Panasonic launches online shopping portal

ePlus has been created for customers in the UAE who wish to purchase any of Panasonic products from the comfort of their home

Tags: E-commercePanasonic Corporation
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Panasonic launches online shopping portal ePlus is only able to deliver within the UAE at the moment
By  Clayton Vallabhan Published  June 23, 2011

Panasonic has launched its online shopping portal known as ePlus today. The Japanese company says it is the first electronics company in the region with its own shopping portal.

The company says that ePlus was created for customers in the UAE who wish to purchase any Panasonic products from the comfort of their home and have it delivered.

ePlus has been designed to complement Panasonic's Eco Ideas Declaration to be a green innovation company, and Panasonic claims that this paperless shopping environment is a ‘holistic approach to a greener lifestyle.'

"Online shopping is growing in the UAE, and as a customer-centric organisation, Panasonic aims to provide our customers unmatched convenience of shopping from anywhere, anytime. As the UAE grows in leaps and bounds with communities springing up in almost every conceivable location, this online portal provides customers the opportunity to shop online for Panasonic products from the comforts of their home or office. By shopping online the customer contributes significantly to the environment by reducing the use of personal transport- the ethos that Panasonic strongly advocates and implements," said Seiji Koyanagi, Managing Director of Panasonic Marketing Middle East.

"Al Futtaim Panatech, part of the Al Futtaim Group and the sole distributor for Panasonic in the UAE has been instrumental in making today's ePlus launch possible," added Koyanagi. Al Futtaim Panatech will provide all the logistic and back office support for purchases made on the ePlus portal.

Anthony Peter, Associate Director, Group General Manager, Direct Communications and Customer Care Group at Panasonic also commented, "Another factor that pushed us towards an online store is that most retail stores and even our flagship stores can't carry the entire range that Panasonic has to offer, as we do everything from batteries to the Viera TV's. The range is very diverse and our online portal has every single product on it, including accessories. The website will complement our sales on the ground and will appeal to many consumers."

When quizzed about how difficult it was to setup an online sales portal in the region and to further explain the reasoning behind the launch of ePlus, Peter explained, "It isn't difficult to setup an online store in the UAE. 80% of the population of the UAE are tech savvy and use the Internet on a daily basis. Most people here are very busy and don't have the time to go to shopping malls everytime they need something. They need an easier way to buy Panasonic products and our new portal gives them just that. We needed to make sure the website was entirely secure and PIM and credit cards had to be handled correctly. The site is hosted on a government server it is secure and we have gone to great lengths to secure personal information of people and their credit card information. As part of our ECO Ideas Declaration this website is part of Panasonic's initiative to go green. We want to sell eco products in an eco friendly manner. It's shopping anytime, anywhere , very eco friendly and offers unmatched convenience."

All customers who register on the website become Panasonic exclusive 'Plus Card' loyalty members and gain ‘plus' points on every purchase made at ePlus. These can be redeemed later for purchases of any Panasonic products.  Panasonic is currently running a promotion where during the first week of the launch customers stand to win a 42-inch VIERA Full HD 3D plasma TV and for the whole month of July customers can win an SLR Lumix GH2 every day.

At present products purchased from ePlus can be delivered within the UAE only but a wider-reaching Middle East version is planned to be launched at a later date. Panasonic is using a secured payment gateway to secure all online payments and no credit card information will be stored by Panasonic, giving customers added security while shopping online.

Mohamed AlNoori, Director of Environmental Center for Arab Towns, a UAE national, was the first customer to make a purchase on ePlus. He commented, "Tech Savvy UAE consumers are increasingly shopping online as it gives them flexibility and convenience. The regions shopping habits and culture are slowly going digital and Panasonic is taking the right step in making all its products available online. Moreover, it also helps the environment."

ePlus is currently available only in English. An Arabic and wider Middle East version will be launched at a later date.

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