Home and lifestyle online marketplace Askmebazaar is planning to enter fast fashion and travel verticals next year. "We are keenly watching search queries and transactions in the entire ecosystem, and the fastest growing categories are fashion and travel", Group Chief Marketing Officer, Askme.com, Manav Sethi told PTI. The Gurgaon-based Askme.com - flagship product from Getit Infomedia and Askmebazaar.com work hand-in-hand as a listing cum transaction ecosystem, he said.
"We will invest in pockets of excellence where merchants can come and sell, and we might look at acquisitions going forward", he added. The basic listing on Askme.com is free and it claims to have 15,000 paid advertisers who pay Rs 6,000-25,000 annually for premium listings. Askmebazaar helps offline merchants set up online storefronts and lists their products. "We have about 7 lakh stock keeping units (SKUs) listed on our site, excluding books and movies", Sethi said.
To sharpen its transaction business, the company uses consumer insights through data analytics based on the searches on Askme.com, and other sites, he added. "We at present do our data analytics in house but are looking to buy startups in the space", he said. The company recently acquired Mebelkart.com, a furniture marketplace and grocery offering 'Bestatlowest'. "In the grocery business, we have 30 hubs in the Delhi NCR, and have integrated backwards to tie up with various local merchants and stores", he said.
In next six months, it plans to roll out hyper-local grocery delivery operations in 27 cities, he indicated. According to experts, grocery accounts for the highest value of transactions in the e-commerce space with a share of 60 per cent, against a paltry 3-4 per cent in modern trade. "The grocery business will account for 40-50 per cent of our business in the next two years", he said.
In the furniture vertical, Askmebazaar has 1,000 merchants at present, and Sethi said this number would go up to 50,000 in the next three quarters. Askme.com is looking at a model where they can create a critical mass, and is not keen on getting into any business with inventory management, he said, adding the company has earmarked Rs 350 crore for marketing this year.
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