Ecommerce is a way to go this is what seems to be euphoric in the online space in India. While there are lots of brands ideating to go online, however some of them have aggressively ramped up their existing set up. One of them is Pumashop.in, which has started its Indian operation with effervescent leader like Rajiv Mehta. Puma has announced its aspiration to sell 10 percent of its overall sale by 2015. In an email interview with Iamwire, Mehta shared his thoughts over online venture of Puma in India. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
What are your expectations from online initiative of Puma in India?
E commerce gives us the reach which we otherwise will take time to build. It is also very relevant to our consumer who lives online. They have their entire life mapped on the web from where to meet, who to meet, what to eat, whom to hang out with etc. So for us to cater to them was an extension of our brand culture. We expect this channel to be the largest single store for us in a couple of years when it comes to revenues
How do you see the online initiative of Puma- is it competing with your offline channel or synergy of both (offline and online)?
It is like a separate store in itself. There are some consumers who love shopping online, some who never want to and those who don’t have access to our offline stores, hence this eCommerce platform will be complementing our brick and mortar business.
Does the top-selling product category in offline business match the top-selling category in online also? If not, what is the difference?
It is very much the same. Motorsports is our top-selling category.
What is the sales contribution in total company turnover through online channel? What growth (increase / decrease) you can estimate in next 2-3 years from online channel only?
No Comments please.
What kind of marketing strategy Puma is enacting for its online initiative and how it is different from offline?
For now there is no plan to popularize Pumashop.in besides word of mouth. Within a few months we may roll out an online campaign to create the buzz about this eCommerce platform.
What were the key challenges Puma had to face while launching the online venture?
The back-end logistics and the payment gateway
What is your team size at present? Are you looking to expand in near future?
As you have worked in US also – how do you see the Indian eCommerce market in next one decade? Do you think India has capability to surpass the great US online revolution?
A large part of the western world 7 years back would be scared of buying anything online. What about returns, what about authenticity, what about quality, what about payment fraud? These questions arose as they were going through their e commerce boom phase. Now Starbucks sells most of their products through Facebook and have an iPhone app which allows you to pay with a tap! Indians are going through the same phase and sooner rather than later, we will not only catch up with the west, but maybe drive this forward in our way. After all, 1 Billion people!
Finally, would Puma restrict to online internet commerce venture only in near future or it would start selling through TV channels also?
We did try selling through Star CJ. However we still have to refine the logistics on the same as the person who orders on TV and the kind of product that sells is very different from an online platform.