Grooming products and services to make a USD 1 billion industry online by 2019: Purplle

PurpllePurplle.com started in Jan 2012, and in 2 years this platform for personal care and grooming vertical has seen a tremendous growth. It attracts close to a million visitors and around 3 million pageviews a month. In a candid QnA with Rahul Dash, Chief Operating Officer, Purplle.com, iamWire went ahead to find out more about this growing brand.

 What was the initial idea behind launching Purplle?

We saw two trends before we started. Firstly, Indian grooming market was exploding with new and premium brands coming in as well as salons getting organised. Secondly, Internet as a medium had finally shown traction in terms of actual transactions happening online. At Purplle.com we have tried marry technology and the need for grooming and have created a platform which gives people access to the best of brands in products, salon & Spa services and Content around it.

 Cosmetics, Grooming products and electronics make a niche sector in the online retail space, how did the portal initially pick up traction?

I would take a slightly different point of view there. If you look at the market size between grooming products and services we touch anywhere between USD 8-10 billion. That’s a huge market. The masstige to premium segment itself is USD 4-5 billion with a growth rate of 15-20%. It was never sold online, yes, but that makes it even more attractive. We expect online channel to contribute 10-15% of this segment in 5 years. So you are looking at a USD 1 billion channel. Market is there but it just needs the correct strategy to tap into.

How is the online competition in this space of consumer goods?

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The competition in our space as intense as any attractive consumer goods segment. However everyone is following a different strategy to attract the audience.

At what rate is Purplle growing?

Last year itself we grew by 5-6 times, we bring around 400 brands and 10000 products to our consumer. As a part of our evolution we have launched a Salons and Spa Services Listing platform last year ( Purplle.com/finder) where we have already covered 5 cities with 5000 salons and spa listed with us.

We have mobile optimised website and are working on a stronger mobile presence. Mobile contributes to 20-25% of our current traffic and we see it a channel with significantly higher engagement than the desktop version.

Tell us more about the Salon tie-up model

We are creating a consumer platform for Salons and Spa services on the lines of Zomato. We currently have around 5000 salons and spa tie ups across 5 cities and 2,00,000 visits a month on this platform. Consumer can search, compare, book (on phone) from 25,000 services on the platform

What are the future plans for Purplle? Will it enter into other segments like apparel etc.?

Purplle.com would stay focussed on personal care and grooming as a category. There will be product lines which form a part of personal care and grooming which would be strategically added in the coming months.

The idea is to provide a complete experience to our consumers in Personal care through Products, Services and Content. Over the next few years you would see that picture playing out on Purplle.com.

To contact the author, write to sugandh@iamwire.com

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