LG Electronics is targeting a turnover of Rs 50 crore from its e-commerce site LGezebuy.com this year, up from Rs 13 crore last year. For this it has also hiked its marketing and promotional budget from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore. While last year, NRIs (mostly from the US) accounted for almost 30 per cent of online transactions, this year the company plans to target a wider audience in other countries with sizeable Indian population like the UK and the Middle East, which could help it garner at least 60-70 per cent business in online sales.
The company has also for the moment dropped the idea of setting up the site as an independent profit centre retailing products other than consumer durables alone, on the lines of LGeshop in Korea, which has a $300 m turnover every year and retails a wide range of products.
‘‘The gifting segment is sizeable and we offer the convenience of being able to select a gift and having it delivered free of cost without the hassle of physically moving out or carrying the goods on their trips,’’ says product planning head Vijay Narayanan. In India, online activity is currently limited to around 6-7 per cent, with the most popular categories being cards, flowers and small gifts.
LG plans to popularise the e-dealer concept through personalised offerings and developing the site as a separate and complementary channel, without offending the traditional dealer channel. For this it is in the process of developing an entirely new range of standalone products that will not retail offline, with additional features or customised to specific needs, like special ACs for kids with interchangeable grills in different colours to match interiors and the ‘Trend-e’ series of CTVs with special games. The products are also priced 3 to 4 per cent above MOP (market operating price).
The focus this year is also on reaching out to a larger audience, through tie-ups with other sites like MSN, Yahoo, Fabmall and Rediff and direct marketing activity. It has tied up with ICICI Bank and Citibank and will tie up with seven banks to offer larger payment options, through credit and debit cards.
As part of its promotional activity, LG is also increasing the frequency of the Dream Career Scholarships for kids. It will hold monthly online quizzes for school kids, with prizes. It also plans to target housewives and corporates.