All posts by Gunjan Piplani

markt.ooo: An Online Opportunity For Offline Sellers

What a week this was! Five days of what felt like a never-ending online bonanza. If you’re like us we’re certain you would have been glued to your PC or mobile phone trying to shop till you drop! Interestingly, every year the numbers reach a new high — Flipkart claimed to have sold products worth Rs 1,400 crore, twice more than what it sold in a single day last year and which is more than the entire modern trade retail industry’s single day sales. Not just that, every year there seem to be many more buyers moving online with current numbers being pegged at nearly 100 million (10 crore) shoppers.

So, while many online sellers hit record numbers every year, what of our beloved offline retail stores? According to market estimates, India’s fast growing retail market is now estimated at close to $625 billion of which only $15 billion is e-commerce, however, the impact of the fast-paced shifts from offline to online commerce, are increasingly making it tough for small retailers to compete.

It’s high time that the next door retailer becomes tech-savvy and creates a business model that will allow him to offer the same convenience to us as the consumers as online does.

“While the numbers for online commerce seem minimal compared to the overall retail market, make no mistake that the retail stores and small business owners are already facing the impact of this fast-paced shift towards online buying. Electronics as a category is most impacted followed closely by fashion, a category which will be next in line to feel the impact.” says Anurag Singh, Co-Founder, markt.ooo — a platform that enables retail stores and small businesses for e-commerce.

Come to think of it, an offline store that makes its products available online can offer great benefits that can sometimes be unmatched by online. For instance, if you wanted to pick a quick gift for a party you have to attend this evening, it could be delivered to your doorstep in under 90 minutes. Imagine what it would be like when the sales season comes — no one likes the crazy queues, but everyone wants to shop from their favorite stores — we know we’d love to be able to shop from the hundreds of stores that are on sale from the comfort of our home all in one place!

An e-commerce start-up in 2016? Isn’t it too late!

E-commerce has evolved to new heights in past six years, showcasing new achievements along the way. But it’s just the beginning — at least so seem to think the folks at markt.ooo. There were three things that made them create something new for this market — first, with e-commerce booming there was a looming threat to retailers and small entrepreneurs who did not have any means to participate in online business — solutions were either too complex or commercially unfeasible. Second, by 2015, the e-commerce market had actually become a mobile first m-commerce market, but none of the marketplaces were utilizing the inherent features of mobile devices — especially none to make things easier for sellers; and third, all the players who focused on local retail were too focused on delivery and grocery and thus neglected other products that too had an urgent need to participate in online commerce. Moreover, there was no ‘marketplace’ where local buyers and sellers could meet and transact.

An opportunity 

Looking at these gaps, markt.ooo created a product that makes it super easy for retailers and small businesses to take their in-store products online. “When we spoke with our target sellers they all came up with a similar set of challenges that were deterrents to them going online. One, there was the cataloging problem, and two, it was not just difficult to sign up to existing online marketplaces but also commercially unfeasible because of high margin charges,” says Singh.

Sanjeev Tagra, Co-Founder & Tech Lead at markt.ooo adds “If you have an existing Facebook page, our mobile app allows you to setup an online store in 30 seconds and have you ready to sell with a product catalog in minutes. And when we say minutes we literally mean minutes”. Users can setup the store, upload products right from their phone, collect payments via all leading online banks and also get delivery support. We at iGrow wanted to be sure of this claim of minutes so we decided to give it a shot – and we kid you not we were able to get our store online in exactly under three minutes. We also got a custom domain http://markt.ooo/igrow and can now use this to promote our store across facebook etc. The app also allowed us to share Product Cards from the app to Whats App, Facebook and Instagram – these cards included the product details with images MRP, description etc. and we didn’t have to do a thing except post it.

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What was also interesting was that markt.ooo’s shopfront operates as a zero-commission marketplace. The founders tell us that a commission based approach was simply unfeasible for many categories like Electronics. They instead have an interesting business model where they charge a store for every successful order they give — Singh says “We essentially see this as a convenience fee paid by the store for the ease with which they got an order, and hence this allows us to offer a fully success based fee approach that really works for store owners”.

Class apart?

The market is full of marketplaces it would seem, but interestingly there are over 14 million retail outlets in India – but most leading marketplaces have enabled only a few hundred thousand sellers. That leaves a huge number of sellers still unexplored. Moreover, none of these marketplaces are designed for retailers and small business owners.

It, therefore, makes it an interesting play for markt.ooo. Tagra does caution that “Execution will be key. There are other players in the similar space and the only thing that can set apart one from the other is execution. We’re just a few months old but are already getting some good inputs. But we’ll be keeping our heads down and executing”. We think they have made a good start and with the easy signup and the zero-commission marketplace approach they should etch out a space for their product among a large number of still to go online businesses.

In time we also see this platform bring an ease of buying for consumers that has so far not  been offered.

While the e-commerce market will continue to flourish with products and platforms like this offline sellers no longer need to be threatened by online commerce and instead can capitalise on the opportunity.

How do I sign up – Is there a criteria?

“The only restriction”, quips Tagra, “is that you should have a physical establishment i.e. a retail store or a home-based small business.” At present, markt.ooo is operating in Gurgaon, they plan to expand this to Delhi/NCR so sellers from these markets are alone being on-boarded currently. To know more about them visit markt.ooo from a PC, the same link will take you to the shopfront from a mobile device.

Download the Play Store App here.

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YellowBulbs: A Marketplace That Fulfils Your Creative Marketing Needs On Demand

It’s a race! A race among brands, among companies, and among sectors, too! Yes, we live in a world where competition is fierce and the need for perfection just keeps on getting bigger every day. And, all to serve the ever-demanding consumers with the best.

To add to the challenge — achieve this creatively. Creativity is what sells even if you are an established brand.

With digital taking the world by storm and consumer’s attention span dropping drastically second by second, the need for brands to catch this attention is key. The evolution of digital has not only changed the way consumers behave but has also revolutionised the way marketing industry works. Thus, creating an ever-rising need for creative ideas that could make a brand stand out and have an ever-lasting impression on their consumers’ minds.

Continue reading YellowBulbs: A Marketplace That Fulfils Your Creative Marketing Needs On Demand

Reliance Retail to transform hypermarkets in to cash & carry stores

Having a hard time competing with local kirana stores, Reliance Retail, aims to transform few of its giant sized hypermarkets in to wholesale cash & carry stores.

The first under the conversion plan is 44,000 sq ft Reliance Mart in Bhopal’s Aashima Mall which is under renovation currently and is expected to open in a new avtar in February 2014. The other two to be apparently converted are in Ludhiana and Aurangabad, each.

With the cash and carry model, the organised retailers will be able to supply bulk order to the kirana stores, which otherwise were their competition.

Modern retail has always been a step behind when it comes to consumers’ preference to shop for food and grocery, though modern retail stores offer a wide variety what they are unable to offer is good price. While modern retail sells at MRP until a scheme run by brand, neighbourhood stores sells at wholesale price 365 days of the and if you are lucky you can also avail ongoing schemes. 

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Multi-brand FDI in Retail: It’s a Yes! for Tesco

Finally, as 2014 rings in, its a good news for multi-brand retail FDI. Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approves Tesco’s proposal to invest $110 million in Indian retail market in JV with Tata’s Trent Hypermarkets.

The approval makes Tesco the official first in the Indian retail market to set shop in JV with an Indian brand.

Tesco will own 50 per cent stake in Trent Supermarkets that currently runs 16 Star Bazaar hypermarts across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu. But Gujarat and Tamil Nadu not yet up for FDI, the current JV will focus on the stores in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

 

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Christmas Special: 10 Must Haves before 2013 ends

With Christmas, its time to gift, celebrate and enjoy. So we bring you a collection of 10 Must Haves for festive days ahead. Spread the warmth and party hard.

  • Fratelli brings the SETTE 2010, the sumptuous red wine which leaves one with a warm and toasty feeling is the perfect pick to add a thrill to winter festivities. A signature blend of legendry wine maker Piero Masi, Creator Fratelli Wines, SETTE is a barrel-aged red wine matured in French oak for 14 months. Handpicked by Piero, the top one percent of the grapes from Fratelli’s vineyard at Akluj go into the fulfilling of this dream. The vintage has a bouquet of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. With their most premium blend on offer, Fratelli hopes to make this Christmas season all the more special. Price in Mumbai: Rs 1650

Fratelli SETTE 2010

  • Are you celebrating this Christmas and New Year at the beach? Then The Beach Company brings to you a perfect collection of beach wear products including a red sarong which is perfectly in tune with the festivities.

Red Cut-Out Sarong

  • Alchemy De Luxe launches an exquisite range of candle stands and lamps this season to add warmth and cheer to your beautiful abode. Elegant in style these candle stands and lamps are available in various shapes and sizes. The candle stands are made of silver and guilding metal, where as the lamps are made of silver and copper.

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  • Mirari unveils its latest pieces for gifting this Christmas to liven up the day and year ahead for the little ones. Mirari’s offerings this season have something magical for every child- boy or girl, to add that extra spark and love this festival. Cute, lovable and cuddly animals have been transformed into charms, pendants & bracelets. You can choose from a wide range of beautifully enameled jewellery in 18k gold studded with diamonds & colour stones. There is a little something from Santa’s troop for everyone.

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  • Mustang lets you get into the Christmas theme completely as it launches a special range of Christmas inspired socks. Designed in green and red, with a tinge of white, the socks are beautifully designed with things that represent the festival.

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  • Toykraft let’s your kid learn creating gifts with their range of DIY games and products. For Christmas, the brand has unveiled a kit that enables the child to make an amazing table-top Christmas tree on their own. The straws, connectors & paper are used to construct the tree framework and branches. A terracotta pot serves as the base for the tree with several decorations with the mini gift boxes, glitter, cotton wool, bells and star. Besides the décor provided in the kit, they can give it their own personal touch while having a merry time. Price: Rs 399

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  • Wiliam Penn, this Christmas, brings to you the classic range of Lapis Bard Pens. Gift this special collection pens to your family or friends who love authentic premium writing instruments. The Classic Fountain Pen is sheer poetry with its wide-bodied barrel, sculpted in high grade metal. Crowned with a sloping tassie embellished with the Lapis Bard lyre, the lyre also appears on the beautifully decorated solid gold nib. The body and cap are finished with black lacquer and rhodium plated appointments. The pen has the option of cartridges or converter fills. These pens come with a guarantee for five years against manufacturing defects.Price: INR 17,500; Available at all William Penn stores

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  • All set to party this Christmas and New Year? Celebrate the season of festivities with with Ritika Bharwani collection. The stylised collection offers a wide array of evening gowns and with red and green gowns being the showstoppers.Price on Request; Available at : Ritika Bharwani Studio, 204, Turner Road, Bandra West

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  • Frazer and Haws gives you a brighter way to celebrate the festival of Christmas as it launches a new range of candle stands, vases, lamps and more. The collection also caputres beautiful Mother Mary and Jesus frames. The exclusive pieces, made for sterling silver, are a treasured possession to be gifted to your loved ones.Available at: Frazer and Haws, Shop No. 11, Main Market, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi.

Sacro Mad Ferruzzi Rs 6600 Sacro Volto Cristo Rs 11000

Christmas Special: 10 Must Go Places

Christmas as I have known has been a festival of colours, hapiness, winter in the air but warmth in the hearts, carols, Santa caps and frolic. We give you 10 Must Go Places for you to make the best of your Christmas eve. So eat, pray and enjoy!

Christmas-Santa-Wallpaper1 Continue reading Christmas Special: 10 Must Go Places

Tesco files for FDI in multibrand retail; to form JV with Tata Trent

Tesco becomes the first international brand to file for multibrand retail FDI in India as it plans to acquire 50 per cent stake in Tata Trent, hence forming a JV. It was earlier in 2012 when FDI in multibrand retail was approved.

Tesco has filed for the JV with DIPP and if approved, the stake will be bought for $110 million. Tesco will own 50 per cent stake in Trent Supermarkets that currently runs 16 Star Bazaar hypermarts across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu. But Gujarat and Tamil Nadu not yet up for FDI, the current JV will focus on the stores in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The stores will not use Tesco’s brand name anywhere. With this agreement, the stores will sell a wide variety of products ranging from food to clothing, under the tag ‘A Tata and Tesco Enterprise’. Moreover, the JV also aims at opening three to five stores in India annually.

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Now that Walmart has broken ties with Bharti Retail and is going through a rough phase, Tesco gets a great opportunity to emerge in the market.

Stylemydiamonds.com: Customise your jewellery online

Stylemydiamonds.com, the retail wing of Diamonds Factory-London, was launched in India early this year, making its way into the competitive online retail scenario in the country. With its strong focus on educating consumers along with retailing a wide range of jewellery, the online retailer, aims at reaching consumers through offline lounges as well.

Nitin Raj, Chief Marketing Officer, Stylemydiamonds.com shares what the brand brings on platter for the Indian consumers.

 Nitin Raj, CMO Style My Diamonds(1)

  • iGrow: From Europe and the US, how did India emerge as the next best place to be? What kind of R&D was done before the entry and any special findings?

Nitin Raj (NR): India is a challenging market and we took two years before we officially launched as we wanted other players to test the waters before we enter into the market. We had been keeping a close watch on the players who were entering into the Indian market and all the tactics they were following to attract customers to buy online.

We have always believed that the product has to be so good, that it sells by itself and we do not have to go and sell it. Indian market is still not ready for making extremely large purchases online due to the fear factor, though transactions between Rs 8,000 – Rs 50,000 is fine, anything beyond that the customer wants to have the trust factor. This is the reason why we have opened our first lounge in Mumbai. So the trust can be established that we are here to stay. Continue reading Stylemydiamonds.com: Customise your jewellery online

Titan opens 1000th store in India

Titan Industries has reached the landmark number of 1000 stores across country. The milestone store has been opened in Bangalore and reflects the future of modern retail and lifestyle industry and offers a unique fusion of watches and eyewear.

With this Titan becomes first Indian specialty retailer to reach the number in seven varied formats. With a retail footprint across 177 cities, 26 states, 3 Union Territories and a total retail area of 1395712 sq ft, Titan Company has stores for Watches under World of Titan, Helios and Fastrack; Jewellery under retail brands Tanishq, Zoya, GoldPlus and Eye Plus for multibrand eyewear.

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Continue reading Titan opens 1000th store in India

Walmart to give away 150 pink slips in India

Walmart, after turmoil in its retail venture this year, now plans to lay off 100-150 employess from the mid-senior level. Walmart, post snapping ties with Bharti Retail, has delayed its expansion plan until 2015.

According to sources the process of handing over pink slips have begun and will be done over in next couple of days.

Walmart currently employees 1,100 people.

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