Not sure what to buy? HOT 100 Race to Grace winner TryKaro.com helps you try a wide range of products so you can make a better buying decision. By Shweta Gandhi
TryKaro is a website that uses experiential marketing to minimise the risk associated with buying a new product and helps people make better buying decisions. It also helps companies understand consumer behaviour and their buying patterns. Brij Mohan Purohit and Gaurav Manchanda founded the site in December 2015, and they’re now joined by Pankaj Aggarwal, who handles operations and finance.
The germ of the idea
Brij and Gaurav, friends and classmates from their engineering days, were planning a trip to Kerala when they were faced with a tough decision. They wished to buy a camera to record the memories, but didn’t know which one to get. After much research and contemplation, they bought an expensive digital camera. But on their way back they realised that a simple point-and-shoot camera would’ve worked as well. “We squandered our money on a camera which, in retrospect, wasn’t a great buy,” says Brij. When they got back, they came across a place that offered beer sampling at an economical price. That’s when Brij and Gaurav put two and two together.
“Here we were, devastated at our expensive buy and wishing we could return it, and on the other hand, here were some beer samples for a mere Rs 15O. This gave us an idea—we could create a platform where people got to sample a product, see if they were really happy with it, and then finally purchase it,” says Brij. The product categories weren’t too tough to decide on—having suffered with electronics, that was priority. “Also, in India cosmetics sell the most,” says Brij, “so it was easy to decide on that.” Fragrances, beauty and electronics are the main categories TryKaro looks at.
How it works
The service is currently limited to Bangalore. Customers need to create an account and can then choose from the brands and sample products, available for nominal prices, on offer. Shipping is free. “You can use the sample products to make an informed decision about whether to buy that product or not,” says Brij. The website is regularly updated with new launches.
Though it’s just been six months since the company started, the website sees 250+ visitors on a daily basis and has gathered a GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) of 10 lakh. They’ve seen a month-on-month growth of 20 per cent and delivered to around 500 customers so far. And Brij wants both figures to go up. “Twenty per cent of our customers actually went on to buy the product based on the sample,” he says. So the idea does seem to be catching on.
TryKaro has three means of revenue. One is through their subscription model. “We offer brands a quarterly subscription with different packages based on their requirements—social analytics, data analytics,” says Brij. “Companies have stalls in departmental stores where they stock sample products, and we help them channelise their samples to the right customers.” This way companies see ROI through their samples and can use TryKaro’s experiential marketing.
The second revenue stream is commission—TryKaro earns 25 to 45 per cent commission if a customer ends up buying the product. The third source is through affiliate marketing, wherein they earn three to four per cent as a reward for referring websites.
“We’ve had challenges almost every step of the way. But one of the biggest problems we faced was the long government process to set up the company,” says Brij. It took them one-and-a-half months to do the paperwork. And they struggled to manage all the different functions like sales, operations and marketing. Brij says winning the HOT 100: Race to Grace award was a great ego boost as it made them believe they were doing well. “It was our second recognition award, and it reinforced our belief that we were on the right track.”
Plans for future
The duo plan to expand by adding more sample product categories. “The hottest category is cosmetics, so we will be expanding that as well,” says Brij. They’re also expanding their reach to include cities like Delhi and Mumbai. “We’re building a TryKaro app slotted to launch next month. Our idea is to make our web portal and app a one-stop shop where customers feel satisfied trying out products, and keep coming back for more.”