Since the evolution of eCommerce, the offline retail industry is said to be amongst the worst ones to get affected.
And in an attempt to support these offline merchants, many Hyperlocal-modelled companies have also seen to be coming up since the last few years, as well. But the one that rules this market is – Zopper.com!
Let’s give you detailed insights about the product, the company and its founders!
What Is ZOPPER.COM?
To begin with Zopper is a play on the word ‘Shopper’ implying to “A Smart Shopper” Be it offline or online – a Smart Shopper is someone who believes in shopping in a
convenient environment, receiving instant satisfaction and more importantly, after sales support.
Zopper aims to combine both the worlds of online and offline shopping, while giving similar experience to its customers.
Owned by “Solvy Tech Solutions Private Limited” and founded in 2010 – Zopper.com is a hyperlocal marketplace that connects the local retailers to the online shoppers. Basically, it helps consumers to find products and check offline prices and also helps them with the nearest shop that has that product.
Customers can choose the retailer with the best price for a product, from over 500,000 online and offline retailers. And being one of India’s biggest Online shopping apps for Electronics, their Category offerings include a whole range of products such as – AC, refrigerator, cameras, washing machine, home theatre, Smartphones, Computers, Laptops, Gaming Consoles, Kitchen Appliances, etc
Zopper, unlike its peers uses a Mobile-first technology and only works on the mobile application. It collects or aggregates product information from thousands of e-commerce sites and all the local retail merchants in India. Zopper mainly caters to the urban mobile-savvy audience.
They are known to offer 100% Genuine Online Electronics that are original and brand-new products from trusted local sellers, or local Stores. These products come with a genuine brand warranty on all products and service with an easy in-app claim that is offered by Zopper itself called – “Zopper Assure”.
While on the app, their state-of-the-art technology allows you to examine the products closely by using their zoom option that offers greater Clarity and Relatibility.
After u have chosen the product you wish to purchase, you are also offered different modes through which you can make payments – Cash on Delivery, Credit / Debit Card, EMI, Net-Banking, Ola Money and other wallets.
These products are then delivered to you by the store within 48 hours that too completely Free of charge.
What Are Their Strategies, Partnerships And Revenue Model?
To begin with, a certain pattern of shopping has been observed amongst the Indian audience, it’s called – ‘Research Online and Purchase Offline’ [ROPO]. Zopper is capitalising on this factor.
Zopper had begun their site as ‘Reviews42’ which used to offer user-generated product reviews. Their role was limited to list products from different websites and crowd source reviews.
Doing so, they found it extremely difficult to monetise this project for various reasons.
Therefore, when they could not see the desired results, he decided to rebrand the portal to a price comparison tool for shoppers and called it Zopper.com.
This new model was focused on price comparison of products for buyers, and not only did it contain that, but also included local shops that were selling the same product. The difference between Zopper and their competitors was that, they competitors used to compare prices from online retailers only.
Basically, their strategy was to act as a Hyperlocal marketplace for consumer durables and home appliances, who not only helped with Price Comparisons but also helped the customers with the near-by shops for the same as well.
Their portal was a connecting point between local retailers and the consumers, which also helped the physical stores gain lost visibility, and to do so they have also partnered with 500,000 offline retailers spread across 30 cities at this point.
What differentiates Zopper the most is that, it makes consumers aware of the best prices from local stores, and they make sure to get the goods delivered within 24-48 hours.
They have also created an offline offering called – ‘RISE’ platform which retailers use, to broadcast their inventory and pricing information on a real time basis.
Talking about their revenue model – the primary source of earnings for Zopper is ‘Lead Generation’, which at this point accounts for about 90% of their revenues. This means whenever a customer uses the website to reach a merchant, the company receives a fixed percentage of the sale.
Other than that, they also earn some of their revenues through ‘Fixed Monthly Subscription’ fees from merchants, and ‘Affiliate Income’ like Cost Per Click (CPC), etc.
More recently, the company has also partnered with “Lowe Lintas & Partners” as its Creative Partner, following a multi-agency pitch, to help them create a brand name for themselves.
Their Go-To-Market Strategy will be to focus on boosting and spreading their brand presence across 30 cities in the country. They would also be using technology to accelerate their growth as well. This would also include adopting digital campaigns, social media campaigns, consumer activation programs, and retail branding to acquire customers.
Who Is Leading The Brand?
The 250+ member staffing of Zopper.com is currently led by Neeraj Jain – CEO, and Surjendu Kuila – COO.
NEERAJ JAIN – CEO, ZOPPER.COM
A first generation entrepreneur of his family, Neeraj holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the IIM-A, along with B.Tech in Electronics Engineering from the University of Lucknow.
Personally, Neeraj is someone who is neither too studious nor a workaholic and is said to be a pretty cool person to be around. He believes in the mantra – “Work while you play and play while you work.”
He started his professional career with ‘Hughes Software Systems’ (Gurgaon) in the year 2000 and continued till 2003. He worked there in various roles from testing to software development to pre-sales on different software products related to telecom.
In 2005, he worked with ‘Adventity’ (a start-up KPO) and ‘Spark Capital’ (a small investment bank) for a year. Post this, he started his own Advisory and Financial Consulting firm along with ‘Mohit Gopal’ called – ‘Metalogos’, in July 2006.
While at it, they used to advise a range of small and mid-sized companies like Logistics, Media, IT, Internet, Fashion, Travel, etc! Metalogos used to help these companies on various levels and business-related issues like financial planning, project analysis, arranging funds, and many more…
And finally, after Metalogos he co-founded Zopper.com in 2011!
SURJENDU KUILA – COO, ZOPPER.COM
Again, a first generation entrepreneur of his family, Surjendu has completed his MBA in Marketing Finance and Entrepreneurship from the IIM-C, and also holds a B.Tech Degree from the IIT (Roorkee).
Personally, again a very calm headed person, he holds immense interest in Deep Space, Military history and Judaism, and also loves to watch Dave Chapelle’s stand-up comedy as well. Other than that, he is also a fabulous Sitar Player and has also represented Bengal in Junior Hockey.
Talking about his career – Prior to founding Zopper, Surjendu had spent 8 years working in the USA for a range of companies. This began with ‘Infosys’ (Connecticut) as a Programmer Analyst for Hi-Tech and Discrete Manufacturing in 2001. He was a part of their core team and had built products for clients like Pitney Bowes.
He left his job there in 2004 and moved to ‘Apple Computers’ in 2004 as a Software Programmer, IS & T Group. He worked there till 2006, post which, he joined ‘CIBER Inc’ (Seattle) as a Technical Architect, State & Local, and used to build ETL tools for clients like New Jersey Department of Labour.
In the next three years, he went on to work for companies like ‘RSA’ (The Security Division of EMC) in California, ‘eTouch Systems’ in California, Rediff.com, and finally, Luna Ergonomics Pvt. Ltd in New Delhi.
Post this stint, he along with Neeraj formed Zopper.com!
How Has Their Growth Been So Far?
Zopper.com – a property of ‘Solvy Tech Solutions Private Limited’, as per Wikipedia, began its journey with ‘Brand and Me’ in 2010. It started off as a site that provided product reviews. Later, the name was then changed to ‘Reviews42’.
The business model of Reviews42 was basically to publish user-generated reviews about consumer durable products and home appliances. Their role was limited to list products from different websites and crowd source reviews.
Doing so, they found it extremely difficult to monetise this project for various reasons, mainly being revenue generation. When they approached brands for advertisements, they wanted Reviews42 to remove negative reviews about them.
Therefore, when they could not see the desired results, they decided to rebrand the portal to a price comparison tool for shoppers and called it Zopper.com in 2014. Around the same time, they also received an investment of $5 Mn from Tiger Global Management, to help them rebrand themselves.
Zopper was basically started with an intention to offer price comparison of offline and online stores along with acting as a medium to connect the consumers with the local retailers.
In a very short span of time, Zopper has managed to gain 200,000 offline merchants on its website, and their traffic has also risen three times in a year – from 10,000 users a day to 30,000 users a day. This further increased to 3 Mn monthly active users in early-2015.
In 2015 – the company also tied-up with ‘The Mobile Store’ as their merchant partner. Using the Zopper app, a customer would now be able to discover & buy products from nearest outlet of The Mobile Store, and would also receive their product within 4 hours.
By the mid of the year, the company had reached to even greater heights as compared to the day it rebranded. They had not only partnered with ‘Citrus Pay’ to enable product purchase directly from its app, scaled its presence from one city to 10 cities, increased their list of merchants to 500,000, but had also reached to over 1 Mn app installations so far.
In September – Zopper also announced the addition of ‘Harneet Singh’ to their professional family as their new Chief Business Officer. Harneet was working with ‘Dominos Pizza India’ as a ‘Senior Vice President’ before he joined Zopper. This appointment was also to support the large-scale expansion plans they were all set to launch.
Talking about their investments – so far, Zopper has till raised three rounds of overseas funding, since their inception. This includes an investment round by Blume Ventures, Ventureast and Nirvana Ventures for an undisclosed amount in 2011 and 2013.
This was followed by an investment of $5 Mn and $20 Mn by Tiger Global and Nirvana Venture Advisors in June 2014 and then June 2015.
Lastly, the 250+ member strong company holds offices in Noida, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, and has a presence in 22 cities, and also has plans to expand its services across 30 Indian cities within the next short while.
Additionally, they are also intending to expand their merchant base from half a Mn to 1 Mn as well. To support their fast growth, it is also being reported that, the company would be raising $100 Mn in Series-B funding very soon.