Reliance Retail plans to tie up with online marketplaces to sell the group's Lyf brand 4G handsets, which became the fifth-largest selling smartphone in India in the first quarter of its launch.
The company has signed up with Amazon for one model and will seek partnerships with Flipkart and Snapdeal - possibly launching an e-store for Lyf phones on these platforms, considering that almost one-third of the country's smartphones are now purchased online, according to The Economic Times.
Reliance has decided to focus on online sales to appeal to younger consumers who are increasingly buying smartphones online, creating successful models such as Motorola's MotoG and OnePlusOne.
Reliance Digital launched the Lyf Water 5 model on Amazon at Rs11,699. "The response has been good and the company wants to expand the online sales network since each handset sold will create a customer for the 4G services when it's launched," a company executive told the paper.
Reliance will not enter into any price war per se with the big handset brands like Samsung in online sales since it does not want to antagonise other brands who would be vital to expand the 4G handset base.
Group company Reliance Jio Infocomm is expected to start 4G services this year.
A spokesperson for Reliance Retail, devices, said Lyf aims to bring a rich digital experience within easy access of consumers through wide-ranging, high quality devices and an omni-channel retail reach, among other initiatives.
There are already more than 1.2 lakh retailers for Lyf phones, including Reliance Retail stores, consumer electronics and mobile phone chains and multibrand outlets.
Lyf was the fifth-largest brand among smartphones in India with a 7-per cent share in the January-March quarter, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research. In the 4G or LTE category, Lyf was the second largest, after Samsung.
The industry executive said Reliance will also form partnerships for exclusive models with leading brick-and-mortar stores.