New consumption patterns & business models would come up this year

Traditional retail models haven\'t been able to reach out to markets, observes Manav Sethi, Group CMO, Askme.com.
New consumption patterns would come up
Traditional retail models haven't been able to reach out to markets, observes Manav Sethi, Group CMO, Askme.com.  And SMEs have always needed to reach out length and breadth of the country and that's what Askme as an online platform strives to achieve, affirms Sethi. 
 
How your brand resonates with the needs of modern consumer?
Askme is evolving as a "disruptive new age consumer Internet brand" that strives to provide convenience and new level of consumer delight to today's youth. In order to appeal to modern consumers, we have built an app/platform that for the first time provided search across SMEs, Classifieds, Deals and Marketplace at one click or a call! Thus, providing potent combination of presence and performance to SMEs.  Today's youth wants to stay with or ahead of the trends and with this insight, ASKME is building its content and commerce portfolio. We have already launched askmeonfashion.com and similar destinations for Travel, Wellness and Education for contextual local commerce.
 
How the consumer has changed towards your industry/ product in the last few years? 
eCommerce is one industry that is rapidly growing in India and the reach and accessibility of the same has lured a large number of buyers and sellers towards it. With a sharp increase in the participation of consumers from tier II and tier III cities, there is a tremendous opportunity for the growth and I believe that current year would be more exciting as it would bring out new consumption patterns and business models. In fact, increase in mobile Internet penetration, adoption of smartphones and lower data rates has made the consumers engaged in online shopping even more than before. 
 
Askme has also seen a humungous growth with 10 million+ app downloaded, 40 million visits per month and around 70+ million searches per month. We also have 10000 paid advertisers net addition every month. On our marketplace, we have received 0.6 million orders in March that is expected to hit about 1 million by June this year.
 
How is eCommerce as a market for fashion products?
Fashion has been fastest growing vertical for us and for this country. We have seen it mirroring on Askme also in terms of searches and transactions. India has regional diversity in fashion and traditional retail models haven't been able to reach out to markets that didn't provide the inflexion to justify retail footprint. SMEs have always needed to reach out length and breadth of the country and that's what Askme as an online platform strives to achieve. Bringing SMEs to online consumption and creating access for geographies that witnessed deficit of choices/options!
 
Fashion as a category contributes to upwards of 30% of our searches and orders. We launched the Fashion community on Askme with the vision of creating an online destination where today's youth has access to latest trends provided by opinion leaders and also become co-creators in sharing their own fashion statement.
www.askmeonfashion.com has witnessed 300% increase in consumption in recent past. We have seen upwards of 300 boutiques uploaded on this platform where people are making their own fashion statements!
 
How physical distribution/ stores will change in your sector in the coming times? 
India mirrors global trends in offline buying as consumer research takes place on online platforms before executing a transaction. We are addressing this in more than one ways! Marketplace from Askme handholds SMEs (physical retailers) to open their storefronts (we have 25,000 today with 1.5M SKUs by June 2015, excluding books & movies) on Askmebazaar where post a click to buy (1M orders by June 2015), we take away pains of shipping and payments (including cash on delivery).
And category verticals or communities such as www.askmefashion.com allow consumers to deep dive in latest trends. These trends are in the form of videos, images and articles created by opinion leaders and commoners like you and me!
Manav Sethi,
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