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Koovs Changes Track, From Daily Deals To General E-com Site; How, Why & When

Two-year-old Bangalore-based start-up Koovs that was positioned as a daily deal sites in India has quietly changed track and has become a general e-commerce firm selling products across some sixteen broad categories.

Although the site still offers daily deals (in a separate segment), their primary focus is now on products in various categories (which are further divided into sub categories) that include computer, mobiles, shoes, home décor, toys, bags & backpacks, home appliances, electronics, fashion, cameras, health, kitchen, gaming zone, watches, personal care and pens & diaries.

The home-page by default is the general e-com section and shows how the firm is pushing its products business much more than the deals. Deal section has been housed under a tab called Local Deals, with categories like pubs & restaurants, beauty services, training institute, events, utilities, tours & travels besides health & wellness.

In addition to a discount on the MRP, most of the products also come with a separate cash back offer of up to 25 per cent. Delivery is free and the site accepts both online payment as well as cash on delivery for the products. A random check on a few products revealed the products on offer being competitively priced compared to large horizontal or even vertical e-com players.

All in all a neat look to the site. The biggest plus we could spot was the variety of products and brands listed on the site. For instance a search on laptops threw up over 100 laptop models.

Koovs Story:

Koovs Marketing Pvt Ltd co-founded by Rajesh Kamra, Manish Tewari and Amit Shukla initially offered discounts and vouchers on a wide range of categories that include hotels, restaurants & pubs, spas, movie & drama, music classes, travel and holiday packages. It was pretty much another daily deals site.

Early last year, New Delhi-based B2B rewards and loyalty program firm BenefitsPLUS Media Pvt Ltd had acquired majority stake in Koovs for over $2 million. (Read about that here).

At the time of acquisition Rajesh Kamra, MD of Koovs Marketing Pvt Ltd had told Techcircle, "We will focus on maintaining our market share in the daily deals segment. But we are looking at ourselves as a lifestyle products website and will become a top e-commerce player in India soon."

Also, Paul Shoker, founder and CEO of BenefitsPLUS had mentioned, "We are going to turn Koovs into a very interesting e-commerce business. It won't be an average daily deal site or a group buying site, but will evolve into a specialised e-commerce player. But there will be no change in the brand."

The transition (although the firm says it's work in progress) looks pretty much complete.

Management Speak:

Techcircle caught up with Rajesh Kamra, one of the founders and also the MD at Koovs who told us about the transition and the company's plans for the year. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

Why did the shift happen?

We were seeing a lot of traction on the services that we were offering. The same customers came back to us and asked us to make various products available for them, and since the demand was high, we went out and got those products for them. This is how we started offering products and then gradually we built the various product categories. We witnessed a lot of traction because the same customers that were purchasing the local services also started purchasing the products. So earlier it was only because of the demand for a particular product that we started selling it but now we have product across various categories. But the transition is still on and we are also still present in the services category.

How many products do you have as of now?

We have more than 20,000 products available across the product categories. We plan to increase this number to at least 2.5 lakh within the next 6 months.

What is the kind of growth, traction you are seeing now?

In terms of growth, we have grown over 200 per cent month over month in the last 6 to 7 months and as of today, the number of daily unique visitors to the site is around 2 lakh.

What about orders?

In the product categories alone we do around 70,000 transactions per month (the ticket size ranges from Rs 50 and goes up to Rs 2 lakh), and this is considering that the revenue split between products and services or deal section is still 40-60, where products only account for 40 per cent of the total revenues.

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