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Autsun: Online retailer with a difference. Really?

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India is rapidly going online. Even though less than 10% of all Indian online users (which number in itself is quite low) have actually shopped online, a lot of new entrants are making a foray into online market, banking on the growth of internet penetration in India.

Recently, an India based online shopping site was launched – Autsun. They have a unique selling proposition called U-Make-the-Store.

autsun-banner-New-innovative-ways-Small

They are going to ask every customer what they want to buy, and at what price? The company will then try and obtain your desired product, close to your desired price from the manufacturer, get it nicely gift-wrapped and shipped free to you anywhere in India. What’s more, the consumer who recommends the product will be credited for the same on the product’s page on the Website.

Is it really feasible to do that?

I do not know of a online retailer (ping me if you know) who is offering this kind of service as yet, but it is an interesting model.

What I am worried about is the logistics and delivery part. This sounds too good to be true – Is it really possible or is it just a stunt to create buzz and attract new customers?

To give it a spin, I went through the process of registration. The registration however, did not complete as I did not recieve the confirmation email to finish the registration . Normally, once you register, confirmation email should reach your mailbox almost instantly, but I waited for 15 minutes for the mail to arrive and then gave up.

I tried to find more details and how it works. Did not find much information either, but here is an interesting condition they have listed for this service.

U-Make-The-Store
AUTSUN.COM is providing the conceptual service U-Make-The-Store on an as-is basis without any warranties. The service is not legally binding on AUTSUN.COM. AUTSUN.COM will try to procure the product and at a price close to the customer indicated price provided it is feasible for AUTSUN.COM to do so. The decision to add or reject a customer’s recommendation solely rests with AUTSUN.COM and cannot be challenged in any forum or court of law. AUTSUN.COM can chose to not disclose the reason for not adding a customer’s recommendations. Under no circumstances can any party challenge AUTSUN.COM on any aspect of the functioning of this service.

After reading this, I am convinced that Autsun is equally skeptical about this model as I am. If you think differently, please comment.

  1. Sandip says

    Hi,
    The founder of autsun – Prabhat Garg, a BITSian was in the campus recently…I had a chance to speak to him about his business model. They are only going to form alliances with apparel manufacturers and not retailers. This is where they differ from sites like ebay, and other online shopping sites – who will get their own cut. So the supply chain is clipped down to the bare necessary – its as B2C as you can get – thus enabling them to offer competitive prices while maintaining sustainability. Quality can still be maintained as they will approach only reputed brands.
    Lets see if they manage to pull it off! The idea seems fresh in any case.

  2. Sumedh says

    LoL…

  3. M.P.Singh says

    its true that customisation is required to attract new customers and to retain them also..
    But if u see this this type of concept I believe its only for customers who have well defined idea about their product demand. But if we see there are no. of customers whose demand is there but don’t know exactly what to buy and which color to buy, which design etc..
    I believe its good if successful because not easy for everyone to imitate the concept …
    Major challenge i suppose will be supply chain mgmt .
    To comment on my friends point that ” trying to gain a market share just based on price hardly works in the long run ! Simple economics”.. these type of retailers new try to serve all because its beyond their reach and become more costly. ex: PRADA.

  4. Indian Blogger says

    There is no talk about the quality. Itz all about price ! One of the main reasons why online shopping has not taken off in India is because Indians still want to feel and touch the product before they buy.
    And remember, trying to gain a market share just based on price hardly works in the long run ! Simple economics.

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