Group buying sites, discounted fashion brand retailers and specialized online stores dominate the list of 20 hottest e-commerce start-ups, according to a study conducted by Dataquest, the flagship publication of CyberMedia, south Asia’s largest specialty publisher.
In what it calls the second coming of e-commerce, Dataquest elaborates on how and why online retail is picking up in India, after a false start some ten years back.
The list of 20 hottest e-commerce sites is based on research carried out by Dataquest, in partnership with SapientNitro, one of the leading interactive agencies in the world and JuxtConsult, the leading Indian firm researching in Internet and web related areas.
The list presented by Dataquest is based on three broad parameters--business model, user experience, and traction. The companies in alphabetical order are 20north.com, 99labels.com, Bindaasbargain.com, Buytheprice.com, Caratlane.com, Dealsandyou.com, Fashionandyou.com, Flipkart.com, Indiangiftsportal.com, Infibeam.com, Inkfruit.com, Magazinemall.in, Myntra.com, Naaptol.com, Perfume2order.com, Playgroundonline.com, Snapdeal.com, Taggle.com, Timtara.com and Yebhi.com (earlier bigshoebazaar.com). The magazine has not published the ranking.
“While we are seeing Indian e-commerce start-ups replicate the same models that have been successful in developed markets like the United States, they have adapted the models to suit Indian needs,” said Shyamanuja Das, Editor, Dataquest, who led a team of researchers.
Examples of such adjustment includes accepting cash on delivery as a payment method, working with multiple logistics partners to reach out to different parts of India, returning products that do not meet expectations and so on.
The Dataquest list is based on rating of companies on three broad parameters: business model, user experience and actual traction. The business model score of a site was derived from estimated actual revenue, positioning, funding received, and their relative positioning within a category. The user experience score was arrived at through rating of the sites on 26 sub parameters by the SapientNitro team. While these two broad parameters accounted for 40% weightage each, 20% weightage was assigned to the traction score—which was arrived from the users and page view data, available from Google Analytics.
The research followed a two-phase elimination process before rating about 60 companies on all the above mentioned parameters.
The final list was validated by the team comprising Sudhindra Venkateshamurthy, Head of Experience Design, SapientNitro who led the user experience research; Mrutyunjaya Mishra, Director, JuxtConsut who contributed to business model research and Shyamanuja Das, Editor of Dataquest who led the entire research.
Alphabetic List of Dataquest 20 Hottest eCommerce Sites
While 20north.com, launched in 2008, gets products from the US for Indian buyers, while 99labels.com, is a members-only sales site for luxury fashion brands launched in 2010. Targeted at the impulse buyers, Bindaasbargain follows ‘One Deal A Day Concept’ under which products are sold to retail consumers at wholesale prices and usually allows each user to buy 3 of each item.
Set up in December 2009 electronic appliances website, Buytheprice.com, is based on the model that the more demand you create, the lesser you pay for the product.
Launched in 2008 online retailer of diamonds, Caratlane.com, combines the advantages of an offline and an online site—the trust enjoyed by a three-city brick and mortar diamond store that offers 5-15 per cent lower prices online.
A group buying portal, Dealsandyou.com, provides discounts on services and products. Set up by Harish Bahl and Group Buying Global AG in June 2010, the site has an outreach of over 1.5 million members. The site has secured ‘Series A’ funding from Group Buying Global AG.
Fashionandyou.com, is already transforming the online business space with innovative consumer driven approach, providing great bargains on the most sought after fashion and luxury brands of the world. Just 11 months old, the site has secured funding of $8 million from Sequoia Capital. The site has 8 lakh members and gets about 3 lakh visitors and 2,500 orders every day. It is also a member of Brand Alliance, formed by major private sales companies in Brazil, India, Russia and Switzerland.
Flipkart.com is among the top 3 in each of the research parameters: business model, user experience, and traction. Launched by IIT-ians Sachin and Binny Bansal, Flipkart.com sells books at low prices with free shipping, and has over 6 million titles listed across all categories.
Headquartered in Lucknow, Indiangiftsportal.com delivers gifts across the world. The portal has a wide range of Indian handicrafts which are procured from regional manufacturers.
Ahmedabad-based Infibeam.com was launched in 2007 as a B2C online shopping portal for books, and has now expanded into handsets, consumer electronics, used cars and bike classifieds, etc. In terms of business, it is among the top e-commerce sites in India and competes with the likes of eBay, Indiatimes Shopping, Rediff Shopping and Homeshop18.
Launched by IIT Bombay alumni Kashyap Dalal and Navneet Rai as a customized t-shirt selling site, Inkfruit.com challenges its users with design contests from time-to-time. It is involved in buying and co-creation. Besides t-shirts, buyers can also try other products like mugs, posters, and calendars. While the company raised a round of angel investment, it has to raise further funds to create marketing impact.
Magazinemall.in entered the Dataquest list primarily because of its user experience score. It provides online subscription of magazines at one place. Within a year of its inception it has entered into agreements with more than 37 publishing groups covering more than 200 publication titles across various categories.
The customized gifts and merchandise site myntra.com, is a brainwave of 6 IIT-IIM graduates. In 2009 Myntra stepped into the real e-commerce and retail arena for creating or buying customized and personalized merchandize such as t-shirts, mugs, calendars, watches, notepads, and so on. Myntra offers the option to pay cash on delivery of products, which is a bit hit. Myntra has raised 3 rounds of funding. And has over 4 lakh Facebook fans and serves over 1,000 orders per day.
Established in January 2008, Naaptol.com boasts to be the first comparison based social shopping portal in India which sells consumer electronic goods, laptops, mobiles, cameras, LCD TVs, and home appliances. The website lets users find the latest deals and the lowest prices available in the market. The site has over 50,000 offers listed across a wide range of categories and hopes to clock Rs.140 crore revenue this year.
Perfume2order lets the consumer buy choicest perfume brands, sitting in the comfort of one’s home in Jaisalmer or Guntur. Promoted by entrepreneur and NRI Pramod Raghav, perfume2order offers competitive choice of about 125 designer perfumes and 450 brands spanning over 3,500 fragrances.
Playgroundonline.com, a sports equipment and apparels site, is popular for FIFA and IPL merchandise. Founded in 2008 customers can search any particular product by category, so it has focused on refining the search experience of the users.
SnapDeal is the leader in the hottest category of ecommerce models: group buying. Founded by Jasper Infotech in 2010, a coupon player, SnapDeal sells everything from dining to beauty packages, health services to lifestyle products, holiday packages to movie tickets. SnapDeal attracts 500,000 visitors everyday, and more than 600,000 subscribers to its daily deal newsletters. On the ground too, it has tie-ups with 50,000 merchants across 30 cities in India, and has also extended services to 5 overseas locations.
Set up in February 2010 the site has already attracted a round of angel and a round of institutional funding from NEA IndoUS Ventures.
In the e-commerce space, dotted by young entrepreneurs, Taggle stands out in terms of management depth. Its co-founders have all come with decades of experience
The company started in June 2010, has already got funding of $8.75 mn from Battery Ventures and Greylock Partners —one of the highest in the e-commerce space in India.
Launched in April 2010 by Arindam Bose, Timtara.com is an online retail venture of InfoSecure Consulting that wants to change the shape of Internet retail. It offers products across 15 different categories such as mobiles and accessories, consumer durables, home appliances, apparel, health and hygiene, entertainment, telebrands, and more.
Yebhi.com, started in 2009 as bigshoebazaar.com, sells shoes online and has taken a bottom-up approach in growing inventory. Promoted by Kanpur-based shoe trader, Danish Ahmed, who hails from a shoe manufacturing family, Yebhi’s is one of the top Indian online retail sites by users and traffic. Knowing that size is often a big issue with shoes, it encourages its users to buy 2 sizes and return one.
To ensure that the list is actually that of Indian e-commerce start-ups, Dataquest excluded certain categories of online retailers. They are
1. all brand-owned sites (like Amway and Dell)
2. all non-Indian companies selling in India.(like eBay and Tradus)
3. media sites whose primary revenue is not e-commerce (like Indiatimes Shopping, Sify Shopping, Bagittoday, Homeshop18)
5. primarily service sellers such as travel sites, insurance sites, online photo printing sites, and ticket booking sites.
6. and to call the start-ups, the magazine considered companies operational on or after 1st January 2007.
( This is a press release )