SpinKart is a startup operating from Lucknow that has a lot of research work behind it. They understand that usually, shoppers have a harrowing experience in India – going for groceries, running through aisles with their carts, waiting for hours during checkout, add to that the chaos of traffic, parking and fuel costs. Online shopping is a far better experience. So Spinkart asks you to just Spin all your requirements into the online cart and checkout with a few clicks – and this convenience is highlighted in the name ‘Spinkart’.
Getting off the Ground
Spinkart started operations in Oct 2014. Operating from Lucknow, UP, they took a little time to get the basic formalities completed – the registration of the company and obtain other licences and they were up and running.
Saurabh Singh is the founder of Spinkart. He is an MBA with specialisation in retail. Having worked with Big Bazar and other large stores in Bengaluru, he has a working knowledge and experience of the retail industry. In the past, he has also successfully run the franchise of Sharekhan Ltd for 9 years. But presently, he is focussing on Spinkart only.
Spinkart has a loyal and dedicated team, stretching from the web developer to the delivery guy. They consider their loyal customers also as a part of their team since the word of mouth publicity has got them going. Presently, concentrating on essentials rather than the frills, they are working out of god owns focus on and delivering fast.
A few employees joined the company but left as soon as they realised that there is no cosy office to relax.
They started with word of mouth publicity and gradually started getting orders from nearby areas. Initially, they approached people directly and highlighted the aspect of a free doorstep delivery with discounts. The saving on costs by operating in a Tier II City and not having a physical store are passed on to customers as a discount. Spinkart started off with a few orders which were a mix up between kirana, wifi routers and mobile phones.
The USP of Spinkart
Spinkart feels they are unique because they offer the best discounts. Spinkart is open 24*7*365 and each and every product is available at a discounted price – customers don’t have to hunt coupons or pay the MRP Delivery is assured the same day. With multiple payment options and an easy returns policy they make online shopping a breeze.
They feel being located in a Tier II city such as Lucknow is an advantage. It is an upcoming city – a future metro some would say – and is a city with immense potential. There is also a scope of expanding to nearby towns such as Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad and others. Metros are overpopulated with a plethora of online grocery portals and Saurabh understands the perception and mind set of people of Lucknow due to an in depth analysis.
SpinKart has its own delivery system. They feel that grocery needs utmost care and may be damaged during delivery. Hence, they decided to deliver themselves. They have a dedicated staff that has proven to be prompt, punctual and safe during deliveries. Usually they deliver within three hours, depending on the traffic of orders and the road conditions. They club deliveries within reasonable time frames to cut down on frequent trips, which is their way of being environmentalists.
With his business experience, Saurabh finds that he is able to manage funds in better way. They have been able to arrange funds from the local bank and even some from the government. We thought of external funding, even got selected and called to Hong Kong consultation, but decided against it and dropped the idea. Self-funding currently helps the founders of Spinkart keep a tighter leash on operations in these initial days, something they will lose if they invite external funding. And that’s the way they want to be for the near future.
Experiences of the Past Year
Now that they been somewhat established, they are spreading awareness of their venture by digital marketing and a few local advertisements, but they still primarily rely heavily on word of mouth promotion.
They find that most of their customers are loyal, and place repeat orders. Spinkart, most refreshingly, feels that customers are not to be treated as the property of the enterprise. There is only one way to retain customer loyalty and that is providing them with the best quality product and the best deal. This will ensure that the customers stay with you and also migrate to more expensive orders once you build faith with them.
Advice to Startups
Their advice to other startups would be to avoid treating this business as a numbers game and focus on the quality of service and product instead. Understand that you have to have a balanced approach, it would not be a win-win situation all the time. Prune down costly advertising initially and remember, a lot of discounts that are offered in the initial days are from your pocket! And look after your team. Keep pushing yourself with right-minded like-minded people.
In the future, Spinkart plans to open physical stores cum pickup centers which would serve to introduce people who are not comfortable with the concept of e-commerce to get started. Also, their mobile app is to be launched soon, both on android and IOS. But they would keep the web based operations alive.
Spinkart understands that profit is essential for the company’s survival and to prevent stagnation. All offers made to customers, therefore, have to be alive to the fact that sales are the only pillar on which a startup survives. Keeping overheads low is key.
Spinkart has now a number of products in bulk. But what gets a smile on their faces is the fact that all their friends and family also buy from them, in spite of having other choices! And that’s a great confirmation of cost-effective quality.
Lively, talented, strong willed Arian, Arushi loves to experiment and innovate. A budding marketer – HR enthusiast – DIY artist – music lover – having more layers to her personality than hyphenated definitions can accommodate. Currently, she’s wrapping up her grad at DU and looking at the future with wonder and expectation. A keen explorer who has traveled extensively in India and aims to soak up the rest of the world soon!