Of all the ecommerce models we have seen, ZAPStore stands out for their focus on gaming mechanics to engage with customers. ZAPstore works like an options market and customers can buy the product of their choice at the price that they want.
Essentially, there are two ways to buy the product of your choice.
1. You can either choose to click on ‘Quick Buy’ to buy the product like in any other eCommerce website for the listed Market Price
2. Click on ‘ZAP it’ to reveal a new price exclusive for you. This price is always lower than the market price and every customer gets 10 seconds to buy the product at the price that he/she reveals. Do remember that in order to ‘Zap’ (i.e. participate in bargain), you need to buy Zap packs (think of it as Zap currency).
The Zap packs are priced at Rs. 15/zap and comes in bundles of 2,5,10,25 etc. The system is nicely designed and creates a sense of urgency once you ‘Zap’ a product. The system also has inbuilt refund systems, reward point module and other mechanisms to make sure people don’t lose money at ZAPstore.
The challenge for the Chennai based ZAPStore lies is ensuring that the Zapped price is always lower than the lowest offered by other merchants (I tested the pricing of different products and have mixed observations), otherwise the customer will lose his/her trust in the system. The good news however is that the customer is buying an intent (via Zap currency) and such data can be used for retargeting ads/showing related products in future.
Here is a QnA with ZAPStore team on the concept and traction so far.
Pluggd.in: What’s the target segment you are going after? The gaming mechanics pertains to the ones with patience?
Our target group is between 18 and 35 years old. Customers in ZAPstore do not need patience to get a good deal. Most of them buy the product within 5 ZAPs. The fact that there is a high possibility of them getting the best deal on the first ZAP, rules out the patience factor. In fact, people buy the products at ZAPstore even if they see a price difference of Rs.50 or Rs.100. But, there are customers who buy ZAP packs in big lots and ZAP on different products of their choice repeatedly to buy them at dead cheap prices.
Pluggd.in: What has been the traction so far? How many people have bought Zap packs?
Considering the fact that we are bootstrapped until now, we have had restrictions on our marketing budget. Even then, our traction has been on the rise and we are shipping at an average 50 products every day all across India. 90% of our customers buy products after they buy ZAP Packs.
Pluggd.in: Zap packs are geared towards repeat purchase, though ecommerce in India has mostly been about lack of loyalty. Your thoughts please?
We know for a fact that consumers lack loyalty in eCommerce. That’s why we have varied denominations of ZAP Packs. It starts from Rs.30 for two ZAPs and goes upto Rs.15000 for 1000 ZAPs. Even with varied packs to purchase, we have seen quite a lot of repeated customers or ZAPPER’s as we call them. Around 20% of our shipments every month goes to repeated customers and referrals.
We will be introducing a new option called ‘Share ZAP points’ where in consumers can transfer their ZAP points to other ZAPPERs.
- To make sure people don’t lose money in ZAPstore, we have various inbuilt modules. One such module is ‘Incomplete Purchases’. In a normal eCommerce website, when somebody cancels the purchase during the check out process, no one loses money. But, its not the case in ZAPstore, somebody would have ZAPPED on the product earlier using the ZAP packs that they had bought . In this scenario, some consumers might end up losing money. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we bring back that product to a section called ‘Incomplete Purchases’ and inform the customers who had already ZAPPED on the product earlier that the product still available for them to buy.
- We have an inbuilt reward points system, wherein for every ‘ZAP’ the consumers earns reward points which can be redeemed for goodies.
Pluggd.in: Future plans?
- We are working on increasing the ‘Gaming’ and ‘Social’ aspect of ZAPstore and the concept by introducing new features.
- We are working on expanding our portfolio to varied electronic products. As we grow, we will retail house hold appliances and other electronic products.
- We have successfully launched our own delivery team in Chennai. We are planning to expand the same to other cities to increase our presence and reduce the shipping time.
- We are bootstrapped as of now, and we are in look out for Venture Capitalists to execute our extensive marketing plan.
- Overall, we want every online consumer to ‘ZAP’ on the product that he /she want to buy before finalizing on their purchase.
Do give ZAPStore a zap and share your comment/suggestion with the team.