Interviews

Start-up Update with Ahmed Arif, CEO of AaramShop Pakistan

India’s impressive eCommerce stats cause quite a stir in 2014, with big data leading the way for smarter convenience based package creation which has further pushed acceptance of e-tailing in emerging markets. We thought to catch up with a growing e-Tailing start-up in our back yard.

How did you market AaramShop in 2014?

We mainly used grocery retailers to market ourselves as an online grocery shop in packed neighborhoods along with running varied promotions online and offline communicating our presence and reach.

What is your unique selling proposition till now?

We offer free home delivery within two hours and apply big data strategies to map customer buying behavior to predict demand and ascertain bundles.

What was the marketing message and mediums used? Why?

Our network of grocery retailers are the primary source of marketing and they are growing in numbers everyday. Our slogan is “Shop Karo Aaram se” (Shop and Relax), which itself represents marketing message to consumers between the 25 to 45 age range.

The demographic profiling includes urban females and males, professionals or well qualified “homemaker by choice” with psyche’s that identify with being technology friendly, habitual users of computer and other connected devices and are active on Facebook along with their peer networks. This is why we incorporate grocery retailers to create exclusive offers and deals on frequent selling grocery products so that they can be pushed to neighborhood’s (community marketing) which instantly increased our visibility.

As a company, we began operations by training and providing neighborhood grocery retailers tools to engage customers, take orders online and on phone, and increase sales. Specifically, we provided them:

  • Online store front and back-end call center to take orders
  • A dedicated mobile app to feature their product offers and ability to take orders via app
  • An intelligent marketing suite
  • Point of sale data and behavior tracking. Customer offers are curated based on them.
  • Direct Marketing to engage existing customers- SMS and Email

What was the return on investment?

Our main source of revenue is from the brands. While empowering neighborhood retailers and providing convenience and offers to consumers, AaramShop is able to help brands significantly increase ROI for their investment on neighborhood retailers.

We are able to achieve this by using mobile-enabled, scalable technology to conduct data-driven marketing initiatives at neighborhood retailers. Our key strength is using scalable technology to run data-driven initiatives. We are currently in the process of profiling over 200,000 consumers and working with big names in FMCG industry including Unilever, P&G, Shan Foods and L’Oreal. The initial uptake by both the independent retailers and customers has been enthusiastic with keen interest shown from locations beyond the major cities as well.

For the months of September 2014 to December 2014 our average revenue per shop is PKR 5,000 (USD 50) per month which is almost 30% return on investment. We plan to increase revenue per store through bringing more brands on board as well as charging retailers for marketing support and products. At the same time, we will increase the number of stores in Karachi and Lahore as well as expand to other cities across Pakistan.

Thank you for your time Ahmed, we wish you all the best for 2015

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