Times Internet* (Indiatimes) has launched Satvikshop.com, an online store offering organic and ayurvedic solutions and products from multiple brands. The portal offers products from brand partners like Dabur ,Organic India & Morarka Organic Foods, among others. In addition to offering products, the site also offers free consultation with a panel of 20 in-house experts, about ayurvedic treatments for various ailments.Users can post their questions online and receive answers via chat and e-mail, in addition to a call center.
Speaking with MediaNama,Subhanker Sarker, COO & Business Head of Indiatimes Shopping & Saatvikshop.com, informed that the site had an inventory of 1,000 SKUs already, and that it aims to expand it to 2,000 SKUs by the end of September 2012. He said that the focus of the site would be to introduce and bring new customers to the site by providing consultation and guidance, instead of merely offering these products online.
On being quizzed about whether the site complied with regulatory guidelines, he responded that Satvikshop was only offering OTC (over the counter) medication.
Response: He also informed that following the site’s launch on Friday (24th August), it was already registering 100 transactions per day, with an average transaction value of Rs 1200. Sarker feels that the average transaction value would stabilize at Rs 800.
A separate vertical: Although Indiatimes Shopping also offers astrology related services, and spiritual & puja products, there are no plans to merge them with Satvikshop, according to Sarker. He added that Satvikshop would continue as a separate vertical. We also noticed that the Indiatimes Shopping homepage does not link to Satvikshop, and retails similar products including organic tea and some over the counter medicines, separately. We wonder if the company would eliminate this overlap in the future.
On Pricing: Sarker said that the site does not intend to be a discount destination, and that pricing would be at par with offline stores. He said that the company had worked out a margin structure in line with it.
Site Interface & Product Offering
The site is essentially divided into two tabs: Ayurveda and Organic, each featuring related products. The Ayurveda products page allows users to browse through ayurvedic medicinal products across various categories, including gender, diseases, organ care, and common ailments. Users can search through products from multiple brands as well as all products of a single brand. Product attributes include their description, brand, ingredients, symptoms, contra-indications, side-effects, user reviews, recipes, nutritional facts, and dosage. Users can also do a keyword search with product names, ailments and conditions, among others.
The ‘Organic’ tab features organic food items across various categories, including cereals, spices, health food, Pulses and others. It also offers search functionality similar to the Ayurveda section. The website also features a blog with updates related to organic and ayurvedic lifestyle.
The site offers free shipping across India and supports payment methods like Credit Cards, Net Banking and Debit Cards. We observed that the site does not offer Cash on Delivery, at the moment.
Other Players: Ayurvedic medicine makers Himalaya Drug Company also has an online store. Dabur India Ltd, another major player in the ayurveda drugs segment also plans to extend its personal-care products focused retail chain, ‘NewU’ to the online space, albeit focusing mainly on personal care products. Besides these, health products focused e-stores like Goodlife.com and Lifemojo.com also offer similar products.
* Disclosure: Indiatimes is an advertiser with MediaNama