D2C founders on why omnichannel is the way forward for brands to thrive
The sudden rise in D2C business in the post-pandemic era has given ‘Omichannel’ the status of an emerging buzzword. With more and more brands going the omnichannel way, customers are experiencing complete control over their shopping experience. This strategy not only benefits the customers but also empowers businesses to optimise their stocks and develop smarter replenishment practices.
India’s emerging D2C founders came together at YourStory's ‘Brand Residency’ event to discuss how omnichannel presence has contributed to the success of their brands. A panel discussion on ‘All roads lead to your brand: Building an Omnichannel presence’ featured Ishan Grover, Founder and CEO,; Armaan Sood, Co-founder, ; Vinayak Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, ; and Vedang Patel, Co-founder, .
The pandemic has played the role of an accelerator in the growth of several D2C brands. Making an omnichannel presence is not just a means of growth but is soon becoming a mode of survival for these businesses. “Initially there we didn't get any sale from marketplaces, it was all from our own website. But now 30 percent is coming from there and I’m so glad I’m not dependent on just one channel to generate my revenues,” said Ishan.
Focussing on customer-centric marketing strategies, an omnichannel approach ensures that the customer has a positive, consistent, and personalised experience on each channel. “WhatsApp and Instagram are second nature to this generation and it is inevitable for businesses to engage on those channels. Taking the right steps can lead to incremental sales through these channels,” said Vinayak of BiteSpeed.
Conversational commerce: A sales booster
Thriving on retaining customers, D2C brands are focusing on a positive and personalised customer experience. Conversational commerce provides brands a powerful tool to communicate in a personalised on-brand way. This not only boosts customer satisfaction but also increases the chance to generate more revenues by almost 10 percent.
Helping e-commerce brands on their omnichannel journey is BiteSpeed, a chat-based startup that aids converting potential customers via personalised WhatsApp and Facebook chats. Started in 2018, BiteSpeed builds tools enabling conversational commerce. Using chat as the core communication channel, BiteSpeed solves for the entire ecommerce customer journey from retargeting to providing shipping updates to customer support. “You can get a good ROI from WhatsApp as a channel from a marketing standpoint. Power users of WhatsApp are using it as an assisted buying channel,” explained Vinayak.
With customer convenience as the primary focus for D2C businesses to thrive, Sleepy Owl Coffee’s Arman added, “Customers have more convenient channels available to them now. As a brand, you have to be where the customer is and not expect them to come to your doorstep.”
Top trends shaping the future of D2C
Omnichannel presence has not only resulted in increased revenues but also helped immensely in brand recognition and brand building. With customers being targeted on every medium, the recall value and the customer retention graph has seen a vertical growth.
Emphasising on customer convenience and satisfaction, Arman said, “We started Sleepy Owl Coffee on the premise of championing convenience. Our products are not just convenient but also conveniently available. This is one reason why I see this trend of quick commerce continuing, especially in the F&B industry.”
Personal hygiene brand Svish has witnessed exponential growth since its launch in 2021. A fairly new player in the D2C industry, founder and CEO Ishan Grover stresses on the need for building differentiative products for successful brand building. While the company started out as a sanitisers and disinfectant wipes brand, the launch of men’s hygiene products has seen a contribution of almost 80 percent to its revenues.
Apart from garnering sales, omnichannel tools also help in optimising the customer’s journey to success. “Every channel powers the other channel. It’s important to focus on the whole business rather than just one medium. If you are truly omnichannel, you can maybe acquire a customer in the store and make sure he shops online in a seamless process,” said Vedang of The Souled Store.
With customer satisfaction becoming a priority for the D2C industry, most brands are using their omnichannel presence as a key marketing strategy as well as a revenue generating tool. Be it educating customers, providing them a more personalised experience or retaining and garnering sales, omnichannel is the way to go forward for Indian D2C brands.