Do you consider yourself a techno-geek and have fantasised about owning a gesture-controlled universal smart remote like the Phaser on Star Trek? With a variety of smart gadgets from around the world, Bengaluru-based ecommerce platform, Desiredesire, aims to cater to a niche audience.
I was looking to buy a new phone case for my OnePlus 5 and most of the choices on Flipkart and Amazon were too mainstream for my ‘geeky taste’. An email in my inbox diverted me to the niche ecommerce platform - Desiredesire. The company name didn’t appeal to me much, but its description as an ‘anti-ordinary’ store and the products on offer did.
Horizontal ecommerce players like Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall have the ability to offer customers an ‘almost unlimited variety’ of products, thanks to millions of sellers on their platforms. But this can lead to ‘analysis paralysis’, where consumers, who are spoilt for choice, get more confused and are unable to decide what to buy.
This also opens the virtual cash registers for niche ecommerce platforms that can cater to specific tastes of people or their personas. Desiredesire is an e-commerce platform that is aimed at techno-geeks. Here is its story.
In mid-2016, Praveen Krishnaiah,Tony Lawrence and Atul Jalan co-founded Desiredesire, an ecommerce destination for unique products designed to accessorise and enhance the smartphone.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, Desiredesire was in beta for almost a year. The goal was to understand the market and also engage in partnerships to source the right kind of products. The ecommerce platform has now expanded beyond smartphones and provides customers with sophisticated, luxury, and technogeek products.
Praveen, an alumnus of Bangalore University, has two decades of work experience, having worked at companies like BPL, QSupport Technologies, Proactivenet, and Iseva Technologies. His experience is mainly in the fields of adventure sports, sports-marketing, management, strategic planning, sales and marketing, and technology.
Praveen also has prior startup experience. He was co-founder of Knewcleus, a SaaS collaboration platform for schools and professionals in the education sector. He also founded XtremeZone, an outfit for all things related to adventure sports in India.
As CEO, Praveen oversees every aspect of its operations, from curating merchandise to managing the whole business, supported by his marketing and technical team. Desiredesire currently consists of a team of 12 across different roles. With a great passion for curating ‘anti-ordinary products’ centred around smartphones, smart gadgets, and other technogeek products, his venture means to spread a refined shopping experience for the Indian market.
While Praveen declined to share Desiredesire’s current sales volume, he noted that its average ticket size per order was around Rs 1500. Praveen noted,
Our unique collection of products combines the latest in the smartphone technology with elegant design to serve as a useful product with a fashionable finish. Their range of phone covers, speakers, headphones, smart gadgets stand out because of their aesthetics and innovations.
DesireDesire’s approach to smartphone accessories such as phone cases showcases the startup’s thought process. Users can customise filters to search for phone cases across categories like classic art, contemporary fashion, zodiac signs.
Apart from Smart sound and Smart gadgets, DesireDesire also stands out with their ‘Collector edition’ suite of products. Praveen noted that their products are sourced from partnerships with manufacturers and partners from India and 18 countries worldwide.
Some of the interesting products currently available on Desiredesire include:
Given their focus, niche ecommerce platforms have been able to thrive by creating a fan base and offering unique products at above market prices. Horizontal ecommerce, on the other hand, has mostly become about price wars with products being offered at competitive prices and lower margins.
Some of the interesting players in niche ecommerce in India include NotSoShabby, that focusses on lifestyle and home decor products; PropShop24, a gifting platform; BigSmall that lists about 350 products at a time and focuses on quirky gifts ; and Sick Pluto, which focusses on fashion and lifestyle.
According to a November 2017 report, the Global Mobile Phone Accessories Market is poised to grow strong during the forecast period, 2017 to 2025. In India alone, Future Market Insights has forecast that this market could reach a valuation of about $3.5 billion. This growth can be attributed to rapid urbanisation and increasing disposable income of the population.
With smartphone prices dropping and society becoming increasingly digital, this market is expected to continue growing to increase the utility of the smartphone and accessories.
Currently bootstrapped, Desiredesire aims to go deeper into this segment, increase its order volumes and partner with more manufacturers across the world. Apart from focusing on end consumers (B2C), Desiredesire is also looking at the corporate gifting space, which Technopak (Retail Consulting ) estimates to be a Rs 12000 crore market that is growing at 200 percent annually.