Although based out of Chennai, hyperlocal B2C platform Demoport is intended to reach out to customers pan-India. Launched in June 2015, it enables buyers to quickly discover and connect with genuine local sellers of their chosen products. Through a seamless convergence of online-offline platforms, Demoport delivers a highly personalized and reassuring online shopping experience.
Founder & CEO, MV Praveen brings to the table years of sales experience, with different companies and also his own entrepreneurial ventures (including manufacturing and marketing water and air purifiers under Kelvinator brand in India and Sri Lanka).
In this IOS exclusive interview, Praveen tells us the story of their hyperlocal ecommerce journey and the challenges and developments associated with it.
Enabling pre-sales engagements is one. Demoport has already gone ahead with that. We enable two types of engagement based on the products:
1. Products that need a pre-sales discussion between buyers and sellers (B2C products, B2B segments like office, education, hospitality, healthcare, construction)
2. Products that may or may not need pre-sales engagement (Popular consumer products like electronics, appliances, mobiles, computers and other similar products)
Hyperlocal marketplaces, probably, may not be able to offer the range of products that are offered by the conventional online marketplaces.
For now, our marketing campaigns are confined to select digital media. ie., Social Media, Emails and SMS. However, we also have a network of Independent Associates who promote Demoport offline.
The present online shopping model has visible gaps. While the volumes are growing, only a few product categories are bought online in a big way. i.e., mobiles, laptops, tablets, computers, accessories, books, apparels, footwear, lifestyle items. Market observations and Media info reveal that a majority of shoppers are still wary about buying high value products online and prefer going the offline mode.
We are aiming to address these apprehensions by mimicking the offline buying processes and also give the convenience of online shopping. A capital-efficient and scalable model, Demoport enables a seamless convergence of online and offline platforms to deliver a better performance.
We don’t. Demoport is a pure play marketplace model where the sellers handle the order fulfillment directly. However, our Operations Team coordinates and monitors the process.
Assumption: Sellers will be more meticulous about order fulfillment since it involves their reputation in the local market.
Yes. We have a dedicated Customer Care Team to resolve customer queries / issues.
To cover 200 Tier I and Tier II cities in India by the end of 2016
High competition is a challenge. The biggies in the industry have already acquired a larger-than-life image and fighting with them for market share is a real task at hand. But then the market is growing exponentially and there is space for efficient players. Operational efficiency is the next big challenge. As we scale up, we will need to expand our team with the right people and that needs to happen at a frenzy pace.
Not drawbacks really. Every business model has limitations. New models evolve and emerge from these limitations. Conventional Ecommerce (1.0) serves well for many product categories. However, it has its own challenges. ie., Logistics, Delivery Delays, Transit damages, after-sales issues. These challenges are highly pronounced when it comes to bulky and large products. Except for the convenience factor, M-Commerce is just an extension of Ecommerce 1.0.
From here emerged Hyperlocal Ecommerce (2.0) where buyers can discover and shop products online from neighborhood sellers. Hyperlocal Ecommerce went a step ahead by bringing brick and mortar stores into the online ecosystem.
Hyperlocal Online Plus Ecommerce (3.0) virtually delivers the best of both the worlds by mimicking the offline buying process and at the same time gives all the convenience of online shopping.
The Demoport team aims to leverage on their decades-old offline selling experience to bring a paradigm shift in online shopping practices in India.
After dwindling with her family business, into travel and hospitality, for more than 3 years, Pooja Vishant found her true love in writing. Happy-go-lucky and cheerful, she loves pink; so pink is the way to go if you want to get into her good books. The Associate Editor keeps track of even a leaf that has moved in the ecommerce world!