A unique marketing platform, Mr Raj Iyer speaks at length about how Groopoffers works and how has it proved beneficial to the small/mid-sized businesses in terms of investment and its presence in different verticals
Samrita Baruah (SB): Since you are a newly launched company formed in 2011, how do you aspire to be different from other e-commerce companies? How many SKUs you offer?
Raj Iyer (RI): Groopoffers was launched in March 2011 in the Group buying space. The uniqueness of groopoffers.com lies in the fact that we are present in almost all verticals where the concept of Group Buying can be utilised such as social deals, product deals, properties, travel, second homes etc. Very soon we are foraying into automobiles and Fashion as well. No other site has yet tried to or implemented all these categories on this scale.
SB: How do you market your deals? What kind of marketing strategies do you employ to pull in more and more customers?
RI: As of now, we use SMS/email marketing as well as active presence in the social media sector such as FB, Twitter, Google Buzz etc along with SEO/SEM to spread the word around. We also have a unique 3-2-1 referal program like none other wherein every registered customer gets 3% on the sales of the 1st member he has referred, 2% on the second member he has referred and 1% on the third referral.
SB: How are your business clients going to benefit from the discount offers that you offer?
RI: Group buying is a unique marketing platform in the sense that a business pays only when they receive results through footfalls. This is something which every small/mid sized business has been yearning for a long time. Adverts in print media and offline media results in massive upfront investments with no guaranteed ROI, whereas in group buying there is no upfront investment, visible ROI and payment of commission only on results. Importantly a local business is known only in the circles or a small radius where they are present in, but by using our platform they get known all over the city. This results in new customers sampling your wares and they are being repeated over a period of time.
SB: With the festive season starting very soon, are you introducing any special offers or deals for your customers?
RI: At Groopoffers.com this is a continuous process and for every festival there are special offers keeping the festival theme in mind.
SB: Which are the cities you are present in currently? Are you planning to expand your business further? What's your science of managing the inventory?
RI: We are present in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. We expect to foray into 14 cities within the next 2 months.
We do not have inventories or warehouses. All goods are shipped directly by the vendors themselves straight to the customers using established Courier services. This keeps our costs down.
SB: How long do you usually run a particular deal? How do you decide on how long will a deal run?
RI: Each deal runs for 3 days on our site irrespective of whether it is doing very well or not. The intention is to keep the site loaded with fresh content at all times.
SB: What are the modes of payment you offer to your customers?
RI: Credit card/debit card/RTGS, all other pre loaded cards available in the market like Itz; COD [Cash on delivery] is in the process of being implemented.