Askmebazaar expanding ecommerce strategy to include fashion and travel verticals by next year

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Home and lifestyle online marketplace Askmebazaar poured in huge investments into advertising last year, which  included roping in Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut as a brand ambassador. Recently, Askmebazaar revealed that they were trying a hyper-local model for expansion which included next day delivery service to certain cities.

We were curious to know what would be their next big move. We didn’t have to wait long as the company has announced plans to expand into the travel and fast-fashion vertical by 2016.

“We are keenly watching search queries and transactions in the entire ecosystem, and the fastest growing categories are fashion and travel,” said Manav Sethi, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Askme.com.

How askmebazaar works?

It is free to list your products on the Askmebazaar basic listing platform. The portal also works with offline retailers to assist them in jumping on board the ecommerce bandwagon, by helping them set up storefronts online and list their products. It closely follows data analytics from their site to gain a greater understanding of the market.

  •  The company has a reported 15,000 paid advertisers who pay Rs 6,000-25,000 annually for premium listings.
  • The site has around 7 lakh stock keeping units (SKUs) listed on their site, which is excluding books and movies.

Learning from e-grocery and furniture

Currently, grocery is gaining scope and gaining larger shares in the ecommerce pie, with experts claiming it to be worth as much as 60% of the overall market. Askmebazaar wants to stake its claim, along with moving in the direction of  online furniture.

Askmebazaar took over grocery offering Bestatlowest recently and plans to grow exponentially in the segment, with the aim to have half of its business coming from grocery in the next two years. It has integrated backwards to tie up with with local stores and merchants. It currently has thirty hubs in Delhi NCR and plans to expand its hyper-local delivery operations to twenty seven cities in the next six months.

Askmebazaar has acquired furniture market place Mebelkart.com also. In the next 9 months the company aims to have 50,000 furniture merchants selling on their site, which is a massive jump from the present 1,000 retailers.

Rapid diversification

Askmebazaar does not want an inventory-based model of business and is looking at strategies where it can create models with a critical mass. It is also allocating a budget of Rs.350 crore for marketing this year which could help in the quest to get into the travel and fast-fashion vertical.

Askmebazaar has expressed plans to expand its ecommerce portfolio in the online grocery sector and at the same time penetrate the fashion and travel online segments too. Will it be possible for the company to expand in all three simultaneously?

We will just have to wait and see.

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