Here are the key highlights from the D2C panel at TechSparks 2021

D2C experts discuss ways to enhance the customer experience and the way forward for D2C brands in India.
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As per financial services firm Avendus Capital, the D2C sector in India is estimated to reach USD 100 billion by 2025 – growth that was catalysed by deeper internet penetration, better logistical support, and an increase in the number of customers during the pandemic. To discuss the sector’s growth at length, TechSparks 2021 saw a panel discussion on ‘Delivering success: How brands can ensure a seamless customer experience’, powered by SAP.

The panel had industry experts like Tanuj Chowdary, Co-founder and COO, HomeLane; Anand Ayyadurai, Co-founder and CEO, Vogo Automotive; Vineet Rao, Founder and CEO, DealShare; Ajith Mohan Karimpana, Founder, Furlenco; Ankit Garg, Co-founder and CEO, Wakefit; Vinay Singh, Co-founder and Partner, Fireside Ventures; and Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan, Vice President and Head of Midmarket Business, SAP Indian Subcontinent.

Customer expectation varies from market to market

India is a diverse country and customer expectations are equally diverse. Dealshare’s Vineet explains that customer experience encompasses everything, starting from the point they hear about a brand first. “How do you meet customer expectations when there is no homogenous behaviour in terms of customer expectation? That was a big challenge for us,” he said. He revealed that the team tried to solve it by not thinking of themselves as a brand, but as a platform that meets the diverse set of customer expectations. “We make sure that their in-app experience is a smooth one, that starts right from opening the app, to the ordering of the products, and finally getting them delivered,” he added.

For Wakefit’s Ankit, the answer to solving customer experience issues and strengthening it lies in going beyond expectations.

It is important to scale with insight and vision

Furlenco recently launched the world’s first furniture subscription service UNLMTD. “The vision was always to make subscription a way of life, and we got inspired by India’s love for the OTT platforms,” said Ajith. He said that the team wanted rentals to be a way of life, but realised that while that was not possible, subscriptions could become a way of life.

For Vogo’s Anand too, this played a critical role. The Keyless technology implemented by Vogo was a mix of insight and vision, keeping the current ecosystem in mind. “Here, a customer locates the scooter that is closest to him, walks up to it, and the vehicle is paired with Bluetooth in the customer’s phone, gets unlocked, and then starts in motion. So, before starting it needs proper authentication of the user,” explained Anand.

HomeLane’s Tanuj revealed that carpenters usually took days to come back with a plan for a home, which would also be expensive. Keeping this in mind, HomeLane created Spacecraft which creates a 3D design in 45 minutes.

It is essential to scale with a reliable partner

SAP’s Subramanian said that their deep industry experience, combined with business transformation as a service, attracted the early-stage companies also to work with them. “Besides being a tech-solution partner, we also create a kind of community where our implementation partners and customers can learn together,” he added.

Pandemic-induced boom in online shopping

Fireside Ventures’ Vinay gave us a glimpse into the investor mindset keeping the trends in mind. He said, “Investors are excited about the real step jump in digital adoption, and especially on the varied categories of shoppers that are unfolding.”

To watch the entire discussion, click here - Techsparks - Navigate The New. The video has been recorded and it is available to view on-demand.

If you’re looking to hit hypergrowth, innovate at scale and nurture global ambitions already, check out Project Nakshatra by SAP.

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