E-commerce is the next big thing in India, and more and more start-ups are looking to utilise the space to do business, expanding the scope of the market to unimaginable extents. Vouchersmate has tapped the greetings and gifts market, with its new online e-commerce portal. We caught up with the CEO of Vouchersmate, Amit Sharma, an IT professional with an experience of over 5 years in the e-commerce arena. Read our coverage about Vouchersmate.com.
Tell us about Vouchersmate!
Amit: Vouchersmate is an online shop for gift cards and similar items. It is primarily a gift voucher and greeting card store, the largest online boutique for these in India. With Vouchersmate, you can send gift items to anybody in India, anytime. It offers gift cards for major brands across India and also to local brands which are city specific to enhance the gifting experience.
What is the target consumer group for Vouchersmate?
Amit: The online store is for anyone who wants to send gifts to their loved ones anywhere in India. It is more useful for families living abroad and NRIs who want to send gifts to India and are e-commerce savvy. We have customers ranging from 18 year olds to 50 year olds using our website, so it is essentially for everybody.
Is Vouchersmate planning for exclusive tie-ups with e-commerce portals?
Amit: No, not yet.
You say their reach is 200 towns and cities. What are you doing to reach out to the consumers in smaller towns and cities where internet usage is not as widespread in the metros?
Amit: Well, now are reach is much beyond 200 towns and cities. We now cater to locations across India. We’ve expanded to cities like Agra, Meerut etc. and our service is available wherever there are merchant locations of the brands that partner with us. We only look to cater to the internet savvy population as of now.
Are you taking advantage of the fact that web is more often accessed on mobiles than desktops in smaller towns?
Amit: Our business is a really planned affair, so we’ve only looked at catering to those people who’re internet savvy, and interested in sending gifts through an online portal. Right now mobile e-commerce is not really what we’re thinking about.
Isn't the paper greeting card industry dead? What are you doing to compete with well established e-card business sites such as 123greetings.com?
Amit: There is no competition with 123greetings to begin with. Just because people now have online photo solutions, doesn’t mean they’ve stopped buying photo frames. Sure, the demand might have gone down, but it’s still there. It’s the same case with greeting cards, there is still a demand out there, and we’re happy to be serving that market, and in fact bringing it online and making it more accessible.
Are you using any payment gateways on the website? Did you have any problems in integration?
Amit: Yes, we offer netbanking to our customers and accept Visa/MasterCard transactions. We also offer Paypal. To out international customers, we offer international netbanking facilities along with Paypal. No, we did not face any problems with integration. We have a very experienced team and I myself have a background in handling payment gateways.
What are your future plans for the service?
Amit: We’re definitely looking to reach out to more brands. Right now we have gift cards for major brands and restaurants in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai more than any other city. We want to include more and more brands into our service for cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad, and also include local brands of these cities. We’re growing at a fast pace, with 40% growth in our second month of operation, and expect this rate to increase with time.