KATHMANDU, Sept 26: SastoDeal – "Where the best deals hang out!"
Now wouldn´t you want to explore more when faced with such an interesting invitation? There are cute scribbles and drawings within the easy-to-navigate website, making it easy on the eyes, and user-friendly, too.
SastoDeal.com is an online shopping destination where one can find around 100 deals per month: clothes, gadgets, and restaurants, adventure sports, home appliances. And these at the best deals, too. It offers anything from 15% to 25% discounts.
The brainchild of Amun Thapa, 24, SastoDeal has been up and running since December 2011. When Thapa returned to Nepal in August 2011 after completing his studies in the US, the lack of online shopping was palpable.
In the habit of shopping online for everything, he found it difficult and inconvenient to scour the streets of New Road for one thing and then rush to another place for something else. When he floated the idea of an online shopping website to his family and friends, they were skeptical that it would work.
The Chief Executive Officer of SastoDeal.com says, “The fact that they thought it wouldn´t work was what drove me. It took me around three months to establish SastoDeal. Since the market was almost nonexistent, I wanted to start by educating the masses. The idea was to introduce the concept of online shopping, the convenience and comfort of it.”
SastoDeal´s eye-catching name, its interesting tagline, the drawings, the user-friendly website were all designed intentionally.
“Sasto, a Nepali word, and deal, together, would interest our customers, we hoped,” says Thapa.
Only nine months in business and the success SastoDeal has seen is better than what was anticipated. “We’re reaching our goals quicker than we expected,” says Thapa.
Kathmandu-centric at the moment, SastoDeal has plans to expand to Pokhara and Chitwan.
“We’re looking for a team right now. If that´s settled, I´m hopeful that we can start business after two months,” he says.
Given its increasing popularity, it’s noteworthy that SastoDeal hasn’t ever approached marketing and advertising through the conventional route. There was no advertising on televisions, radio stations, or in print when it was launched. Customers trickled in through word of mouth recommendations.
“Initially, when we started approaching companies, they were hesitant because it was a new concept. Now many of them approach us to extend their deals. We get a lot of offers to feature many companies and products. However, we’re looking for quality and we only decide to feature them after we’re certain of the products’ quality,” explains Thapa.
The company gets a commission from each customer that the business receives through it. No extra charge for advertising is made.
Once you decide on what you want, all you need to do is send in your name, phone number and email address. The voucher will be sent to your email, which you can then note and show to the restaurant you’re dining at or the event you’re going to.
A customer can expect home deliveries for free. Clothes can also be ordered at home, tried and returned at once if they don’t like it.
With such easy access to shopping, why wouldn’t people choose to shop from home?
Thapa believes that it’ll take less than five years for the online shopping market to boom. “The market for retail outlets has saturated. Businesses need something new now. And online shopping is the new thing,” he concludes.