With Easyday club membership that can be bought for Rs 999 a year, Future Group is focussing on building an offline-to-online (O2O) shopping model. As members, customers can avail 10% discounts on products when they shop from the company’s various retail outlets besides being able to place orders via web or through WhatsApp. Add to that Future Pay — its very own mobile wallet — can be used to drive transactions. Kishore Biyani, founder and CEO, Future Group, tells FE’s Anushree Bhattacharyya how the company is building a loyal set of customer base through its membership programme. Excerpts:
What is the idea behind following a membership strategy where customers are required to subscribe for Rs 999 on an annual basis?
On the face of it the subscription strategy may look similar to what Amazon is doing, but in reality a customer get much more through it. We are going to make these customers members of our Future Group eco-sytem so that they can avail discounts across our brands and stores right from Central to FBB, Brand Factory to Big Bazaar Gen Nxt and even other small format stores. Customers will also be provided with home insurance. Additionally, customers can place orders on online via our app or through Whatsapp or even call the respective store. We have the biggest eco-sytem when compared with companies like Alibaba or Amazon.
How many members you have at present? Besides offering products at a discounted rate, what are the other services that are being offered?
We currently have 7 lakh members. The idea is to add another 10 lakh members by the end of FY19 to take the total number of members to 17 lakh. In the next six to seven years we aim to take total number of members to 2 crore. We are already in talks with movie exhibition firms such as PVR and Carnival to ink a deal that would allow us to give free tickets to our consumers. We will expand our services through alliances with other players. The services would range from financial services to entertainment — anything and everything that a customer wants.
Are you looking at any fresh acquisition especially in online grocery space?
We don’t think there is much business when it comes to selling grocery. We are far ahead in the game, be it product, experience or technology. My view is that online and offline aren’t two separate businesses, rather, it is just two sides of the same coin. Let the customer decide how she wants to shop. Customer wants three things — price, quality and convenience and we provide all.