branded marketplace for IRCTC with end to end deliveries which has to be managed by the bidder by providing: open commerce platform, marketplace solution and assisted commerce service.
  2. The bidder has to provide IRCTC user with a complete shopping experience for retail, deals, and services with the following: Personalized shopping experience, Seamless Shopping experience and Differentiated Experience
  3. The bidder has to provide IRCTC with Complete Commission Management module, sales dash board, traffic conversions, banner utilizations reports reference to each category of product and services being offered on marketplace as required by IRCTC.
  4. Enable Co-Branded solution with the 10 categories but with minimum 500 sellers and 100,000 SKUs at the time of launch.
  5. The bidder has to manage Email, CRM and social media -Facebook, Twitter and bank campaigns, end of season sale, Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) and other promotions.
  6. Conformance to B2C Supply Chain by integrating with logistics partners should be available and logistics, partner/sellers enable shipping the products to end consumers.
  7. Provide required technical – support for the, ecommerce Marketplace and managing the solution hosted on cloud or self owned H/W, S/W networks of security components.
  8. The monitoring of products booked, stocked, delivered shall be provided by the bidder and Bidder’s business team will work in close coordination with IRCTC team for each product
  9. ‘The marketplace will falicitate tax collection between its merchants and Customers. Vat, Service Tax linked at the delivery shall be facilitated by the bidder. The invoicing would be managed by the bidder with the TIN number Of the retailers, online retailers, Affiliates, brands and service providers.
  10. Secure payment gateway interface with multiple banks solution compliant with RBI directives for online payments of goods, supplier payment settlements etc.

The bidder will also be responsible for all the software works and integration which include omni-channel management, merchandising or marketplace operations; ecommerce; customer care and social commerce; order management and replenishment; design requirements; find up selling and cross selling opportunities and B2B ecommerce.

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Here is a complete list of commissions that bidders will have to pay IRCTC:

IRCTC-Tender-Table

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The bidder should be an established ecommerce or IT company. It should have successfully implemented online marketplace solution for minimum period of 2 years and should have one warehouse across India.
  2. Must have annual turnover of INR 50 Cr. in year 2012-2013 from its B2C ecommerce business.
  3. Bidder must aggregate over 500 brands in retail and 1,00,000 SKUs; should be capable of processing 1-20 orders every month in any geography and must have handled a traffic of 5 Mn visits a month.
  4. Must cater broad spectrum of categories and any 10 categories as mentioned above.
  5. Bidder should have ability to provide expedited shipping options including guaranteed 1 day or 2 day delivery,
  6. Should not be currently blacklisted or have been backlisted with any PSU.

You can find the complete list of deliverable with Terms N Conditions here.

IRCTC will be evaluating the bids in two stages – first being technical followed by financial bid. Only the bidders who will be shortlisted in the first stage will be evaluated for the second stage.

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It will be mandatory to make the complete IRCTC Bidder Co-Branded Marketplace commissioned within 4 weeks from the date of letter of reward.

In 2013, IRCTC had announced its plans to go the ecommerce way, where it followed a white label model and got Yebhi on board to manage its ecommerce arm. However, the partnership worked only for a year, after which it preferred not to renew the contract and thus called off the partnership with Yebhi in August earlier this year. According to Manmohan Agarwal of Yebhi, the partnership was based on the assumption that Yebhi will benefit from the huge traffic on the IRCTC site, especially from small towns. Though Yebhi was successful in getting some traffic, it didn’t get the expected conversion rates.

IRCTC has shown a tremendous growth in its e-ticketing service since its inception, from selling 27 tickets a day to now selling over 5.8 lakh tickets a day and has a registered user base of over 30 Mn users. After not having much success with its ecommerce arm and going on a temporary halt, IRCTC’s announcement of the new tender simply points out to the fact that it wants to become a dominant player in ecommerce in India given it’s existing access to a massive user base and the huge amounts of money flowing into the industry for many domestic players.

Let’s see what game plan IRCTC has in mind to come out above the other ecommerce players in the country.

Last date for submission of bids for the tender is 29th October.

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