Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC), has tied up with Amazon to sell products online. It has added a ‘shop on Amazon’ tab on its homepage which redirects to a separate landing page on Amazon.in. Last year, IRCTC was in talks with Amazon and Flipkart for a tie up.
IRCTC is the sole seller of railway tickets and handles catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the Indian Railways. In 2013, IRCTC had partnered with Yebhi.com, and many product categories like electronics, clothes and home furnishings were sold on the IRCTC’s site. But Yebhi had shut its e-commerce shop last year, and became a product discovery portal. Hence, IRCTC’s attempt to widen its business by partnering with Yebhi didn’t culminate very positively.
The fight between Amazon and Flipkart would have been a close one. Where Flipkart has better relationships with a number of Government bodies, and has more experience in the Indian market as compared to Amazon, the latter would have possibly woo-ed the railway ticketing body with its technology consistency and overall a longer experience in the online segment.
It is not known why other marketplaces like Snapdeal and Shopclues were out of the race in the first place. However the move will allow the US based player to leverage the rail portal’s existing database of more than 21 million consumers and convert them into potential customers for itself.