India’s Furniture E-tailer Pepperfry Diversifies

According to consulting firm RedSeer, mobile phones and fashion accounted for about 68% of the overall gross sales by e-commerce firms in India in 2016 while furniture accounted for about 1%. Online furniture marketplace Pepperfry is a leading player and one of the most funded startups in the sector.

Pepperfry’s Offerings

Mumbai-based Pepperfry (Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt. Ltd ) was founded in 2011 by former eBay executives Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah. It started out as an online furniture store but today offers over 12 million products in the furniture and home vertical with various categories like Furniture, Home Décor, Lamps & Lighting, Furnishing, Kitchen, Housekeeping, Hardware and Electricals.

Pepperfry claims to have over 4 million users. It has 480 employees, 1,000 contract staff, 10,000 merchants, and a delivery fleet of 400 vehicles that operate from 17 hubs across India and serve customers in 500 cities. It also provides free assembly and installation support through its team of more than 250 carpenters.

In 2014, Pepperfry opened its first offline store in Mumbai. These stores essentially act as experience centers and also provide home design consultation for free. It currently has 22 such studios across major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Chandigarh, Faridabad, and Gurugram.  It plans to increase the count to 50 by March 2018, part of which will be through a franchisee model.

Pepperfry has also ventured into home furnishings and home interior designs, but furniture sales still account for at least 80% of its sales. The average ticket size for furniture is Rs 18,000 ($275) and other home products is Rs 4,000 ($61). It has around 20,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) with a gross margin of 47%.

In September 2017, Pepperfry launched its furniture rental services for younger customers in metro cities. Through this rental service, it will be looking to offload its less popular items and inventory from its offline studios. It has also launched an exchange program in partnership with Zefo, an online marketplace for pre-owned goods.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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