Delhi-based Ecommerce portal ShopClues has launched a new hyperlocal feature called Neighbourhood Market on its mobile app which will allow local merchants to connect with customers. The feature will allow llocalized sellers to showcase their products to buyers near them across mobile and web platforms.
ShopClues says that it is targeting a reduced delivery time of four hours with this feature. The company also claims that it will provide customers best prices, speedier complaint resolution and quicker return protocol. An Economic Times report said that the programme was piloted around two weeks ago with 20-25 merchants in Delhi, and is expected to be rolled out to localities with high concentrations of merchants in Tier 1 and 2 cities by the end of the month.
Merchants have the option to deliver themselves, make use of hyperlocal delivery startups that ShopClues has partnered with, or let customers pick up goods instore. Customers can pay either by cash or by card. The ecommerce venture claims to offer more than 19 million products from around 200,000 sellers across the country and has over 2 million daily visitors.
Earlier in January, the company raised $100 million investment led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners.
With this move, it looks like ShopClues is now competing with the likes of JustDial. The online directory service in January began selling electronics and white goods and started operating as a marketplace. JustDial’s service aggregates neighborhood electronics shops which sell mobile phones, television sets, digital cameras, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, among others.
What’s interesting is that instead of competing with offline, JustDial is aggregating offline vendors: Once a buyer selects a product, she is given the best quotes from vendors from that city. They also allow payments through cash-ondelivery, cards, and net banking.
JustDial promises deliveries within seven hours of purchase, but it’s FAQs clearly mention that shops take care of the delivery process. According to the terms and conditions: “The shops would usually dispatch the order with a delivery boy. For orders from remote locations, the shops may send the products via courier service.”
Note that PriceBaba also aggregates offline retailers, but doesn’t allow purchase online.
Other players include:
– Hyperlocal marketplace Zopper, previously known as Reviews42, which planned to expand to 30 more cities in March. The company at the time had mentioned that they have brought on board 250,000 offline retailers and added to its existing fleet of 2000 e-tailers. Zopper lets users search for products and categories and do a price comparison which can be bought off the e-tailers or physical shops nearby.
– Earlier in July, hyperlocal deals marketplace Little raised $50 million from Paytm and existing investors SAIF Partners and Tiger Global Management for establishing an online to offline app-only marketplace.