Flipkart’s refurbished goods marketplace 2GUD will compete with similar platforms run by Quikr, OLX, GreenDust, Reboot, Togofogo, Overcart, Shopclues and Amazon.
Written By Sulekha Nair
What do most people do when they upgrade their phones or buy a new laptop? They sell the old via platforms for refurbished goods. The most-sold items online in the refurbished category are smartphones, laptops, headphones, watches, small appliances and Kindle e-readers, to name a few.
The refurbished goods market in India will be worth an estimated $20 billion in the next five to six years.
Smartphones, the most popular product in the refurbished category, saw volumes grow by close to 25 percent in 2017. It crossed 12 million units in India, according to Counterpoint research’s report – Technology Market Research.
The global market for refurbished smartphones grew 13 percent year-on-year in 2017, reaching close to 140 million units. By comparison, the global new smartphone market grew a scant three percent last year, thus being outpaced by refurbished ‘second-life’ smartphones, according to the latest data from Counterpoint’s Refurbished Smartphone Tracker.
India’s refurbished goods marketplace houses some established and well-known names like Shopclues, OLX, Quikr, among a host of others. Besides, with social media gaining much currency, several Facebook and WhatsApp groups too act as a channel for those interested in selling or buying refurbished goods. It is in this growing market that Flipkart has rolled out its platform for refurbished goods — 2GUD.
“We will keep evolving and bringing newer formats, categories and features which cater to the needs of our value-conscious middle India,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said, adding that all eBay.in sellers and customers will be migrated to the new platform.
“The new platform has a different value proposition compared to Flipkart, and will cater to a different target audience. We are committed to investing in this independent brand,” he pointed out.
But will Flipkart be able to cash-in on its brand name and succeed?
There are early movers in this space. Think Quikr, OLX, GreenDust, Reboot, Togofogo, Overcart, Shopclues and Amazon.
According to a survey by Quikr, people who prefer pre-owned goods are chasing better pricing, easy availability, doorstep service and a short-term requirement. The majority of people who lean towards this segment are in the 20-29 age group and about 54 percent of those polled said they prefer refurbished goods for better pricing and easy availability of products.
Amazon promises fast shipping
Amazon which rolled out its ‘Amazon Renewed’ programme last year, has found customer demand across categories including smartphones, laptops, headphones, watches, small appliances and Kindle e-readers to name a few.
Vivek Somareddy, Director- Seller Services at Amazon told Firstpost, the refurbished goods category is growing 300 percent y-o-y with over 70 percent of all orders coming from cities like Kanchipuram, Secunderabad and Surat to name a few. This category has become a ‘go to destination’ for Indian customers who aspire to buy high quality aspirational products at more affordable prices, he said.
“Certified refurbished products are worked upon by the original manufacturers or professional refurbishers in adherence to our product quality policy. Customers purchasing products through Amazon Renewed get high quality, like-new products at a competitive price – in fact, they can save up to 50 percent while purchasing a refurbished product vs the purchase of a new product,” Somareddy added.
Amazon, however, has a strict policy. “We have a very strict policy regarding quality and under this program, only selected sellers who maintain a high quality and performance bar are allowed to offer certified refurbished products on Amazon.in.
“The refurbishment process for this category typically includes a full diagnostic test performed through industry standard applications, replacement of any defective or damaged parts, a thorough cleaning and data wiping process, and finally the repackaging in a brand-new box. The products come with a minimum of six months warranty offered by the brand or the seller of the product and are available for free and fast shipping with Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) shipping service.”
Re-New eyes 16 million customers
ShopClues runs Re-New Gadgets for refurbished goods. Re-New clocked Rs 4.5 crore in sales from refurbished and unboxed electronic devices alone, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets, for the month of July. It is looking to double GMV growth with a 16 million customer target in 2018.
“ShopClues had long identified the massive opportunity around the refurbished category; specially the renewed smartphones segment, which according to industry estimates, is set to grow by over 27 percent in 2019. We have almost doubled our customer base from eight million to 16 million within two years and our success has given us confidence to offer more than 400 stock selling units from different brands in the smartphone category.
“Also, soon ShopClues will be launching a full assortment of laptops and TVs from HP, Dell, Apple, Asus, Lenovo, LG, Sony and Samsung for its customers,” said Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder & Chief Business Officer, ShopClues.com
There is a need for more players in the refurbished goods market in India, as there is a market for used products that can be recycled and upcycled, said Devangshu Dutta, Founder-Chief Executive, Third Eyesight.
When people move cities, countries, there are a number of products that are used for a short time and have not lived their full life-cycle, and refurbished goods players come to their aid. However, he said, it is all about peer-to-peer trust.
“If the platform stands by some kind of a guarantee, it will improve that transaction and increase the number of transactions. Else, it does not matter who is doing it. Just because Flipkart is a known name, it won’t find it easy navigating this space,” Dutta added.
The Flipkart advantage
The post-purchase warranty of three to twelve months for each product would be serviced through an extensive network of service centres across India, said Flipkart’s Krishnamurthy. “Additionally, users will always be assured of convenience in payments and logistics,” he added.
Flipkart’s new move toward refurbished goods is a good experiment on its part, said sector specialists. Indian consumers want to own good products but a large number of them have low purchasing power. Beyond the pre-owned two-wheeler and four-wheeler market, there aren’t many platforms which cater to this need. At best, single brand players remain an exchange platform, they said.
But the challenge for Flipkart is to ensure quality. “Customers want goods to perform and will need after-sales services, as original equipment manufacturers won’t be able to provide warranties with the product out of the warranty period. And with products being refurbished, no manufacturer can provide guarantees. Flipkart has the advantage, with technology and logistics. 2GUD is a good opportunity but execution will be the key [to the platform’s success],” said Arvind K Singhal, CMD, Technopak.
Written BySuneera Tandon
Earlier this month, IKEA arrived in India with a 400,000 square feet store, 7,500 products, and big expansion plans.
But it left out one key thing: its iconic print catalogue.
The 300-page catalogue is a shopper’s go-to guide for the entire product range that the world’s largest furniture retailer sells. The 2018 IKEA catalogue has over 200 million printed copies, ranking it alongside the Bible, the Koran, and the Harry Potter series as one of the world’s most-distributed books.
The breakfast cereal segment in India is expected to grow to Rs 2,610 crore by 2020, as per estimates by research firm Euromonitor International
Written By Priyanka Golikeri
Nestle India is the newest brand to dish out a cup of breakfast cereals. The Swiss multinational company has rolled out Nesplus, a range of cereals made from oats and traditional Indian cereals like rice, wheat and jowar, with flavours to entice Indian taste-buds.
This move by Nestle to enter the ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast segment which primarily consists of cereals rolled into cornflakes, wheat flakes and muesli reflects the shifting behaviour of the millennial consumer and the increasing acceptance of the market towards a packet of cereals as a breakfast option.
Experts say like the ready-to-cook (RTC) breakfast options such as upma/poha mixes and idli/dosa batters, breakfast cereals is gaining popularity as a niche category for it is positioned under the segment that requires absolutely no cooking.
“Since it is about simply pouring the cereals in a cup, adding milk and consuming, the convenience factor rides high. Working professionals, especially those under 30-35 years who are low on time and cooking skills, tend to focus more on work and leisure, and are driven to breakfast cereals,” says Devangshu Dutta from consulting firm Third Eyesight.
The breakfast cereal segment in India is expected to grow to Rs 2,610 crore by 2020, as per estimates by research firm Euromonitor International.
Kellog’s, the first entrant into this segment way back in 1994, dominates breakfast cereals with a 37% share. PepsiCo India, Dr.Oetkers and Bagrry’s are the other notable brands in breakfast cereals.
Although the number of known brands per se is still limited, experts say for a new entrant to make a mark, the positioning and marketing has to be crafted intelligently since the Indian palate overall is still greatly focused on traditional Indian breakfasts and their RTC options.
“Our internal data records sourced from over 150 million food logs show that overall breakfast is the unhealthiest meal of the day with least protein consumption. Cereals account for around 4% of our users’ breakfast logs with traditional breakfast constituting 16%. The remainder consists of bread, beverages, etc., Idli, dosa, upma are greatly popular than cereals,” says Tushar Vashisht, co-founder and CEO, HealthifyMe, a health and fitness app.
In such a scenario, say experts, brands should be clever enough while positioning their product and should refrain from ruffling traditional mindsets by reiterating that their bag of cereals is far healthier and more nutritious than Indian home-made breakfasts. “Brands should position their cereals as a breakfast option high on the convenience and fun factors, while also being healthy. The fact that Nestle has utilised jowar, wheat and rice which is typically eaten in any Indian household, works in their favour,” say experts. Nestle has emphasised that their cereals remain crunchy even in warm milk, which experts say is another attempt by the brand to appeal to Indian consumers who prefer warm milk and hot breakfasts over cold options. “For brands, cereal is a dynamic market with a niche consumer segment. Cereals need to be viewed as a separate breakfast category, aside from RTC mixes and batters that cater to a segment slightly older than millennials. For millennials, anything requiring cooking and spending time in the kitchen, which includes RTC mixes and batters, can become a friction point,” says Dutta.
Hello Green, a brand of healthy meal packs, is introducing RTE steel-cut oats that would require mere pouring of hot water and no cooking. “Millennials will consume options like oatmeal when the delivery mechanisms and flavours appeal to them. Ready-to-eat oats with skimmed milk powder in various flavours can make a super-fast and easy breakfast option. The millennial time conserving habits will play a role in this breakfast cereal category,” says Sunjay Ghai, CEO, Hello Green by Revofit.
However, certain experts feel that irrespective of millennial consumption patterns, breakfast cereals will only be used as a substitute to mainstream Indian traditional breakfasts. Kartik Singhal, VP-Sales, Sattviko, which is into sattvik foods, says cereals cannot be enjoyed on a regular basis. “In general, RTC mixes and batters will continue to hold an edge over breakfast cereals. Moreover, the traditional Indian breakfast will be always preferred since it is preservative free.”
Written By Athira Nair & Apurva P
As fashion ecommerce attracts more investments and startups, YourStory looks into the space which is evolving every day.
For all the hype about ecommerce, and how it makes shopping convenient, fact remains that no major online shopping platform is profitable as yet. Flipkart, being acquired by US retailer Walmart shows that even though valuations may go into billions, profitability remains elusive. Erstwhile ecommerce unicorn Snapdeal or India’s largest online marketplace ShopClues are not doing any better either.
Be it market conditions, or lack of sustainable business models, it is not just horizontal marketplaces that are struggling. In the retail category, fashion enjoys the highest margins, yet none of the fashion-focused ecommerce players have made it big either. Flipkart-owned Myntra is the indisputable market leader in fashion ecommerce, but is yet to show any profit. While Myntra touched $1 billion GMV and opened hi-tech offline stores, smaller fashion ecommerce players have evolved with the times as well. Many have moved on from the regular retailer or marketplace models to more innovative idea for better customer engagement. YourStory looks into some of the prominent players who have pivoted or grown into newer models. FYND: What happened to Shopsense? When Farooq Adam, Harsh Shah and Sreeraman MG launched Shopsense in 2012, their aim was to bridge the gap between the ease and convenience of click retail, with the touch-and-feel experience of brick retail. Shopsense had a range of products that brands could use to improve customer experience. For instance, a shopper could browse through the entire range on a screen at a shop, and filter inside the store very easily. The startup would charge retail stores a monthly fixed fee of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. (Less the number of stores, more the price, and vice versa, as they were charging for the engagement they created.)
The startup, which offered product-as-a-service, notched up clients like Lee, Satya Paul, Anita Dongre, Flying Machine, and Being Human. But in early 2016, Shopsense became FYND, when the team realised that if it had to scale up the business, they need other avenues. FYND Market Place and FYNDStore were the result of this thought process.
“FYND seemed more accessible, and easy-to-implement from the retailers’ perspective as there was no additional capex required. The omnichannel technology behind this remains the same and hence it seemed logical to pivot Shopsense to FYND,” says Harsh.
FYNDStore helps owners save sales due to unavailability of a product. Harsh claims that they are adding 6-10 percent sales to a brand’s total sales.
“For store associates, additional sales directly result in additional incentives,” he adds. The FYND app has around 10 million downloads and 1.5 lakh visitors on the website every month.
In India, omnichannel is still at a nascent stage. With the growing internet penetration and retail expansion in India, the market looks promising. “Moreover, not many companies provide this service in India and we took the first mover advantage to fill the market gap. In between the vision to explore the unexplored in India and driving the store sales, we came up with omnichannel model,” says Harsh.
There are multiple perks of having an inventory model:
1. No warehousing cost involved
2. No stock transfers within stores which saves the operational hassle for brands
3. Fast delivery (in 2-3 days) as products are picked up from the stock point nearest to the customer
4. Most of the orders are fulfilled from the same state
The Google-backed company works with 330 brands, including Steve Madden, Juicy Couture, DC Shoes, Brooks Brothers, Superdry, GAS, House of Anita Dongre (AND, Global Desi), Cotton World, Being Human etc.
Backend changes for pivoting
For the above mentioned players, transformation of this scale has demanded massive changes in the backend too. For instance, it took four months to make the necessary changes in the backend when ShopSense turned into FYND – with focus on payment, commerce and logistics. Earlier, there were different apps for individual brands; now it is all merged to a single application. (FYND app is for end-consumers, and FYNDstore is for store managers, store associates and store owners.) Harsh says that while evolving, they had to let go of their previous team and add a few members for roles and functions like customer support, logistics, payments, commerce, market-places etc. While hiring, they were looking for problem solvers with experience in commerce, market-places, payments etc. The team has now grown from 32 members to 103 members. In Roposo’s case, Mayank says, it was only about data in the back-end. He elaborates, “Earlier on the platform, there was content from users and the products associated with the content. Now there are only users and their posts. Then and now, everything is broken down into data. The only change was to create a base experience for vernacular users.” Roposo app now provides video creation tools using which anyone can create videos. It also has augmentative reality (AR) on the platform which was launched this year in the first quarter. For Zapyle too, there were back-end changes as it converted from a marketplace model. Earlier, it had only an app where people uploaded their closet by creating a profile. Also, it was only user-generated content at the time. Today, Zapyle generates content and user-generated content accounts for only 20-30 percent of the total. “While moving from tech-oriented to a product-driven platform, we had to hire people in design, sales. Under private label, we hired designers, merchandisers. We plan to raise investment for private label next,” says Rashi. So what is missing? The answer is – much. If one were to look into Myntra, which has always stayed ahead in the game, there are some striking differentiations. According to retail expert Devangshu Dutta, CEO at Third Eyesight management consultancy, from an early stage, Myntra focussed on merchandising from the point of view of the product rather than the point of view of numbers only. “While the online business in India was driven by discounts, it focussed on developing a range and became a destination for the consumer seeking fashion. Myntra maintained this throughout,” he says.
The rapidly growing market demands e-tailers to clearly stand out and be the brand that consumers can connect with using certain attributes like quality, variety etc. Devangshu believes that one should make sure that the bulk of the business is coming from non-discounted sales. “This is one of the biggest problems that online retailers face in the Indian market. The customers are so accustomed to discounted deals with brands that it is virtually impossible to make a profitable business,” he says. One should figure out what suits their business model, product mix, and the customers the best, rather than blindly following buzzwords like omnichannel, he adds. Fashion ecommerce 2.0 The next chapter in the story of fashion ecommerce in India is being written by re-selling platforms like Shopperts and Shop101, and entrepreneurs who solely depend on social media. Online and offline discovery of fashion points have also taken a new step with platforms like Findow, Seenit, and MyBataz. While rental and pre-owned fashion market is growing, consolidation and swivelling have been prominent over the last couple of years. For instance, ecommerce marketplace Limeroad – founded in 2012 and which has $50 million in funding – was focused on women’s fashion from day one, but expanded to include men’s fashion recently. Similarly, Mumbai-based online seller of cosmetics Nykaa now caters to male customers through its new platform Nykaamen, while also selling designer clothes on its main platform. Notably, in India, so far the only ecommerce models that have scaled are the marketplace ones. Although more different models will continue to come up, Devangshu believes that whatever the model, the platform has to take ownership of the consumer. “ For example, a consumer will be approaching a market place as if it is the retailer. So the retailer has to curate and ensure that the product makes the service experience and it has to be differentiated from the others,” he explains. India is yet to see anything remotely close to the China models of convergence of social, entertainment and ecommerce. If anything, we use social networks like FB for that. According to branding expert and angel investor Meeta Malhotra, if convergence is the future, who is best positioned to deliver this new ecommerce model – will it be Facebook adding ecommerce to its social platforms? She believes that the early success of Instagram shopping certainly seems to indicate this. “Then you will have the behemoths like Amazon and Walmart / Flipkart who will use sheer scale to consolidate their positions,” she says. But where does this leave individual ecommerce companies? They will have to answer two questions: 1) Why should the customer buy from them? 2) Do they have a sustainable business model? As Meeta says, time and again, smaller brands arise and disrupt incumbents. But it is the sharply focused value propositions that appeal to customers. Read more at: https://yourstory.com/2018/08/quest-profitability-fashion-ecommerce-platforms-sprout-new-models
Written By Vishal Krishna
Years after it started researching India, Swedish retail giant Ikea launches large format store in India; CEO says community is ‘priority’.
Swedish furniture giant Ikea threw open its doors to India on Wednesday with the launch of its premier store in Hyderabad. Spread over 400,000 square feet, the Hyderabad store – flaunting the trademark blue and yellow colours – is the €30 billion global retailer’s first step towards winning a huge customer base in India.
Ikea has currently invested Rs 10,500 crore in India and has spent half that amount – one of the single biggest investments in the country since Future Group, Reliance Retail, and Aditya Birla More announced similar investments in 2006. The Hyderabad store involved an investment of Rs 1,000 crore.
Jespersen Brodin, CEO, Ikea Group, said, “Ikea has partnered with local manufacturers and has a long-term commitment to India. Our products will be inspiring, affordable, and convenient for Indian customers.”
The Hyderabad store offers 7,500 products, employs 950 workers directly and 1,500 people indirectly. The furniture company aims to open similar outlets in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi in the next two years. By 2025, the plan is to debut 25 stores in India, some in a newer small format. Ikea has an ambitious target of reaching 40 cities and 200 million people, but did not specify timelines.
Peter Betzel, CEO, Ikea India, said: “We have laid a strong foundation here in India. For us, the community is a very important priority.”
Ikea, which reported revenues of $39 billion in 2017 globally, exports €350 million of product from India and has 50-plus suppliers.
The key highlights of Ikea in India:
Retail expansion in Maharashtra, Karnataka, NCR, Telangana.
Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Chennai, and Kolkata to have stores by 2025
Plot size of 8-11 acres for store to be set up.
1,000 workers per store
44 percent women workers in store
1,000 SKUs under Rs 200
Full-service offer – in-house and outsourced assemblers, pick-up and delivery, home planning consultants.
1,200 women artisans 380,000 cotton farmers work on cotton production for Ikea products
Skilling of 1 million women in retail and entrepreneurship through the Disha Foundation