Rockasap ‘mall on mobile’ to invest USD 20 million in brand building

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With mobiles becoming the next big wave in the digital marketing domain, Handygo, the mobile VAS provider, is all set to tap into the potential of m-commerce. The company has invested USD 10 million in developing Rockasap, a mobile retail platform to target consumption on the go. It is planning to invest another USD 20 million in further enhancing the visibility of the product with location based tagging and experiential marketing activities.

The application is being touted as India’s first ‘mall-on-mobile’ services, which can be accessed on Smartphones, tablets as well as GPRS enables handsets. It is also supported on multiple platforms like Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows, among others. At present, users can surf through over 5,000 products available on the application, which have been classified into gadgets, health & wellness, entertainment and lifestyle. There is a fifth category addition in the form of e-books and e-magazines called Rockstand, which is being pegged as the country’s first e-book platform. The USP of this category of services is the fact that Handygo is offering regional books to users apart from national and international bestsellers.

According to Prem Prakash, Associate VP, Rockasap and m-commerce venture of Handygo Technologies, the company is focusing on offering regional books as per its consumer insight, which is that the current Rs 6,500 crore books market is dominated by regional books. “About 65 per cent of the share belongs to regional books, thus, we have tied up with more than 20 regional distributors and publishers for procurement.” The books also include the creation of a digital library for students and the company’s telecom partners even offer free SIM cards to students that come embedded with Rockasap. Plus, the first five books come at no cost with the application download, which can store as many as 500 books on the device.

Praveen Rajpal

Praveen Rajpal, CEO, Handygo Technologies

To promote the concept further, money is being invested in not only digital marketing efforts but also in on-ground activities. Praveen Rajpal, CEO, Handygo Technologies, shares that the company is looking at engagement programmes with authors and also creating buzz in places like airports, where the consumer has ample of time to download books and read them during flights. The company has also added an advanced feature of inverting text in night reading mode; and in terms of security the books are covered under strict digital right management (DRM) that prohibits piracy of these e-books.

For the other categories, the company has positioned the product offerings under affordable luxury. “The idea is to involve consumers who are hesitant of entering high-end retail stores due to their lack of awareness of the price band offered in these shops. For instance, not many people know that a premium brand like Tag Heuer also has an entry level watch offering starting from Rs 4,000. Thus, to bridge the gap between aspiration and lack of awareness, we have introduced entry level products of known luxury brands,” reasons Prakash. The company boasts of having a vast range of tablets priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 50,000.

In terms of TG, the company is looking to tap premium youth consumers, particularly in the metros, who are hooked on to their Smartphone/tablet devices. As per the company, out of the 900 million mobile users, 12 per cent belong to Smartphone users and the increasing numbers are providing ample opportunity for the company to grow such services.

Prem Prakash, Associate VP, Rockasap and m-commerce venture, Handygo Technologies

Prem Prakash, Associate VP, Rockasap and m-commerce venture, Handygo Technologies

With every other e-commerce website offering services like COD it becomes imperative for brands to stay ahead of the curve to maintain consumer trust. According to Prakash that comes through timely delivery, non-tampered products and quality guarantee. Thus, to ensure repeat purchases, the company offers loyalty programmes to frequent consumers and also gives manufacturer warranty on all products and if not that then from national distributors to ensure quality.

To make payment easier for users, the company has introduced the concept of Mobile Wallet, which is integrated with the users’ mobile phone bill, particularly Handygo’s telecom partner Airtel. Apart from that consumers can pay through credit and debit cards, net banking and cash on delivery (COD). The company is also mulling check drop facility at ATM counters.

With VAS on the rise and digital content being pushed into the face of the consumer of late, how is the company ensuring being non-intrusive? Rajpal says that Handygo focuses on location based content pull strategy, which is targeted and helps the company achieve a well-segmented consumer base. So the company provides opt-in and opt-out location preferences that the consumers can choose according to their will of being known to the server or not.

He adds that since people have moved beyond vanilla content like mobile/internet transactions, the company has increased its digital spends over five times in the last six months. Thus, the focus is on localised digital marketing, retail and engagment at consumer touchpoints. But he doesn’t shy away from admitting that the digital marketing domain faces the challenge of accuracy in terms of procuring data on consumer behaviour, hence, the focus is on hyper localised content strategy.


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