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LetsBuy.com: Growth of online commerce leading to emergence of new players

The dot-com boom in early 2000s saw a number of companies being set up online with varied models. Today the space is once again getting inundated.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 06.39 AM IST
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The dot-com boom in early 2000s saw a number of companies being set up online with varied models. Today the space is once again getting inundated by Indian entrepreneurs looking to make their millions. Different portals are coming up with different business models.

One such new player in the space is LetsBuy.com, co-founded by Hitesh Dhingra and Amanpreet Bajaj, that has positioned itself as an online retailer of computers, consumer electronics and communication products. The portal aims to be an online equivalent of an electronics retailer.

A research conducted by Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) about online commerce in India shows that the purchase of computer and computer peripherals, cameras, mobiles and MP3 players is the second largest category, after the online travel industry and is pegged to be a 950 crore market. It is this pie of the e-commerce market that LetsBuy.com is eyeing.

The portal recently received funds worth $6 million from venture capitalists and is targeting to close this year with 100 crore turnover.Talking about the opportunity in the space, Dhingra, CEO, LetsBuy.com says, "In mature markets like the US, most customers prefer buying electronics online and even in India, upto 65% of consumers buying electronic products research it online. Many purchase decisions are also being taken online," he says.

LetsBuy.com claims to have 600 transactions happening on the site per day and about 20,000 transactions per month. About 60% of these transactions are done by customers and the rest are done by small time retailers in smaller towns.
The site also offers special discounts on 'end of life' inventory sales and recently helped a camera brand liquidate its stock of 500 cameras. Special deals that were offered on Valentine's day this year led to an increase of about 30% in the number of transactions. In the last 18 months, the site has offered more than 10,000 SKUs from over 175 brands across all categories , says Dhingra.

LetsBuy.com not only allows purchase of electronic products, but like offline retailers, also stocks and delivers the product. "We stock and sell all products from our own warehouses, thereby maintaining complete control over supply chain and quality of products and services. We thereby ensure that our customers get the best products at the best price and in the shortest possible time," says Dhingra.

This model of business gives the customers the option of paying on delivery and not everyone who buys from the site needs to have a credit card. They are looking at alliances with banks, credit card companies and travel portals to attract customers to the site.

The site deals mostly in branded electronic products and customers get one year manufacturer warranty on every purchase. "We have partnered with brands like Samsung, Western Digital, Dish TV etc to be their preferred e-commerce partner," says Dhingra. As a value addition, they also offer post sales-service to increase stickiness.

While currently, the site provides only a shopping option, going forward, customers can also look forward to check out product reviews by technology experts before making their purchase decision.

With the tranche of VC funding, LetsBuy.com is now looking at creating a better brand salience through advertising for the site, and is targetting an increase of 30%-40 % transactions through the marketing initiatives.

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