Jaldi 5 with Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Groupon India

30 Oct,2012

By Johnson Napier

 

India has witnessed huge growth in e-commerce in the past one and a half years where customers online have been bombarded with innumerable offerings. But while many see the space as being crowded there are a few that are making a mark by way of their positioning. Like Crazeal.com, a portal that operates in the daily deals category space.

 

As Crazeal.com celebrates a year of existence in India there are a lot of things that are going right for the portal like it has managed to sell more than 5 lakh deal vouchers and the fact that it has worked with more than 3000 unique merchants across the country.

 

As it enters year two of operations, Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Groupon India is clear on the strategy to take the company far ahead. The strategy, he says, is to focus on the quality of deals as only then can it be in the business for a long time. “If you give the best quality of deals, customers will stay. We focus on one deal a day and make that special.” In an interaction with MxMIndia.com, Mr Warikoo says that Crazeal.com is in the market of products, travel and local services – and all three of them are growing at such a pace that for the next 1-2 years we are simply looking at consolidating base in the three.

 

 

1 How inspirational has been the journey for Crazeal in India as it completed a year of existence in India recently?

We entered the market just last year and have grown tremendously to reach the #1 rank in the daily deals category (as per ComScore data). We are experiencing super-normal growth quarter-on-quarter and repeat buying pattern of close to 50%. Additionally, we are recognized as the best destination for high quality deals, by our consumers, which is a fantastic achievement in just 12 months.

 

We have attained this mark within one year of our existence in India because of the deal quality! Groupon globally works with the best merchants and offers the best deal structures to our customers, while solving business problems for the merchants. This has been the same philosophy India has worked on.

 

We are strongly committed to the Indian market and are also launching our global robust technology to cater the needs of the merchants in India. The Merchant Center is an intelligent application that provides merchants a platform to evaluate and track their performance. The launch of this technological innovation in India will mark yet another milestone in our growth trajectory while setting unmatched global standards for the Indian e-commerce industry.

 

2 How would you analyze your growth – both organic and inorganic, over the past year?

I would like to present some key milestones:

Featured more than 15,000 deals in 12 months

Average transaction value highest in the category

More than 5 lakh deal vouchers sold

Worked with more than 3000 unique merchants across the country

Sell a voucher once every 33 seconds

 

3 The space has seen a sudden spurt in activity with a number of players stepping in with their offerings. How uniquely is Crazeal positioned among its competitive peers? 

Competition is always healthy as it leads to the overall growth of the industry. For me, the real competition for Crazeal are other Groupon countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong. India has witnessed a huge growth in e-commerce in the past one and a half years and customers online have been bombarded with innumerable offerings. India became too crowded too soon and has been molded into a discount deal chasing set-up where merchants do not really understand how their businesses can benefit. The main objective of our channel is marketing. From day one, we have focused on having the right set of merchants on board. We start with city planning, doing merchant reviews followed by personal visits to experience what the merchant has to offer before closing the partnership deal eventually.

 

4 Will you be laying more emphasis around marketing & promotions activity going forward? What is the budget that you have allocated for the same?

Our strategy is to focus on the quality of deals as only then can we be in the business for a long time. If you give the best quality of deals, customers will stay. We focus on one deal a day and make that special. We are in the market of products, travel and local services – and all three of them are growing at such a pace that for the next 1-2 years we are simply looking at consolidating our base in the three.

We will continue to entice consumers with our experiential marketing campaigns. For the birthday week we launched a special consumer campaign to surprise consumers with irresistible raffles every day. Up for grabs were 5gm Tanishq Gold Coins, iPads, Shoppers Stop gift vouchers, Sony Bravia- LED TV, Tata Nano and more.

 

Previously, we have run ‘larger than life’ raffles including an all paid trip to Las Vegas for 2 at the Bellagio, and a free Harley Davidson bike which saw tremendous enthusiasm from consumers across the country.

 

We recently hosted a special screening for Hollywood blockbusters – Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises across 9 cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Chandigarh & Pune) and gave consumers and exclusive preview of our ad campaign. The special screening involved Crazeal team manning the ticket booking stalls, addressing the entire crowd before the start of the movie and steering on-ground activities to give them a flavor of Crazeal’s personalized services. Multiple on-ground touch points were also created to increase its brand presence and engage with consumers in a fun way. The tickets were priced at a 50% discount and the hall was booked exclusively for Crazeal consumers!

 

Tell us a bit about your just-announced application Merchant Center. What is its USP?  

As a commitment to the Indian market and to drive efficiency in operations, Crazeal has launched an intelligent application to provide merchants with a platform to evaluate and track their promotion performance.

 

Each of our vouchers are bar-coded and have a unique QR code that helps merchants recognize customers who have bought their deal. It can also be done through our merchant mobile applications available on the iOS and Android platform.

 

No internet company in India offers this kind of technology to their partners, free of cost!

 

Merchant Center enables merchants to

Track the number of vouchers their deal sells daily

Check how many vouchers are redeemed in each of their outlets in different locations

Get real time feedback from customers on their experience at the merchant’s outlet

Determine how many customers would recommend the merchant to others

Redeem the vouchers to enable their payments, on a real-time basis

 

5 How do you see the e-commerce space panning out in the near future in India?

Everyone is craving an eShare these days; corporates are looking at diverse product mix, merchants joining hands to offer strong value propositions and consumers shifting to online purchase for obvious reasons. This ePie surely has an opportune slice for all. And with 100 million internet users supporting the e-revolution, the total number of transactions in India is set to take a leap from the present 8-10 million to 40 million by 2015.

 

The daily deal websites comprise India’s fastest growing web vertical. The coupon business is 16.5% of the total e-commerce audience in India, growing at the rate of 629 per cent with 7.6 million unique users a month in November 2011, as per comScore report. This clearly shows that Indian consumers who were earlier apprehensive about shopping online are now browsing more often to make high value purchases and avail experiential offers.

 

Internet has played a silent but important role in giving a boost to India’s consumption story. With the advent of 3G, telecommunications and high mobile penetration, e-tailing in India has intensified closing many gaps between urban and rural consumer’s tastes, preferences and consumption patterns. Currently 60 percent of our sales come from six metros with remaining 40 per cent from non-metros. We see this trend catching up fast as consumers increasingly aspire to purchase brands and lifestyle products like never before.

 

Tier I cities has already seen an explosion in travel and products related e-commerce. They will now witness the next big thing called local commerce. If one thinks of it, this new category is the most frequently consumed category in offline retail, which will now move to online.

 

Tier 2 and 3 cities are lagging behind, but not in terms of growth. Products e-commerce has made major inroads driven by the ease of buying online and the massive assortment. Travel is following suit. However, local services might take some time as for that to develop as it requires a minimum number of high quality merchants to be present. With large restaurant chains now expanding and the food, wellness industry growing substantially there is a huge scope here.

 

Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.

Videos