Do not chase growth, focus on retaining existing customers: Vishesh Khurana of Shiprocket

Vishesh Khurana, Co-founder, Shiprocket, revealed the success mantra for new-age D2C startups at the recently-held D2C Carwaan in Hyderabad.
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The events in the last two years have caused unprecedented disruptions, particularly in the business world. Consumers switching from offline to online have helped D2C brands emerge successful and record extraordinary growth numbers. The D2C success story of India has inspired many with entrepreneurial aspirations to tread on the path and build a notable brand.

To meet and explore new-age D2C brands, the Brands of New India (BONI) community, in association with Shiprocket, recently hosted D2C Carwaan in Hyderabad after two successful meetups in Chennai and Jaipur. The event was aimed at inviting brands to be a part of the growing BONI circle and helping them solve various market challenges.

Throughout the event, participants were able to attend workshops, network, and interact with renowned D2C founders and gain insights on what’s trending in the ecosystem.

We have been fortunate to work closely with some of the most successful D2C brands like MamaEarth, Mcaffeine, boat etc. And as these brands moved on the path of success, we at Shiprocket scaled with them,said Vishesh Khurana, Co-founder, Shiprocket in his keynote address, stating that there is no secret sauce to success.

Find a niche, build a quality product

Speaking on how things have changed in the last decade or so, Vishesh recalled how they started as a shopping cart, moved towards the marketplace, and finally ventured into logistics aggregation software.

We have witnessed a tectonic shift in the later years of the last decade. The sudden boom in online shopping led to the emergence of some of the most promising D2C brands giving tough competition to legacy consumer brands. One such example is Rage Coffee competing with the likes of Nescafe,he added.

Vishesh also emphasised the need for brands to find a niche for themselves. A brand like Arata that entered the market with hair care products for curly hair only gave rise to a lot of apprehensions in terms of whether a brand for such a small market will sustain itself. But with a complete focus on becoming a category leader in the niche, Arata has come a long way.

Finding a niche and building a quality product are the two key pillars of building a successful D2C brand,shared Vishesh.

Focus on supply chain and omnichannel strategy

D2C brands of the day are competing with the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. A consumer while purchasing a small D2C brand has similar last mile delivery expectations as that of legacy companies like Amazon. Thus, brands need to smoothen the supply chain processes to be able to deliver a great consumer experience.

Vishesh also points out that it is equally important to keep the cost structures down and have an omnichannel approach to selling your products.Higher number of distribution channels will lead to a higher number of consumers,he added.

He concluded his address by saying that a lot has changed and raising funds cannot be equated to success anymore. The only metrics that matter is your buyer’s feedback and if you can retain your existing customers. Rather than being hyper-focused on growth, ensure that the customers you are selling to, come back to you to make a purchase. This is a great indicator of a quality product,said Vishesh.

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