Started with selling books and other low involvement products, the ecommerce saga slowly inherited into a fully fledged market where one can buy physically anything available offline and that too on a never ending sale. As while buying offline – one checks out a number of stores before settling on a product, and with ecommerce industry having positioned itself as a replica of brick and mortar shopping experience pushing several startups to find new and interesting ways to provide a complete shopping experience, recent years have witnessed the birth of several price comparison websites.
Talking of price comparison websites, we have Junglee, MySmartPrice, Pricedekho, Comparethebazaar, PriceMantra, and maybe a dozen more like them. BuyingIQ, a Gurgaon based startup joined the league of such businesses in November 2012. The website offers an extensive coverage of electronics and accessories and attracts over 420,000 visitors per month, growing by ~40% every month.
Working as another online shopping advisor, it offers price comparison of a wide range of electronic products including TV, Cameras, mobile phones and other home, kitchen, personal care appliances.
With its affiliate model, the website does not only provide price details but also include information like other competitive products under the same price range, the specifications of the product searched and user reviews – a complete encyclopaedia of product comparison.
Founded in November 2012 by IIT Delhi – BITS alumni, its founders have earlier worked with Zomato. Talking of its monetization model, BuyingIQ’s revenue model is multi-tier, comprising of affiliate networks, display ads network, data analytics and physical retail listing. “At present the major revenue streams are in the form of affiliate networks and display ads, with the rest of them in pipeline.” Added Piyush Taneja, co-founder at BuyingIQ.
The portal has also made it to the Grand Finale (Top 10) of Conquest 2013 – International Startup Competition by BITS Pilani.
Although the market has similar kind of players, how does BuyingIQ scores over the competition?
Piyush: Buying IQ is a deal comparison website – not price comparison. As in comparison shopping one of the aspect that matters most to the user is the accuracy of data. BuyingIQ has the most accurate data – over 98% price data accuracy with necessary details like additional freebies/offer and discount coupons made available by the seller all put together in one place. This helps the user make a comprehensive deal to deal comparison and not just price comparison which otherwise is quite misleading for a user, hence providing a more rewarding experience. We offer Personalized Competition Analysis Tool and does a comprehensive competition analysis for products by doing an algorithmic driven comparison of products taking into account – product specifications, user response and popularity of the product. Other factors we believe help getting more business include Huge Product Catalogue, In-depth Product Filters for effective product browsing, Better In-site Search and an Elegant and Cleaner UI.
So What’s the scope for new players to enter in this market?
Piyush: Making an entry in this market isn’t much difficult as the entry barrier is low but scaling up across product categories poses challenges and further gaining any significant traction is very difficult, given the existing competition in the market. Quite a few players have tried to enter the market with a minimum viable product and had to dump it down as it was nearly impossible to gain any considerable traction. Like any other consumer product, quality product execution is very essential to stay alive and keep up in this space.
As you already have prior startup experience, how do you think that helped you in establishing Buying IQ ?
Piyush: Having a previous experience with a startup essentially helps you at multiple levels. To me, which has come quite useful in understanding the kind of issues aggregators face and how to deal with them. A prior experience with a startup before founding your own venture helps you get a better idea of the kind of problems you are going to run into while starting up and how to handle them, something a corporate job isn’t able to teach you. Moreover, it helps you figure out how to figure and focus on the more important issues of the business and you get familiar with the reality that when you startup your own business there aren’t going to be swanky office spaces and high salaries, keeping everyone motivated and focused within the team becomes very essential.
To contact Author, email Devesh@wirefootindia.com