India’s Zopper, backed by marquee investors such as Tiger Global, Blume Ventures and Nirvana Ventures Advisors, is an on-demand (mobile) marketplace for consumer durables and home appliances. Started in December 2012 by Neeraj Jain and Surjendu Kuila, Zopper has established itself as a brand in a short span of time majorly because of a differentiated business model. It lets the customer compare prices from local stores and delivers them the goods within 24 hours. But it was not the same two years ago! Zopper was primarily known as Reviews42, but has since had a change of heart, or business model.
From reviews to actual purchase tool
Until July-August 2014, Zopper operated as a price-comparison website, known for its user-generated product reviews. But it could be monetised, Jain said in an earlier discussion with Retailer. The problem, he said, was getting a brand to pay for advertisement, especially if a user had negatively reviewed about the brand’s product.
When the model did not work, Jain and Kuila decided to focus on price comparison on products for customers. It not only focused on products available with various eCommerce websites, but also on their price with local retailers who sold those products. Why Zopper created a buzz is the market was due to its price comparison tool that included local retailers in addition to online shops. In the process, Zopper shifted its web platform to a mobile platform, as the search results had to be based on user’s location. “With the growth of mobile users, it became viable to build a business model around offline stores,” Jain told Retailer.
A pivot or a step in natural progression
For Zopper, it was not really a pivot, it was like evolution and adding sellers was more important than adding layers of payments and logistics to turn it into a hyperlocal marketplace said Jain,
Zopper is an important start-up today, as it is the only hyperlocal company which is catering to electronics and larger appliances market. “We are certainly the largest hyperlocal eCommerce company in this space and in terms of GMV across various hyperlocal verticals. We did it on the basis of lots of innovation. We are building a very unique model of product and services which has made us completely differentiated from rest of the players,” asserted Jain. The app has a listing of more than 15,000 merchants, and is operational in 20 cities. “Our goal is to launch 100 (plus) cities and go global in 2016,” added Jain.