Bonitto.in, an E-commerce platform with Online Bargaining - First of its kind in IndiaFrancesca Ferrario
Shopping online is quite a thing. One can browse different brands on different websites; chose colours and size; get discounts; sometimes obtain replacement and refunds. Moreover, one does this comfortably sitting on a chair, possibly on a cup of coffee or on a yummy meal, and worries only about typing the right address on the shipping module. So many marvels in one go leads to wonder what it is still left to obtain in the deal.
Well, there is still something to borrow from offline shopping experience. Hardik and Ritesh of the Bonitto.in team drew inspiration directly from Indian marketplaces and introduced on their website the possibility of bargaining.
Both Hardik and Ritesh come from Marwari business families and knew each other for 5 years before starting Bonitto.in. After graduation, Ritesh joined his family business in the textile industry; while Hardik started building his curriculum as Business Development Manager (West), Lead-Business Intelligence at an early stage start-up and four years later joined his father’s Agency in the Textile industry for a couple of weeks, before starting up Bonitto.in. The two young entrepreneurs felt that, despite the learnings and benefits that they could derive from their current careers, their ambitions were others. Their fathers were self-made men who reached the tip of success through great efforts and determination. They were models for the two young entrepreneurs who decided that they too wanted to start their own independent business.
After a couple of coffee and samosas, the idea of starting up in the clothing e-market came up. They had modest resources – they managed to start with the savings they had accumulated in the previous four years-, their laptops and a basement floor where to start their big project. But here they are, three months into business.
Bonitto. In is an online portal of Indian ethnic wears for women. Ethnic clothes were already sold online, but the market was limited because quality was not certified and there was no solution for determining whether clothes sizes would fit.
Bonitto.in will tie up with the best manufacturing houses and a quality team will check every product thoroughly before shipping, to ensure that the customer does not receive a defected item. Customers, soon, will be able to submit their measurements online in order to receive clothes individually stitched by Bonitto’s trusted tailors; and will also have the possibility to return unfitting items. Moreover, the launch of Bonitto’s own brand will ensure that customers recognise their quality easily.
The size of women ethnic wear market in India is booming. It is a 25 billion USD business and is on the rise to 30 milion in the next few years. The online domestic market is worth 3.2 billion dollar and the export is estimated to be 2 billion. There is a huge potential here. Creativity will do the rest.
Customers have been giving very positive feedback and Bonitto.in is now planning to start shipping abroad and to personalise even more the purchase of each customers by providing them with one only point of contact for managing each order and accepting custom-made requests.
And if this is not enough, the Bonitto.in team found a solution to innovate their e-shopping platform even further. Innovation does not necessarily come along with entirely new ideas. Being able to shape existing culture on new channels of expression carries the geniality of simplicity. “We Indians love to haggle, from petty pennies on the price of groceries to the larger sums when it comes to business negotiations. Negotiating what in simpler terms can be called Bargaining, as some say, is in the DNA of every Indian, a sport we all love to play. So we thought why not implement it on our platform where customers could haggle for the best price.”
The possibility to bargain not only increased the visits on the website by over three times but Bonitto.in also saw a rise of over 120% in the average time that users spent on the website. The bounce rate dropped by 30% whereas pages per session increased by 200% since the implementation of this feature. Customers started making offers as they saw fit and Bonitto.in received over 2000 offers in just the first week of the feature launch. Out of that, the platform was able to close over 10% of the genuine offers.
“We believe we have something really interesting in our hands and it could help us not just change the way a user shops online but also restore there offline shopping experience which makes it more comfortable for them to make the purchase.”
The young duo is now working in a small team of four, including Krishan, former Dispatch Officer at Surat Central Mall, who takes care of Operations, Quality and Dispatch; and Bansri who deals with the platform content while preparing for her competitive exams.
Believe it or not, they are only 22 and 26 year old and with no signs of uncertainty in their expression, firmly assert that they “know where they want to be after ten years from now.” What is the receipt? “ Risk it all and do not follow conventional methods. Learn from wherever and whoever you can, may it be a chaiwala who serves over 100 offices in just over 3 hours or could be a hippie whom I crossed paths with, on one of my solo bike rides. Be Brave and Experiment – If it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done now!”