Brands of India: Trell co-founder reveals why D2C brands need a social commerce strategy to succeed

D2C brands that don't devise a social commerce strategy risk falling behind competition and missing out on potential customers, says Trell CEO and Co-founder, Pulkit Agrawal, at YourStory's Brands of India event.
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For the nearly 200 million people that shop online in India today, social commerce has become ubiquitous and, in many ways, even a necessity.

Social commerce is helping people not only discover new brands these days, but also bridging the communication gap between companies and consumers. Community has suddenly become an integral part of every new brand’s marketing strategy —  and that’s mostly because brands want to listen to what buyers are saying about them.

Direct-to-consumer companies, which have seen a boom over the last year mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, need a social commerce strategy —  there are no two ways about it. They could put it off for some time, but they will have to tap into this resource, one day or the other, and those who don’t might not fare too well, says Pulkit Agrawal, Co-founder and CEO of Trell, an Indian lifestyle social commerce platform.

And that’s mostly because a lot of the users who start accessing the world wide web for the first time are, at the outset, going to consume content, in some form or the other. They’re then going to build a network of influencers and webpages they trust, and then, finally, opt for services and products that are going to themselves recommend, after trying and testing.

“Any D2C brand that misses this wave is going to fall behind in the larger scheme of things,” Pulkit says, speaking on the sidelines of YourStory’s Brands of India event, which aims to catalyse the growth of India's D2C economy.

“I think it’s important to really leverage this whole ecosystem of content, community, and influencer networks to penetrate deeper into the markets much faster, at least compared to what D2C brands can do organically,” he adds.

But how should D2C brands leverage social commerce networks to boost their reach?

Pulkit suggests the following:

  1. Building a social commerce strategy
  2. Focusing on the experience of the customer —  “Brands really need to make sure that they have the right formulations, the right kind of product, the right communication so that they’re able to provide the best experience.”
  3. Arriving at the right pricing strategy so they’re able to sustainably grow in the ecosystem.
  4. Having a strong supply chain network —  “If brands are not able to deliver to customers at the right time, customers will stop adopting them. They will go for options that are more convenient, and consistent.”
  5. Leveraging content, community, and influencer networks so that they’re able to tap new markets and reach more potential customers.

“Social commerce platforms have essentially become a launchpad for D2C brands,” Pulkit says, adding that companies such as Trell and others help these brands not only establish trust with their customers, but also stay competitive in terms of pricing, and enable their discovery to people who haven’t heard of the brand before.

“Today, it’s as easy to launch a D2C brand as it had become to launch an app five to six years ago,” he says, concluding the second session at YourStory's Brands of India event.

The event aims to bring together D2C ecosystem stakeholders, including brand builders, D2C startups, investors, corporates, and policymakers, to discover, build, and help daring entrepreneurs create an additional 500 Brands of India in the next three years, and existing brands to accelerate their business to $100 million from $10 million.

To further this, YourStory will collaborate with select partners who can help influence outcomes towards enabling:

  • Discovery of the most promising, emerging D2C brands and startups
  • Incubation and funding of early-stage, high potential brands
  • Influence conversations around policy to accelerate sector growth
  • Support in building brand identity for key brands
  • Enable ecosystem partnerships to facilitate scale for growth-stage brands
  • Fuel the expansion of D2C brands in India and across the world

Brands of India is a YourStory initiative to catalyse the growth of India's D2C economy. The initiative will bring together D2C ecosystem stakeholders, including brand builders, D2C startups, investors, corporates, and policymakers, to discover, build and help daring entrepreneurs create an additional 500 Brands of India in the next three years.

To know more about this initiative and the D2C ecosystem, visit brandsofindia.yourstory.com.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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