Bengaluru: The Online to Offline or O2O segment in India is heating up with Reliance planning to foray into e-commerce backed by its 7500+ offline stores and Paytm scaling down its Paytm Mall to focus on the O2O space, led by its acquisition of NearBuy.
A recent report by The Boston Consulting Group pegged 5% of volume and 16% of value of purchases in the Indian retail space to O2O channels. The Indian customer is now smartphone savvy and uses the online world for discovery but prefers an offline experience before buying, especially in high ticket segments. The trend is clear with all major players now having offline presence, across every segment such as fashion (Myntra, YepMe), furniture (UrbanLadder, PepperFry), kids (FirstCry), opticals (LensKart), jewellery (CaratLane),fitness (Cure.fit) and more.
Education, especially outsourced to help for K-12 parents, has one of the greatest needs for an O2O experience but that remains largely untapped. According to a study conducted by KPMG and Google, India’s online education market will grow to $1.96 billion by 2021. However, the average rate of completion of online courses is less than 10%. Hence, there is a strong need for an offline learning centre with a teacher or a coach to help in learning and doubt solving.
The sweet spot in outsourced learning help lies in the Blended Approach of digital content with offline consumption. PlanetSpark, one of India’s fastest growing edtech startups is working on this huge O2O opportunity in the K-8 edtech space. The company has developed highly engaging and gamified digital learning content for children that can be consumed at any of its offline experience centres across the country, thus providing a seamless learning experience.
The parents discover the content through PlanetSpark’s free learning app loaded with thousands of learning games, learning cartoons and quizzes. “After parents discovers us online through our app, they have the option to take up a premium learning plan or experience the learning content at any of our experience centres in the presence of a PlanetSpark certified teacher. Many parents opt for a classroom learning and digital content plan. However, a visit to the offline experience centre also helps parentsin decision making for the purchase of the ‘at home’ digital plan”, said Kunal Malik, Co-Founder of PlanetSpark.
An O2O (online to offline) strategy has helpedPlanetSpark to optimize students’ experience. The students can learn at home using digital content through a PlanetSpark ‘child safe’ tablet or a mobile app. They can then visit their nearest experience centre to get mentorship and support from a certified teacher.
“We operate in two models. First, we have home based learning centres, completely managed by our top teachers. Second, we have partnered with several space-sharing companies to lease safe and asset-light shared learning spaces to set up a PlanetSpark experience centre that can accommodate 50-100 students while keeping the capex minimal. We have already set-up over 300 experience centres and are now live in 7 cities across India. We are on a rapid expansion mode and aim to be the largest player in the O2O edtech space by the end of 2019.”, says Maneesh Dhooper, Co-Founder of Planet Spark.
Backed by FIITJEE, India’s largest Education company, PlanetSpark will use the funds to aggressively grow its online learners to 5 million and its offline experience centres across 5 more cities.