Connecting People the Hyper local way: Why India Needs the Hyper local Marketplace Model to Work

Date:   Wednesday , January 11, 2017

Headquartered in Noida, Zopper serves as the largest hyper local market in India which intends to connect the buyers with electronics stores. The entity combines trusts with local stores and benefits of online shopping by providing the customers \'no compromise\' shopping experience.

One simple way to describe hyper local commerce is that it both establishes as well as builds on connections between local retailers and consumers in a particular area. The hyper local market has witnessed rapid growth in India over the past few years, as is evidenced by an exponential increase in the number of hyper local startups and the growing interest of investors; over $290 million were raised in 2015 alone by ventures operating in the hyper local grocery delivery segment.

There is immense potential in the hyper local arena, which has ensured easy delivery of everything from groceries to mobile phones, directly from neighbourhood stores to consumers\' homes. The model has been responsible for bringing in ease and convenience to the daily lives of Indian consumers by allowing them to order a wide range of goods and services at the touch of a button. Tier-II cities are also slowly embracing this integration of online convenience and offline reassurance; running errands has been simplified, and all purchases are on their way to become on-demand. In such a scenario, India needs the hyper local market to not only work, but work better and quickly.

One advantage for hyper local commerce in India is that most households are already used to depending on neighbourhood stores to fulfil their day-to-day requirements of goods and services. In fact, Indian families have a tendency to develop deep, familial ties with shopkeepers and service providers. The hyper local business model is able to cater to the buying needs of the consumer by providing on-demand delivery from local stores. The process is quick, seamless and efficient; it is even possible for the entire transaction, from placing the order to doorstep delivery, to be completed within an hour. Moreover, the physical presence of stores earns the trust of consumers more easily than e-commerce does and allows for grievances to be swiftly redressed.

It is important for Indian merchants to understand that hyper local firms are not replacing local retailers but are merely giving them an established platform to expand their visibility and reach out to more customers. The model helps them in optimising their sales and tapping into the growing and vibrant digital ecosystem without any additional effort. India\'s service industry is also bound to benefit from the hyper local format\'s focus on quality and transparency. When moving into a new city, especially in a country as linguistically diverse as India, hyper local players make it easier for people to receive staple goods and services quickly.

Given the dynamic nature of the Indian economy, the optimal business model for our country is one that is easily scalable. Hyper local commerce readily offers this scalability because of lower logistics costs, less delivery lead-time and negligible inventory costs. This saving on costs is explained by the fact that hyper local firms work on established local trade and service links instead of building a completely new ecosystem from scratch. To add to this, the newest startups are combining aggregation with logistics and delivery, thus making sure that even the last-mile is completely under their control.

Once the hyper local model becomes a norm, consumers across the country will be able to experience a revolutionized retail experience. One can already use the model to order food from a local fine-dining restaurant which otherwise does not indulge in home delivery, or compare prices of smartphones across brands and outlets. The concentration on a specific geographical area will also allow for customisation based upon target demographics.

For Indian brands too, the implications are very positive. Not only will they benefit from additional channels for sales, they will also get a chance to connect better with customers. Right investments in infrastructure can also help brands measure customer behaviour more easily and market products more efficiently. Identifying a widespread yet local need and having a highly adaptable model is the need of the hour for the Indian retail sector, and the hyper local industry is emerging as the most viable solution to unlock greater growth.