AaramShop is a hybrid retail platform that enables sales and marketing of FMCG / CPG brands to “short on time – high on stress” consumers. It enables grocery shopping by leveraging the strengths of the neighborhood retailers and integrates them with opportunities provided by the internet. AaramShop currently lists over 12k SKUs. Only branded products are listed in AaramShop; commodities and private labels are excluded from their platform.The core idea of AaramShop is to enable independent retailers, who have a physical presence, to have a web-store, which allows them to connect better with modern consumers.
Head-quartered in New Delhi, AaramShop is a small team of techies and marketers that have been operational since a little less than a year. Over 1900 retailers across 26 cities in India use AaramShop as their preferred commerce platform. Their tie-ups with retailers are based on mutual strengths. The retailer has a time-tested local presence, which includes an ability to deliver goods to the doorstep of the consumers in his catchment area. They intend to add to this strength with the increased accessibility of the shop on web and mobile devices. This is done at no additional cost to the retailer.
The business model of AaramShop is different from most e-commerce sites, as they do not believe that transaction based revenues is the way to go in the grocery category at the moment.
AaramShop does not make revenues on taking part of the margins made by the grocers; rather, they have created a number of premium services that are offered to brands. These services are in various genres like, advertising options, on and off the platform, analytical led marketing and marketing at the retail point. The idea behind this unconventional and unique business model is that AaramShop does not disrupt the existing business practices and thereby ensures no escalation of costs.
The market size for AaramShop is considerably huge. Every household needs to buy groceries on a month on month basis – it is large and consistent share of wallet of an urban house hold. The market size is estimated to be over 300 billion USD and growing at over 18%. Over 90% of this market is controlled by traditional trade. Of this huge market, AaramShop’s consumers are limited to urban centers, internet friendly, smart phone friendly modern consumers.
Their typical customers are the shopper – a busy urban couple who need to manage their household needs along with the pressures of a hectic work life and who end up spending the rare weekend on grocery shopping rather than relaxing and enjoying themselves; the neighborhood retailer – who services about 500 households in his catchment area and has a strong bond with the consumers, but his business is completely offline and there is a crying need to take it online; and the FMCG brands that consumers love to buy for their daily needs. These brands are looking at more and more ways to make themselves available to their consumers.
“There are no similar operators in the market and our USP is that AaramShop is not a competitor to the local grocer. It is a business enabler and an accelerator for his business,” says Founder, Vijay Singh.
AaramShop was founded by Vijay Singh, who, as an entrepreneur, has a deep focus and passion for brand marketing. Prior to starting AaramShop, he had founded a marketing services agency called Sercon, which he ran for 15 years before exiting the venture after its sale to a strategic investor.
While working closely with the brands and retailers, the business idea of AaramShop gradually came into being. He, however, believes that it is an evolving idea. The logic being that the consumer has changed in his lifestyle and buying habits – therefore, the businesses need to follow the consumer.
Self funded for now, their greatest challenge is to present a rather complex initiative in a very simple manner to the consumer/shopper, so that it gets easily adopted as a normal practice.
“Grocery purchase is a must do chore, rarely fun and very repetitive. However, we notice that when shopping online, the basket size is larger and consists of a wider array of goods. AaramShop is all about making brands more accessible to the consumers, even when they are on their social networks, or when they are browsing through their mobile devices. While it is still very early, over time it will become the standard way to shop!” Vijay concludes.
“Grocery purchase is a must do chore, rarely fun and very repetitive. However, we notice that when shopping on online the basket size is larger and consists of a wider array of goods. AaramShop is all about making brands more accessible to the consumers, even when they are on their social networks, or when they are browsing through their mobile devices. While it is still very early days, however, over time it will become the standard way to shop!” Vijay concludes.
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