Consumer • Digital • Growth

Selling Bikes & Cars online, way back in 2010

Post pandemic everyone is talking about growth of online business and how brands are also exploring Direct-to-Consumer models to create new relationships. This is very much the flavor of the season for CPG sector, however I don’t see any action on this front in the automobile sector.

Last month I wrote this piece on how we created same day delivery model for groceries in 2013 at KLISMA, my marketplace venture then. That reminds me how we also started selling Bikes & Cars on our platform back then.

KLISMA was a market place for enterprise consumers and we launched it with IT enterprises. Most IT workers those days were trapped within the firewalls of their workplace and couldn’t use internet to fulfill their personal needs and I am talking of pre-mobile app days. This is where KLISMA was helping them fulfill all their personal requirements within the comfort of their working place. Within the first couple of weeks we started getting requests to help them buy bikes and cars since they didn’t have time to go out to select their choice and the right dealer. Wow, this was completely unexpected! We weren’t expecting such a requirement and weren’t prepared to deal with it. My merchandising team quickly connected with some leading Bike dealers to start with and they were happy to participate. Our mandate was to create great experiences. We quickly put together a bike ordering experience. This started from selecting a bike of your choice and book your trial appointment at a convenient slot in your office, book your bike, share copies of your personal documents and get your bike delivered at your office/home. One could book a bike of his/her choice by just paying Rs.500 online on KLISMA and the bike was delivered at an appointed time. This was sheer joy for so many of them and this became a hit category on our platform. Within couple of months we were selling 150+ bikes a month just in Pune city.

Soon we started a similar model for purchase of Cars across brands. Just pay Rs.2000 online and book a car of your choice for office/home delivery along with registration services.

I am wondering even a decade later cars & bikes aren’t offered online in a similar fashion. Auto brands have big ticket marketing budgets and in the current situation when major consumer brands are moving towards D-to-C strategy, will they make a move? I am surprised even a giant like Amazon hasn’t moved in this direction.

Would this happen? Please share your views.


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