Naaptol dances on the cover page of RETAILER

Top Quote Naaptol is the fastest growing company in the home shopping space and offers services over multiple touch points including print, TV and internet. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 18, 2011 - Naaptol is a technology driven, customer focused virtual mall. Founded in early 2008, started as an online product research and price comparison portal, but now the company is carving niche as a home shopping business complete with the offerings, ranging from consumables, apparel, jewellery, automobiles, health equipments to hi-tech gadgets and many more.

    The team

    Manu Agarwal is actively supported in this venture by Hari Trivedi. A pioneer of this industry, Trivedi is serving his role in the capacity of the President. Yusuf Khan, a finance professional, who has been associated with Agarwal for more than a decade, is the CFO of this venture. The leadership team comprises young and energetic members looking after Media Alliances, Merchandising, Creative, Sales Centre Operations, Logistics Operations, Customer Service and Technology. This young team is enabling Naaptol to constantly come up with fresh ideas and explore areas which have not been experimented within the home shopping business. The energy in team has made Naaptol the number one home shopping company within a short span of just 18 months.

    The hallmark is being the team as young as the venture. Hence, expect all the freshness of innovations combined with energy.

    Quick Facts

    * Categories which record maximum sales: Mobiles and camcorders

    * Age group which is most active in online buying: 18- 35

    * Time of the day which records maximum sales in India: 10 am-2 pm and 6 pm-10 pm

    What's so unique about it?

    Talking about the USP of the brand, Agarwal informs that though the brand is the youngest known brand in the home shopping business, care is taken to provide the utmost quality in customer services. He elaborates, "Keeping in mind the products most sought-after by the Indian buyers, we collate the widest and deepest product mix that is well categorised. We take keen interest in picking the hottest deals with us to enable the populace to take advantage of the most discounted limited offers. We call them 'Hot Deals'. We ensure that the technology is at its peak in terms of user maturity, ie, an amateur and a frequent user would take the same amount of time to shop on Naaptol. It is a well publicised brand because of huge expenditure done on advertising "Hot Deals" in all leading dailies and TV channels across the length and breadth of the country. Therefore, would also be the most sought-after place to shop. The Last mile fulfillment ability, unlike other home shopping players, is being done by the largest logistics brands of the country. Therefore, we offer the guarantee of the best treatment to the sale process, ensuring quality and timely delivery.

    The logistics partners are carefully chosen to cover over 20,000 pin codes, giving Naaptol the widest reach in the country. The complete process - from order placement (on website or on phone), suppliers keeping the goods ready for dispatch to logistics partners delivering the goods to customers is completely automated, and this enables Naaptol to scale very quickly.

    Excellent services make up for touch and feel

    Naaptol caters to both types of customers - who are driven by impulse as through "Hot Deals" and the contemplative audience who purchase after doing considerable research. However, the primary challenge for the online retail portal is the absence of touch and feel like a brick-and-mortar store offers. But Naaptol works on detailed product description, and because of known brand presence, it ensures that the shoppers do not simply just get into a "see and buy" situation. "Additionally, the 'touch and feel' need gets satisfied with our 24x7 order line, where the customers can place orders with their preference of language and product, and customer care centre, which safeguards the warranty clause again. Our Customer Delight policies completely absorb the fact that every service rendered post-sale is given free of cost, even if it involves couriering the defective material back to our vendor. The cost is absorbed by us. These, therefore, render the need to 'see n buy'".

    Advantages and disadvantages

    The advantage of e-commerce lies in the unlimited stock of merchandise. "The brick and mortar model of retailing, which has brought brands closer to home, is limited on account of the business risk and stocking, whereas, e-commerce portals only occupy bit space, which cannot be compared. But, here, customers explore the scope of unlimited products and brand mix on e-commerce model", avers Agarwal. But, there are disadvantages too, like one of payment infrastructure, logistics footprint, credible retailers and the Internet penetration. However, the absence of wide Internet penetration gets addressed by allowing shoppers to buy on phone.

    Ensuring the smooth going

    For a successful e-commerce business, the retailer-vendors working on good terms is mandatory. "This can be ensured through personal interaction; making realistic promises of what is deliverable; constructing a close loop among vendors, the online retailer and customers without any scope of loose ends; and implementing technology which should not be a hindrance to the vendors", explains Agarwal.

    The success also comes through understanding the consumer trend. "Demand recognition should be mapped with the right product availability. Trend sets need to be studied closely and translated into offers. In fact we enable consumers to buy, sellers to sell and brands to create visibility", comments Agarwal.

    Future holds lots of potential

    Underlining the growth prospect, Agarwal comments, "E-commerce would follow the growth of modern retail in India. The complete shift of demand characteristics are governing all the phases of growth in the retail sector and hence the spillover to e-commerce. Convenience being the buzz word, e-commerce will grow, and the growth rate would attain speed with this key parameter gaining further ground.

    The huge potential is yet to be tapped. It's just begun and would see an evolution in terms of quantity and quality."

    Naaptol, therefore, is a success story of the amalgamation of understanding the customer mindset and wish for convenience combined very well with the technical, logistics and business acumen.

    The resulting product is, thus, to "see…..and think".

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