The Munjal family-promoted Hero MotoCorp is enjoying a smooth ride online. In 10 months of a tie-up with online marketplace Snapdeal, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker sold 300,000 motorcycles valued at Rs 1,500 crore. The average price of one unit is about Rs 50,000.
While the volume sold online is only five per cent of annual volume, it happens to be more than what Mahindra Two Wheelers and Piaggio sell in an entire year.
Mahindra sold about 165,000 units in 2014-15, while Piaggio sold 28,000. Suzuki Motorcycle India, two-wheeler subsidiary of the Japanese automobile major, sold 340,000 units. Hero’s nearest competitor and former partner, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, does not have an online tie-up. Hero tied up with Snapdeal last December.
For Hero, which has a sales network at 6,000 locations, the online platform has emerged as a tool to achieve incremental sales and complement volumes from the physical retail network. It also helps it reach youth, today buying almost everything online.
The success at Snapdeal has also prompted the company to work on its own online platform. “The entire range of Hero products is available on the Hero Brand Store on Snapdeal. Our scooters, Maestro and Pleasure, are also generating high volume on the online platform,” a company spokesperson said.
A buyer purchasing a motorcycle on Snapdeal gets access to the complete assortment of Hero’s bikes and scooters, which might not be always available at a particular dealership. As an additional benefit, free insurance is offered. An online booking is done by paying Rs 3,000, after which the closest dealership gets in touch with the buyer to facilitate the next steps.
Automobile companies are increasingly realising the digital platform cannot be overlooked. Last month, French car maker Renault launched an app where customers could book its new hatchback, the Kwid. The app saw 225,000 downloads in three weeks of launch. The app helps Renault, which has 175 dealerships, reach a wider set of buyers.