Spreading green gifting culture across India through its online store: The story of LivingGifts
One evening while thinking about gifting culture and pattern in India, Prabhjot Singh realized that most of the online gifting platforms are etailing regular categories such as flower, chocolate, cake, toys and dry fruits. After a couple of days, Prabhjot felt urge to bring an online gifting solution with some strong differentiators, and later on LivingGifts.co.in came into existence. LivingGifts is an online gift company primarily focusing on green gifting like natural plants.
Early days of LivingGifts
Started in 2011 by Prabhjot singh, his wife Talvinder Kaur and brother Jagjyot Singh, LivingGifts has had some big challenges to solve initially. “Our biggest challenge was to replace the conventional gifting stuff like flowers, soft toys with the natural plant. Also, since it is very inconvenient to carry plant to someone’s marriage, birthday, or any other occasion thus customer hesitates to purchase them,” reminisces Singh. However, this didn’t deter Singh’s confidence, and he started exploring ways to solve the delivery headache with potential courier partners.
After solving packaging and handling issues, LivingGifts started its operation in Delhi (NCR). “At that time we have couple of links with nurseries in Delhi, though soon we tied up with around 15 nurseries in NCR region,” adds Prabhjot. With strong word of mouth publicity – LivingGifts saw decent traction from plant lovers in NCR.
Offering, traction and expansion
Currently, LivingGifts offers seven categories including corporate gifting, birthday, flowers and living plants with others. It claims to ship around 1,500 orders with average tickesize of Rs. 1400. South India (Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai) constitutes 50% of firm’s overall sale while remaining half comes from North India. “Out of all categories, living plant one contributes around 60% of our revenue,” says Prabhjot.
After eight months of its operation, LivingGifts decided to expand to other cities besides NCR. However, packaging of plants appeared to be big challenge again for the company. “To resolve the issue, we setup our own delivery channel and collaborated with the best nurseries in different cities. We have trained them for various activities like sending gifts gently, wrapping them in a presentable manner, provided them packaging material for standardizing our delivery throughout India,” adds Prabhjot. At present, the company has 10 motorbikes (2 bikes each city) to facilitate hassle free shipping and delivery process.
Even though there is gradual mood shift in selecting green gifts, people still favor flowers, soft toys etc. for gifting on different occasions like birthday, valentine etc, says Prabhjot.
Living gifts has established tie-ups with vendors across India for delivery of natural plants, flowers, gifts and apparels. After successfully completing 2 years, it is in process of opening its flagship GREEN Store in Delhi. “We want to spread the message of Green gifting from physical stores also, though our focus would be online channel only,” concludes Prabhjot
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