“We provide space for sellers to set up their online shops”

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Askme, the flagship product from Getit Infomedia, is a one stop destination to find information related to multitudinous number of brands, products, services and more be it restaurants, travel, matrimony, jobs, education, mobile, gadgets, etc. They cater to the requirements of enquirers, searchers, buyers, etc through mobile, Internet and voice. Askme has an extensive directory of information that covers the sellers and providers spread across India that is both accurate as well as diverse.

Launched in June 2011, is available 24X7 for consumers across all major cities in India. They have a unique number through which users can reach / call them 4444 4444 44 (10 times 4) for information on companies, products and services. Askme Voice service works to ensure that the customer gets real-time and accurate information.

Ashish, Head of Technology, askmeBazaar.com, in an interaction with Mobility magazine, shares askme Bazaar’s mission, plans and goals.

What is AskmeBazzar?
AskmeBazaar ‘Online Shopping Indian Style’ is an effort to recreate the great Indian shopping experience online. Defined by its simple, easy-to-use buying process with basic Indian features, we are a bazaar with many stores from across India. Buyers can see products from multiple stores and buy their choice of product with great value offers from the store of their choice.

Indian brands, unbranded goods, local specialties, special festival offers, bargain before you buy, pay as you please and share what you want to buy with your social circle are some of the key Indian features. Askme Bazaar guarantees every purchase with its unique getit trust seal and allows user ratings on every seller and their products.
We are India’s premier online bazaar where sellers from across India can open their online store and display all their products for free. With zero upfront investment, the seller can now sell their products online by just paying fixed fees for processing every transaction on the platform.

How it all started?
We are owned by Getit Infomedia. We started initially with information services, 35 years back. DNA of our company has been we understand SME, we understand sellers. About 12 years back we started this digital directory sort of thing. Now we are online.
Online being a new medium, today still less than 3% of the retailing of consumer durables takes place online, the rest is happening offline. We are like a bazaar rather than a supermarket. What a bazaar does is it gives a place or platform for different sellers to set up their shops.

To setup e-commerce site, you need to know how payment is handled and how the logistics are managed. For example, a seller is in Jaipur and the buyer is in Pune. Once an online order is placed, someone has to pick up the stuff from Jaipur and deliver it to Pune and complete the financial transaction. What we are doing is we are taking care of all the distribution and logistics. We have our own partners. We have offices in many cities across the country. We have retail distributors for different regions. Using this infrastructure, we manage the inventories of different e-commerce vendors. These offices and retail distributors manage all the supply and transaction-related activities. Earlier promotion used to take place through ads in TVs, newspapers, etc. The sellers need a promotion engine that is compatible with e-commerce. We recommend the vendors the right methods for different products and different areas. Finally, it would be for the sellers to choose the methods. Promotion and infrastructures make 80% of the total cost.

How much you are charging to your seller for your services?
We are charging a fee of Rs 100 for a successful transaction. We do not charge if the products are returned. Sellers in our bazaar, by definition, include vendors as well as resellers—anybody who wants to sell via our site. Whenever a buyer places an order, we will inform the seller about the order. Then our guy will go and pick up the product and then it is routed through our distribution network to the buyer. In different regions, we have local retail distributors (RDs).

How many sellers are using your platform?
Currently we have 15,000 sellers on our site and most of them are happy with our services. Most of the products that are routed through our portal are non-perishable physical products. Our marketing person will approach the sellers and ask if they want to sell through our portal. If they say yes, then we evaluate the seller and his products and sign up the deal if it is feasible.

What’s your take on future of ecommerce in Indian and what are your future plans?
Nowadays ecommerce is on the growth path with most companies starting educating their personnel on ecommerce. Our goal is to add 20,000 sellers next year.  Ecommerce will become more popular in future due to its convenience.