Building a successful D2C e-commerce brand: strategies for growth

The longest festive season in India, which starts from mid-September and extends to mid-November, is currently underway. The brands are seeing a surge in positive sentiment in product adoption due to the latent need to come together and celebrate what has been significantly subdued due to the pandemic. According to a new survey by LocalCircles, almost 65 percent of households across the country plan to spend money during the current festive season.

Due to pent-up demand and the opening up of travel and leisure, the revenge spending phenomenon is expected to increase demand this season. Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands aggressively pursue their own customer acquisition strategies. In an effort to build their pandemic-induced growth, D2C brands like IGP, Zouk, Solethreads, and The Tribe Concepts are expanding their offerings, building inventory, and increasing tech capabilities and marketing features.

Expand product offering

Keeping in mind that stylish casual wear is in vogue in these times, Solethreads comes up with shoe designs that will enhance the style quotient of Millennials and GenZ. For this festive season, the brand is currently focusing on open footwear including slides, slippers and slides and is aggressively working on launching other categories in the casual footwear segment soon. The average current price is between Rs 700-800.

“Our experience and engagement strategies consist of one core philosophy: to be ‘design-led’, as product design is the precursor to every form of interaction a customer will have with a product on any channel, whether it be browsing a product, purchasing it, or even recommending it. We provide sustainable and recycled footwear and to promote upcycling and circular fashion, we have launched the ‘reuse programme’ where consumers can replace their old flip-flops with new ones,” said Sumant Kakaria, CEO and Founder of Solethreads.

Meanwhile, Zouk claims that consumers are choosing more Indian-inspired products during the festive season. The brand’s most popular choices remain the Indian office bags and tote bags. Zouk will also see good movement in its slings and handbags as people buy products as gifts or for casual outings. As travel has increased, the brand is also seeing a good uptick in its backpacks.

This festive season, Zouk has added office bellies, along with a new collection of casual flats and sandals. Moreover, upon the request of its consumers to add a gift box option, the brand has added it for all its products.

“Office bags, tote bags and tote bags would be this season’s personal favorite. The average price range for the category is said to be between Rs 1,000 and 2,000. In footwear, we believe bellies, chappals and casual flats are our bestsellers and the average price range is between Rs 800 and 2,500,” said Disha Singh, Founder and CEO, Zouk.

How D2C brands plan to boost sales this holiday season

IGP also expands its offering every festive season in gift items, fashion accessories, flower bouquets, sweets, pastries, etc. This holiday season, it has also launched a new collection of gift products, all updated to cater to the latest fashions.

“Our gift products come in custom packaging to enhance the festivities even further. Gourmet sweets, festive fashion wear, festive supplies and accessories are always the most searched categories on our portal, and customers often spend lavishly on products in these categories, making them the best sellers every festive season,” said Tarun Joshi, Founder and CEO, IGP claimed.

Similarly, The Tribe Concepts already has festive gifts that contribute to a large proportion of festive sales. The brand has a range of in-demand minis and a new skincare range focused on pigmentation. Plus, it has products that address issues from head to toe – so it’s very flexible and easy for buyers to make adjustments on their own.

“Skincare remains our best-seller category. This will increase even further next winter as we have new launches planned for skin care and hair care, as a category has experienced stable growth. Bring a gateway brand with an average price point of Rs 800-1,200,” added Amritha Varshini Gaddam, Founder & CEO, The Tribe Concepts.

Renewal of the supply chain network

Solethreads is opening new warehouses and regional fulfillment centers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata to meet high demand.

Likewise, Zouk has massively scaled up its supply chain to build up inventory for the holiday season. It has also set up strong partnerships with Amazon and Myntra to expand its reach beyond its own website. Both will help it get its products into the hands of more Indian consumers.

“One of the main concerns of our customers is that our products sell out very quickly. To combat this, we have expanded our inventory so that we can ensure that more consumers across India can wear a Zouk bag or Zouk shoes,” explains Singh.

IGP has a global presence with customers in over 100 countries and gift delivery capabilities in over 150+ countries and 1,000+ cities in India. It is currently expanding its delivery network through dark stores and wants to automate where possible.

“We are in the process of expanding our dark store network to over 120 new dark stores across India, which will further strengthen our already impressive fulfillment infrastructure of existing 40 dark stores supported by three parent warehouses,” Joshi said.

Integration of technology

IGP has automated online procedures, warehouse and operations management software, etc. to provide the best services to our customers this festive season, while The Tribe Concepts has strengthened all its Analytics divisions by dashboarding all reports and implementing SAP for a smoother processing. ground operations.

Solethreads has proprietary formulations and technologies such as Superfoam footbeds and Ecotread soles and is working on a newer formulation to provide the next level of comfort. All its product launches are based on usage scenarios and this year it has launched concepts such as grass slippers, all-terrain anti-slip, yoga mat slippers, etc., which have already become its bestsellers.

“With over 30 design and technology patents already under our umbrella, it is our constant endeavor to keep innovating for our consumers,” said Kakaria.

Zouk believes in the power of live commerce and hence has planned a number of live sessions on his Instagram account and has also done a few with Flipkart. “These have already seen great engagement and that is a big way for us as an online brand to break the barrier and answer questions that online consumers always have,” said Singh.

How D2C brands plan to boost sales this holiday season

Sales target

During the holidays, The Tribe Concepts looks forward to generating more sales from its website. It plans to end the festive year on a high by raking in at least Rs 5 crore worth of books.

Zouk claims that it has already started very strong on marketplaces such as Amazon and Myntra, while its own website remains large and that wave will now continue until March next year.

“A lot has changed in the past 2 years, including Zouk as a brand. This has ensured that the brand has grown more than sixteen times its size before the pandemic. We now have over 2.5 lakh satisfied customers in every state of India. We expect this pace to continue and we will achieve more sales this year than last year,” said Singh.

IGP believes its superior consumer experience from design to delivery, farm-to-table supply chain and extensive same-day delivery network can meet the rising demand for festive gifting from Tier-II and III cities.

“The pandemic had an impact on overall sales last year. However, we expect an increase in sales of around 100 percent this festive season,” said Joshi.

READ MORE: Consumers expect to spend more money this holiday season

Looking ahead

Currently, IGP offers same-day delivery in nearly 400 cities in India and 24-72 hour delivery in over 1,000 cities. In addition to the mentioned figures, the brand plans to mark its presence exponentially in Tier-II and III cities nationwide. IGP wants to be the largest and most preferred destination for all special purchases in the next two years.

“We also look forward to expanding our brand footprint in the commercially sound international markets of North America, the United Kingdom and Australia,” said Joshi.

Zouk has an offline presence in more than 30 multi-brand outlets. The brand aims to further expand this offline retail presence in the coming quarters.

Solethreads is also going full speed ahead to expand its retail footprint in the Indian market. It aims to establish its presence in 2000 MBOs till the end of this financial year.

“This is roughly five times larger than our current retail footprint. In addition to these 2,000 retail MBOs, we will also be looking for large format stores this financial year,” Kakaria said.

The Tribe Concepts also looks forward to expanding its online channels and offline stores with exclusive stores for the brand. “We are more looking forward to expanding the business, reaching new audiences and witnessing an increase in conversions,” Gaddam concluded.